The 1st XI slipped to a surprise defeat at a North London side who had begun the day in the relegation zone. Electing to bowl first our bowlers made steady inroads reducing North London to 57-4. After initially recovering to 107-4, Dan Amedee (4-38) then struck four times in quick succession to leave North London 133-9. However a frustrating, and ultimately crucial, last wicket partnership of 38 helped to change the game as North London reached 171. This was a total they should not have been allowed to reach and one which was always likely to be potentially tricky to overhaul on a deteriorating and sharply-turning wicket of variable bounce.
The 1s strong top order were then all strangely out of sorts with Neville Talbot, Chris Long and Jack Plumb falling cheaply, and when Les Edwards was controversially dismissed they were reeling at 62-4, before Max Houlahan and captain Kyal Bacchus-Brown battled to regain control. Houlahan in particular was dismissive of any loose deliveries and at 138-4 the game had swung back in the visitors favour. However Houlahan then played an injudicious shot to be dismissed after an excellent innings of 74, and the incoming batsmen had no answer to North London's South African left-arm spinner Jordan Gregory who was now extracting some very significant turn and bounce. Wickets tumbled quickly and when Bacchus-Brown (25) exited following a determined and watchful knock, the score was 150-9.
Unlike us, before them, North London then managed to close out the innings quickly, ultimately winning by 14 runs. This is undoubtedly a setback, not least because, as well as North London performed with the ball and in the field, it was too much a self-inflicted defeat. Standards were allowed to slip in the field and there was insufficient application at the crease from many experienced and competent players. Performance levels will need to return to previous high levels when we visit Highgate in a top of the table clash next week.
The 2nd XI had the better of a draw against the same opposition. After being put into bat an opening stand of 133 between Syed Mughees Hassan (72) and James Cormack (76) set us on the way to posting a challenging total. Jake Dudding (32) and Nick Jackson (35*) then carried on the good work, enabling a declaration to be made on a total of 260-5 at the halfway point of the match.
After a steady start by the top order, Kamran Yousaf top-scoring with 55, our bowlers began to make inroads into the North London batting line-up, with wickets falling at regular intervals as the spin combination of Jackson (4-36) and Callum Wick (2-27) worked well in tandem. However, a dropped catch proved costly as Roshan Tennakoon (33*) remained at the crease to thwart the home side's victory push. The game finished in a draw as North London closed on 174-8. The result means we remain fifth in the league table, with Stanmore visiting next weekend.
The 3rd XI travelled to Actonians looking for a third win on the bounce. Despite being put in on a very green wicket, and slipping to 40-4, they posted a very competitive 196 all out with contributions from Ivan Fernando (63), Dan Jackson (33) and Jack Ryan (22).
Actonians’ reply was strong, despite 4-55 from Jack Ryan and a good spell from Ben Nesbitt in his first senior game for the Club (1-39). With 9 overs left, they needed 40 to win with four wickets in hand. Cue the return of the opening bowlers to stem the runs and take three quick wickets to leave the 3s on the brink of victory. Unfortunately they just couldn’t get over the line, falling just short of the win with Actonians on 168-9. We host Bessborough at Holtwhites next Saturday.
Updated 10:11 - 5 Jul 2017 by James Quinlan