Hornsey have promotion in their sights
HORNSEY'S bowlers edged their way ever closer to both promotion and the Division Three title as the league leaders overcame their nearest pursuers at Tivoli Road. Chetan Patel s side are now 24 points clear at the top, and 28 points clear of third place w
HORNSEY'S bowlers edged their way ever closer to both promotion and the Division Three title as the league leaders overcame their nearest pursuers at Tivoli Road.
Chetan Patel's side are now 24 points clear at the top, and 28 points clear of third place with seven games remaining.
Patel won the toss and chose to bat on a slightly damp wicket, aiming to reach 200 and then let his bowlers loose on the visitors.
Hornsey immediately discovered that the wicket was much slower than anticipated, and the opening pair of Deepesh Makwana and Paul Plumbly found scoring difficult against disciplined Barnet bowling.
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Makwana quickly went for a duck, caught and bowled by Janaka Mudalige, and the next ball sent Wes Koskela back to the pavilion, leaving the hosts two down and without a run on the board.
Plumbly (18) was starting to play some nice shots when he too was undone by the slow wicket as Mudalige picked up his third wicket in a row.
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But that brought the Patel brothers to the crease, and Sanjay (60) and skipper Chetan (33) put on a chanceless and matchwinning partnership of 82, taking the home side to 118-5.
Hornsey were still well short of their target and, when James Fleming was trapped lbw by Atul Walekar for a duck, Barnet gained further ascendancy.
Garfield Struthers and Martin Tucker put on a further 19 before Tucker (11) was bowled by Walekar, but Struthers (22 not out) continued to work the singles along with the tail as the home side reached 163-9 after 55 overs.
It was a low total but Hornsey's bowlers defended it with gusto, and Barnet's top scorer, A Rai, notched up just 22 runs.
Tucker (2-39) had openers Harpreet Singh (11) and Mustupha Bhagat (6) caught early on, while Joel Gregory (1-28) dismissed key man Vinnie Khera (10) leg before.
Despite being 33-3, Barnet continued to shun the singles in favour of big high-scoring shots, giving Hornsey hope of taking wickets despite the high run-rate.
Patel called Ian Gregory and Oli Yew into the attack, and was quickly rewarded as the duo took the remaining wickets between them.
Ian Gregory (4-45) trapped Rehman Khan lbw for 18 just as the Bs were gaining momentum, and Yew (3-19) then accounted for Walekar (13), A Rai (22) and J Sharma (10), with Fleming taking two catches.
Again the Patel brothers played their part, with Chetan catching Bukhari (8) off Ian Gregory and stand-in wicketkeeper Sanjay stumping Amardeep Mudhar (7).
Barnet were reeling at 125-9 and, although Mudalige (14) gave the visitors a sniff, he went for one big hit too many and the guests were skittled 21 runs short.
"Although we were short of our target, the pitch was very difficult to bat on against tight bowling so we still thought we had a defendable target," said Ian Gregory. "Sanjay and Chet's partnership got us to a decent total and some great bowling by Oli Yew got us the wickets after the openers kept it tight.
"We always knew we were going to get chances against Barnet, because once they get tied down they try to play the big shots, and that's exactly what happened.