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North Midd stay on course for the title

After their latest victory, defending champions are set to face rivals Ealing in clash at the top of the table

27 August, 2020 — By Steve Barnett

DEFENDING champions North Middlesex travel to Ealing this Saturday for what could prove to be a title decider.

With just three matches left in a Middlesex County Cricket League season that has been shortened by the coronavirus crisis, the North Midd players will step out at the Corfton Road ground in west London just one point off the top spot.

Ealing are still leading the way, but their four-wicket defeat away to Richmond on Saturday opened the door for captain James Parslow’s North Midd side. And they walked right through it by beating Twickenham by 125 runs at Park Road in Highgate.

Opting to bat first, North Midd recovered from Joe Cracknell’s early dismissal – the opener departing with just six runs to his name – to post a score of 210 before losing the final wicket in the 47th over.

Luke Hollman and Ollie Tikare both put in knocks of 38 to drive the hosts from 8-1 to 96-2.

But it was Gareth James, in at number seven, who really bolstered North Midd’s total as he top-scored with a well-crafted 51 off 54 balls.

Liam O’Driscoll’s “five-for” ensured that 210 was a winning score as he celebrated a five-wicket haul, giving away just 20 runs in a devastating six-over spell that included two maidens.

With Hollman (1-13), Max Harris (1-17) and Tom Nicoll (1-4) all taking a wicket each, Twickenham were bowled out for just 85 runs within 25 overs.

Meanwhile, fifth-placed Hampstead haven’t given up on their own title aspirations just yet.

They are one win behind Ealing, but will need results elsewhere to go in their favour if they are to be crowned champions.

On Saturday Scott Barlow was in devastating form as he took five wickets at the expense of just 29 runs to inspire Hampstead to a six-wicket win.

Vishal Somaya provided the perfect fillip for Barlow at Lymington Road in West Hampstead, taking 4 for 28 as visitors Finchley were bowled out for 102.

Knocks of 24 from Jonathan Dunne and Jack Biddulph, along with 22 from Mubasher Hassan, saw Hampstead to victory inside 17 overs, ending play on 105-4.

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