North Midd go top of table as James’ late stand seals win
22 July, 2021 — By Steve Barnett
NORTH Middlesex took over at the top of the table on Saturday following an afternoon of big hits at Arden Field.
Aaran Amin smashed 91 off 123 balls as hosts Finchley recorded their biggest knock of the season so far, ending their 63-over innings on 244-9. The North Midd bowling line-up did their best to keep the score down, with Joel Hughes (2-50), Gareth James (2-27), Uzair Amjaid (2-57) and Jeremy Warner (2-64) all collecting two wickets each.
Despite wickets falling around him, Tej Sheopuri showed intelligent shot selection for his stand of 86, which included no fewer than 14 fours. A partnership with Hassan Khan, who chipped in with 24 runs, proved crucial as North Midd edged towards victory.
And it was James’s late unbeaten stand that sealed the win. He hit 77 off 69 balls, matching Sheopuri’s 14-boundaries in the process, as North Midd scored 245-6.
The four-wicket win sees North Midd move top of the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League, leapfrogging Crouch End, who were beaten by 51 runs at home by Hampstead.
Openers Beckham Wheeler-Greenall and Mubasher Hassan lay a solid foundation for Hampstead as they scored 50 and 61 runs respectively.
Ben Frazer (31 runs) and Scott Barlow (29) also scored crucial runs before the visitors were bowled out for 202 in the 56th over.
Muhammad Ahmed (2-14) kept the momentum going in Hampstead’s favour as he removed Crouch End openers Neel Gandhi and Jalpesh Vijay for just 10 runs between them.
Ben Lockrose (4-58) and Scott Barlow (4-19) then stole the show, picking up four wickets each as Crouch End were bowled out for 151.
The win sees Hampstead move up to seventh in the 10-team table.