North Middlesex still in control of title race says captain Hughes

Joel Hughes of NMCC during North Middlesex CC vs Hampstead CC, Middlesex County League Cricket at P

Joel Hughes of NMCC during North Middlesex CC vs Hampstead CC, Middlesex County League Cricket at Park Road on 25th May 2019 - Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo

North Middlesex captain Joel Hughes insists they still feel in control of the title race although they know Twickenham will pose a threat. 

The Park Road outfit will welcome the fourth-place side on Saturday as they look to get one back of their opponents for the defeat earlier in the season. 

North Middlesex currently sit top of the Middlesex County Premier Division by nine points. 

“Five games to go, top of the league by a win – I think we would have been very happy with that at the start of the season so we have to remember that and take that into next week,” the captain said. 

“Richmond are the only team that has beaten us this year, so massive game, they’re a very dangerous side with top quality players. 

“We always have a good battle with Twickenham so we’re looking forward to it, and we just have to remember all of the positives and get back to playing our best cricket.” 

It was a draw away at Richmond on the weekend as the rain came down and affected the match after a bright start. 

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Richmond were 118 all out thanks to superb bowling from skipper Hughes (5-43), Uzaie Amjaid (2-10), and Jeremy Warner (2-20). 

North Middlesex scored 114-8 in reply with Tom Heathfield (36) and Hassan Khan (31) leading the charge. 

“It felt pretty disappointing that result on Saturday to be mostly robbed of the opportunity to get over the line. We were rained off with four balls to spare,” Hughes admitted. 

“It felt cruel, but it was right to come off, the rain was far too heavy and in a way that made it easier to take because we couldn’t have just played on as it absolutely tipped it down. 

“At the end of the day it was a winning draw and we’re still top by a win. I guess it was slightly unlucky that the only other game that was played was Teddington and they managed to get 12 points. 

“We bowled well, we had them 53-7, that 10th wicket partnership of 31 proved decisive in stopping us getting the win which was a bit of a shame. 

“I think they batted pretty well. These things happen and we would have been pretty happy chasing 118 at the halfway stage.”