Harris’s late stand sets up narrow victory for North Middlesex

Knock proves difference against Stanmore – while Hampstead are beaten by just 22 runs

Wednesday, 25th May — By Steve Barnett

Cricket stumps IMG_6466

IT proved an afternoon of fine margins in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League on Saturday, the closest of which saw North Middlesex win at Stanmore by just three runs.

Having won the toss and elected to bat first, North Midd faced a tough challenge early on with opener Joe Cracknell’s rapid 36 off 33 balls offering the biggest return.

Highlighting the strength in depth in the club’s batting order, Matthew Moran and Will Vanderspar came in at number five and six and soon found their strides. They scored 41 and 37 respectively, forming what proved a crucial 63-run partnership in the process.

But it was a late stand by Max Harris, in at number nine, that really carved out a lead that could be defended. He smashed an unbeaten 71 off just 34 balls in a mighty knock that included seven fours and four sixes as North Midd ended their 50-over innings on 292-7.

Michael Levitt did his best to help Stanmore chase down their target, hitting 91 runs before being caught by Alex MacQueen off Joel Hughes’s bowling. But in the end the hosts fell agonisingly short as they finished play on 289-8.

Elsewhere, Hampstead were beaten by just 22 runs at the Calthorpe Ground in Crouch End.

The high-scoring contest saw Joel Curtis put in one of the performances of the day as he scored 147 not out for the hosts. With Dhaval Narotam also scoring an unbeaten 88 and opener Atharva Prasad chipping in with 63, Crouch End sailed to 330-2 in their allotted 50 overs.

Steve McGiffin was the pick of the Hampstead batsmen, but even his well-crafted 119 wasn’t enough as Ben Frazer’s side ended play on 308-9.

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