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Tom's just in time with handy haul for NL

PUBLISHED: 16:57 30 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:20 07 September 2010

Tom Wakeford bowls for North London during the Middlesex County Cricket League Division Two game between North London and Twickenham at Park Road, Crouch End on Sat May 16, 2009

Tom Wakeford bowls for North London during the Middlesex County Cricket League Division Two game between North London and Twickenham at Park Road, Crouch End on Sat May 16, 2009

Max Flego Sports Photography

NORTH LONDON breathed life back into their flagging season as Tom Wakeford bowled them to what could prove a vital 12-run victory over fellow strugglers Uxbridge....

MCL DIVISION TWO

NORTH LONDON 128 (10pts) beat UXBRIDGE 116 (0)

NORTH LONDON breathed life back into their flagging season as Tom Wakeford bowled them to what could prove a vital 12-run victory over fellow strugglers Uxbridge.

Defeat would have sent NL spiralling towards the drop, but despite being bowled out for 128 Wakeford's 6-46 helped dismiss the visitors for just 116.

That closed the gap on Uxbridge to just three points, but with third from bottom South Hampstead also winning, the distance between NL and safety is 13 points with six games to play.

However, a first win since the end of May was a boost enough for the home side, who feared the worst after losing the toss, being asked to bat, and losing skipper Mark Askew in the first over.

Chris Ridley scratched around to make six from 35 balls before departing, and it was only due to a cavalier innings from Patrick Mills that NL got up and running.

On a moist wicket batting was never going to be easy, but Mills was to prove the only batsman all day to master it as he blasted six fours and a six in a brisk knock.

When he was third man out for 49 NL still only had 61 on the board, and once Jeff Hurrell's vigil ended on seven and James Battcock and Wakeford were sent back for ducks, NL were in dire trouble on 79-6.

A seventh-wicket stand of 44 between Ian Johns (26) and Tom Noutch (19) pushed them past three figures and at least gave NL something to bowl at, even though they lost their last three wickets for five runs.

But NL have made a habit of winning low-scoring games over the years, and once Wakeford had dismissed both Uxbridge openers for ducks the visitors were already creaking.

Any kind of partnership was beyond them as Wakeford bowled a superb 16-over spell and Battcock and Maaz Haffeji also picked up a wicket apiece.

On 87-9 Uxbridge looked finished, but their last pair of Ryan Connor and Andy Stephens, who had earlier taken eight wickets between them, threatened to steal a dramatic win.

The pair put on 29 and edged the visitors towards victory, before Kelvyn Smith (2-10) took the final wicket to spark rare victory celebrations, and maybe a little hope, for the NL boys.


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