Highgate extend their lead at the top after victory over Tamils

Highgate's Ed Foster (second from left) picked up four wickets against Middlesex Tamils Sports and S

Highgate's Ed Foster (second from left) picked up four wickets against Middlesex Tamils Sports and Social Club. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Ed Foster’s early burst of wickets laid the foundations for a seven-wicket success as Highgate stretched their lead at the top to 18 points in Division Three of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Foster knocked over the first three wickets and finished with figures of 4-29 to help bowl out the Tamils for 154 and set up a resounding victory over Highgate’s closest challengers.

Highgate’s stand-in captain Craig Gourlay lost the toss and his side were asked to field, but they were soon in the driving seat as Foster bowled Niro Sritharan (7).

Fellow opener Samjith Singarajah made five before he followed in an identical fashion and, when Yogi Raithatha (13) became the third man to be bowled by Foster, the visitors were in trouble at 39-3.

Jack Peck kept up the pressure with an economical spell of 1-7 from five overs, bowling well in tandem with Gourlay and accounting for Jagath Gangeswaran, who was leg before for 19.

Gourlay, who finished with 2-28 from 14 overs, got rid of Ashok Andrew (5) and Raghukulan Loganathan, who was lbw first ball, while Sivathasan Kailasapillai was caught behind off Freddie Barrass (1-26) for a single.

That left the Tamils reeling at 72-7, but Sharuvinothan Yoganantham began their recovery by smashing 18 from just six balls before Scott Thaxton (1-16) had him stumped.

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Visiting skipper Abdul Hamza then marshalled the tail successfully as he and Kavi Kannathasan (19) put on 30 for the ninth wicket and last man Gajendran Perinbanathan struck an unbeaten 20 at a run a ball.

Hamza, who batted purposefully for his 38, was last man out, falling to Hashen Ramanayake (1-41) as the Tamils’ innings eventually ended in the 45th over.

When Highgate replied, Kannathasan (2-34) made an early breakthrough as he dismissed Matt Holly (5), but Chris Arul and Callum Fraser settled down to compile a second-wicket stand of 63.

Arul continued his good form with the bat as he reached 51 from 57 balls, an innings that included eight fours and two sixes, before falling to Loganathan at 86-2.

Fraser followed soon afterwards, leg before to Kannathasan for 27 and, with 60 still required, the Tamils may have begun to sense a glimmer of hope.

Howeve, that was soon dispelled by Ramanayake (24 not out) and Nick Brunner (23no), who put together an unbroken partnership to steer their side over the line at 155-3 with the first ball of the 27th over.