North Middlesex stay in touch with top

Thursday, 30th June

Cricket

FAST-bowler Max Harris picked up a five-wicket haul on Saturday as North Middlesex edged past Crouch End at the Calthorpe Ground.

The visitors might have been regretting their decision to bat first after Pratik Patel dismissed openers Will Vanderspar and Alex MacQueen for just 12 and four runs respectively, leaving North Midd struggling on 28-2.

But Joe Cracknell breathed life into the Premier Division clash when he arrived at the crease and duly set about hitting 72 off 71 balls in a mighty knock that included eight fours and four sixes.

James Parslow also batted well for his 48 as North Midd recovered from a testing start to post 188 before being dismissed after 41 overs.

It was a lead that didn’t give Vanderspar’s side much wriggle room if they were going to keep pace with leaders Teddington – who are looking like the team to beat this season in the top-flight of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

With that in mind, Harris got straight to work removing Crouch End openers Sachin Patel and Jac Cleaver, while George Garrett also picked up an early wicket as the hosts were left rocking on 7-3.

Harris went on to take three more wickets as he ended the afternoon boasting figures of 5-27 from an economical 12-over spell.

North Midd continued to apply the pressure and it looked like the players might be heading for an early shower when Crouch End were struggling on 35-6. But Natim Hassam and Poojan Vyas offered up some late resistance as they each put 50 runs on the board.

Hassam was eventually bowled by Vanderspar (1-18), while Garrett (2-20) removed Vyas to collect his second wicket of the game as Crouch End were bowled out for 138 in the 51st over.

The 50-run victory leaves North Midd second in the table, just three points behind Teddington.

Meanwhile, Shepherd’s Bush bowlers Ramon Bailey and Idris Otto-Mian tormented Hampstead at Lymington Road. Bailey celebrated a five-for as he collected five wickets at the expense of 46 runs, while Otto-Mian took 4-37 as Hampstead were bowled out for 133 in the 45th over.

Sam Smyth did his best to make a game of it as he scored 46 of those runs. But in the end Shepherd’s Bush sailed to an eight-wicket win as they raced to 136-2 inside 26 overs.

The defeat leaves Hampstead seventh in the 10-team table.

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