The 1st XI continued their fine start to the Middlesex County Cricket League Division Two season, thrashing local rivals Winchmore Hill by nine wickets at the Paulin Ground on Saturday.
After opting to bat first, Hill were reduced to 60-3 as Faisal Mir (3-25) made early inroads. However, Hill recovered thanks firstly to their Australian overseas player Mitchell Todd (67) and, after Todd was dismissed, captain De La Rey Terblanche anchored the innings, before striking some lusty blows in the closing overs. Terblanche finished on 96* as Hill compiled a respectable 245-5 from their 45 overs.
Our response had an early scare as the talismanic Jack Plumb pulled a hamstring early on, but opted to remain at the crease using the services of a runner. Les Edwards continued his fine early season form, striking 53 from just 42 balls, before holing out on the deep mid-wicket boundary from the bowling of Terblanche. This brought Rehan Hassan to the crease, fresh from consecutive centuries last weekend. Some tidy bowling from Todd, Jack Irwin and Jim Gatting managed to bring down the scoring rate temporarily but soon Hassan began to pierce the infield with regularity, while the limping Plumb showed his appetite for runs was unaffected by a lack of mobility.
We then accelerated comfortably towards their victory target, eventually reaching 247-1 with four-and-a-half overs to spare. Hassan making 100*, thereby recording his third consecutive century, while Plumb (84*) provided excellent support.
This result leaves us in a three-way tie at the top of the table, with Winchmore Hill in ninth place.
The 2s secured their first win of the season at home to Stanmore on Saturday. After being put in to bat against 9 men (there had been an altercation between two opposition players on the way to the ground resulting in both not playing), it took nearly ten overs for our first boundary (a wide) and nearly 14 overs for the first boundary off the bat. By that point, we'd already lost two wickets and were looking a bit shaky. However, Asad came to the crease and began to find the gaps in the field and to find the boundary, racing to a magnificent 125 to create the basis for a decent total, ably supported by Sam Martin (32*). Despite the slow start, we finished on 260-6 from our 45 overs.
In reply, Stanmore started quickly, until spin was introduced - Nick Jackson (3-32) tightening things up and making the breakthrough. From there, wickets began to fall more regularly and, while the lusty blows also continued, Stanmore were always behind, especially with only 9 men. They finished 222 all out.
The 3s travelled to North London with a surprisingly experienced XI. After winning the toss and choosing to field, they made a loose start which was punished on a small pitch. Callum Anderson and Ben Nesbitt combined to tighten things up with the ball, causing problems for both openers. A strong fielding and bowling effort was rewarded with restricting North London to 227-8 from 45 overs.
A quick start to the 3s innings was overshadowed by batsmen throwing wickets away - the theme for the first half of the innings. At 150-6 the game looked like it might be beyond us but the two Callums (Wick and Anderson) put on 70 to get us within reach of victory with an over to spare. Needing four off the last over, Anderson lost his wicket bringing Ben Nesbitt to the crease who calmly stroked his first ball for four, giving the 3s their first win of the year.
The 1s welcome Harrow St Mary’s to Lincoln Road this Saturday; the 2s visit Shepherds Bush; and the 3s host Kenton. On Sunday we travel to Premier League side Finchley in the ECB National Club Championship.
Updated 10:24 - 31 May 2018 by James Quinlan