Title swings North Midd’s way
Cricketers pull away at the top with a decisive victory, as their rivals are beaten
22 August, 2019 — By Steve Barnett
NORTH Middlesex enjoyed the perfect weekend in the top-flight of the Middlesex County Cricket League, picking up a convincing 73-run victory in their home match against Richmond while later finding out that their closest title rivals both lost.
Will Vanderspar’s score of 83 not out saw Joel Hughes’s side take control of the game at North Midd’s Park Road pitch in Crouch End.
Opener Joe Cracknell and Evan Flowers also chipped in with 41 and 44 runs respectively as the home side posted a score of 270-7 from their allotted 50 overs.
Richmond opener William Phillips did his best to make a game of it, hitting a well-crafted 57 off 110 balls.
But without any real support North Midd quickly set about getting the points they needed to pull away at the top of the table.
Tom Nicoll was the pick of the North Midd’ bowlers as he took three wickets at the expense of 38 runs, while skipper Hughes (2-19) and Luke Hollman (2-38) also collected two wickets each as Richmond were bowled out for 197 in the 48th over.
With closest rivals Ealing losing by two wickets in their game against Shepherd’s Bush, North Midd now find themselves eight points clear with just three games to go.
Hampstead were also in with a shout of taking the title – that was until they suffered a narrow home defeat against Stanmore.
Steven Reingold proved their downfall as he scored 122 not out to help Stanmore post a score of 291-5 from their 50 overs.
The home side put in a spirited response at their Lymington Road ground in West Hampstead, with Ben Frazer scoring 70 off just 59 balls, while openers Jack Biddulph (32 runs) and Mubasher Hassan (41) also both batted well.
In the end. however, Matt Watson’s team finished just short of their target as Hampstead were bowled out for 242 to hand visitors Stanmore a 49-run victory.
The defeat leaves Hampstead 17 points behind North Middlesex.
Reflecting on the defeat, Hampstead chairman Nick Brown said: “I just don’t think we played well enough.
“We weren’t quite on our game with the ball and whilst they didn’t get too many, it was probably 20 more than we would have liked.
“We were always chasing the game. Stanmore have a disciplined bowling attack and trying to win back overs and catch up the scoring rate was never going to be easy.
“Obviously, Ben made it interesting, but we needed someone else to get a big score and we simply didn’t get that.
“I’m hesitant to say this is the title chance over with, but we have to be realistic, everything points to North Middlesex now, but we will keep trying and we shall see what happens.”