Middlesex County Cricket League round-up
North London 185-7 (10pts) beat North Middlesex 182-7 (0) NORTH London are preparing for the eight days that could decide their future as the relegation dogfight goes to the wire. The Crouch End outfit looked utterly doomed last month...
North London 185-7 (10pts) beat
North Middlesex 182-7 (0)
NORTH London are preparing for the eight days that could decide their future as the relegation dogfight goes to the wire.
The Crouch End outfit looked utterly doomed last month, but 21 points from the last three games have remarkably taken Mark Askew's side to within seven points of safety.
NL are now within 10 points of both South Hampstead and Harrow, and they face both of their relegation rivals in their next two games, with four weeks remaining in the season.
The latest victory came over north London rivals North Middlesex, who needed to win the derby to maintain their promotion hopes.
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Having lost the toss and been inserted on a wet wicket, Midd slumped to 33-3, with only stand-in skipper Evan Flowers (26) making an impact.
Tight bowling restricted the visitors to just another 17 runs from the next 11 overs, with Tom Wakeford ending with figures of 3-56.
Matt Drew (29) and Jaron Semper (66) shared a fifth-wicket stand of 73, while 14-year-old Zulfi Azom made 25 not out, but Midd could only declare on 182-7 in the 53rd over.
NL's Chris Ridley and Ian Johns (33) started aggressively in reply, racing to 50 off the first eight overs before Johns was caught at first slip.
Jeffrey Hurrell (7) and Tom Noutch (9) helped Ridley (59) along until the overseas opener was trapped lbw by Nick Packard (4-39).
At 117-4, NL needed 65 runs from 60 balls, and Wakeford was caught after making 28 off 20 balls, while Maaz Haffeji was dismissed for a golden duck and James Battcock was run out for 19.
A potentially catastrophic collapse was on the cards, but no8 Neil Gill and no9 Ben Wakeford kept their heads and hit the required nine runs off the last two overs to keep NL's survival bid alive.
Hornsey 201-9 (10pts) beat
Wembley 144 (0)
HORNSEY could be promoted this weekend with three games still to play after their ninth victory from 14 league games this campaign.
The Tivoli Road side must win their visit to Bessborough, and hope that third-placed Kenton fail to beat fourth-placed Highgate, but in any case promotion ultimately looks inevitable.
Skipper Chetan Patel lost the toss against Wembley on Saturday and was asked to bat, with openers Alex Scrini (28) and Deepesh Makwana (22) starting well on a damp, green track.
Sanjay Patel notched 44 at no4, while Ian Gregory (26) and his brother Joel (20) added runs further down the order, steering the visitors to a declaration at 201-9 after 53 overs.
Wembley never looked likely to threaten that total, and only Sneh Shah (48), Mohammed Azam (22) and Rizwan Irshad (27) made it into double figures as Hornsey's bowlers put in a customarily fine display.
Paul Plumbly finished with figures of 3-9, while Ian Gregory (3-40), Oli Yew (2-29) and Joel Gregory (2-30) were also on form.
Highgate 328-6 (10pts) beat
Ickenham 145 (0)
JAKE Sharland and Syed Karrar shared the plaudits at the weekend, with Sharland making 155 with the bat and Karrar taking 7-55 with the ball to give Highgate their second successive win.
The victory took the Park Road side up two places to fourth in the table, after Ickenham had won the toss and elected to bowl.
That decision backfired badly as Sharland took the hosts to 300-4, sharing a first-wicket stand of 133 with fellow opener James Warburton (53) before Ed Binns (2) and then Dave Benton (33) joined him at the crease.
Craig Gourlay added a further 43 at no5 and Highgate declared on 328-6 after 50 overs, while Karrar's bowling skittled the visitors in exactly half that number of balls.