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In-form North Midd take over at the top

27 June, 2019 — By Steve Barnett

IF England want to get some tips on how to handle the pressure during their faltering World Cup campaign, maybe they should catch a match at North Middlesex’s Park Road ground.

Joel Hughes’s side continued their sensational form on Saturday when they beat Shepherd’s Bush by seven wickets to take top spot in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

And it was the North Midd skipper who led by example as he trapped Jack Brydon lbw with the very first ball of the game. Hughes went on to top the bowling stats as he took four wickets at the expense of just 36 runs in a 13-over spell that included three maidens.

Hugh Teesdale (2-19) and Liam O’Driscoll (2-15) also bowled well as Shepherd’s Bush were dismissed for just 111 runs.

Despite losing opener Connor Nurse for only six runs, North Midd were soon celebrating their sixth successive victory as they reached their winning score of 115-3 within 26 overs. Luke Hollman led the charge with 57 not out, while Rob Fahrenheim finished the job as he smashed two sixes on his way to scoring 15 off six balls.

The win puts North Midd five points clear going into a titanic top-of-the-table clash away at Teddington this Saturday at Bushy Park.

Life is very different down at Lymington Road where Hampstead chairman Nick Brown admitted he is finding it “difficult to explain” the club’s current run of form which has seen them lose four of their opening seven games.

It was clear who caused the damage on Saturday as openers William Phillips and Bhavesh Pankhania scored 96 and 94 runs, respectively, to help Richmond post a score of 303-5 off 64 overs from their innings in West Hampstead. It looked like the hosts were ready to compete with the bat as their openers Jack Biddulph (62 runs) and Mubasher Hassan (47) passed the 100-run mark before the fall of the opening wicket. But the home side “fell apart” as they were skittled out for 179 within 40 overs.

“We weren’t bad with the ball, and bearing in mind that Richmond were close to 180 for no wicket at lunch, holding them to just over 300 and stretching it out to 64 overs was a decent effort,” said Brown.

“We got a great start with the bat from Jack and Mubasher, at tea we were in a very good position, and then it simply fell apart, losing seven wickets for 19 runs.

“It’s no time for tears, we just have to get on with it. We have plenty of ability, we have had individual contributions from all of our players, we’ve just not put enough of them together in the same game.”


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