Thursday, November 26, 2015

English cricket will break with tradition in 2016 after the England and Wales Cricket Board announced a new rule which will see the forsaking of the toss.

Nick Gubbins batting for Middlesex in the NatWest T20 Blast against Essex.Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Middlesex batting coach David Houghton feels it was no surprise to see Nick Gubbins develop into a key player across all formats last season.

Middlesex's James Harris celebrates a wicket in their win over Yorkshire

Middlesex’s season may have ended with a crushing defeat – but that should not mask a year of tangible progress in the County Championship.

James Franklin

To end with a walloping at Worcester was pretty disappointing, but that shouldn’t detract from a pretty solid season in terms of red-ball cricket.

Highgate Taverners are departing for a tour of Rome. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Highgate Taverners will be praying for success on their end-of-season tour after setting up a pretigious encounter with St Peter’s Cricket Club in Vatican City.

Middlesex's Neil Dexter celebrates a wicket in the recent victory against Yorkshire

During seven years at Lord’s, Neil Dexter has played his part in transforming Middlesex from Division Two also-rans to serious contenders for the County Championship title.

Middlesex's Nick Compton was not selected in the recent England squad

Nick Compton’s century in Middlesex’s remarkable victory over Yorkshire last week proved too late to reclaim his place in England’s top order.

Middlesex's Toby Roland-Jones (right) celebrates his century against Yorkshire with team-mate James Harris at Lord's

Toby Roland-Jones’ maiden first-class hundred in the stunning comeback win over champions Yorkshire might never have happened, he revealed this week.

North Middlesex's colts section celebrate the club's 140th anniversary

North Middlesex’s colts were out in force on Saturday as the club celebrated their 140th anniversary.

Batsmen Alan O'Shea (left) and Ralph Pedersen (centre) clinched North London's survivial with victory at Kenton. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Sam Bardon is eager to spearhead a North London promotion challenge next season after they completed their remarkable escape from relegation with victory at Kenton.

Highgate's Craig Gourlay celebrates a wicket. Pic: Max Flego

Craig Gourlay stole the show as Highgate completed an unbeaten season and posted a record Middlesex County League points total to boot.

James Franklin

Around the halfway point of the season, our general thinking was that, as long as we kept going, there’d come a period when Yorkshire weren’t winning.

Sam Bardon will captain North London in their final match of the season at Kenton

Stand-in skipper Sam Bardon says North London must target victory at Kenton on Saturday – even though a four-point draw will guarantee their survival.

Dawid Malan in action for Middlesex. Pic: TGSPHOTO

Middlesex batting coach David Houghton believes Dawid Malan’s run of form should put him in the frame for an international call-up in the near future.

Highagte players celebrate a wicket

Seamer Prashanth Srinivas stepped up to Highgate’s senior side in sensational fashion with a seven-wicket haul against MTSSC to keep them on course for a record points tally.

Will Vanderspar enjoyed a fine all-round display for North Middlesex. Pic: Max Flego

North Middlesex ended their four-game losing streak in style, beating second-placed Richmond by eight wickets and deciding the title battle in the process.

Paul Stirling of Middlesex. Pic: Matt Bright Photography

Paul Stirling is seeking a prolonged run in the Middlesex side over the coming weeks to stake his claim for a regular four-day slot.

James Franklin

Neil Dexter’s been in and out of the team throughout the summer and that hasn’t been easy for him – but his century up at Durham was outstanding.

Ed Foster took the wicket that clinched the title for Highgate. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Highgate’s bowlers sealed the title – and dealt what could be a fatal blow to South Hampstead’s hopes of joining them in Division Two of the Middlesex County Cricket League next season.

North London's Will Lake hit 60 in their two-wicket win at Winchmore Hill. Pic: Max Flego

North London captain Jack Atchinson is confident of survival after his team hauled themselves off the foot of the Division Three table for the first time since May in the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Middlesex's Tim Murtagh. Pic: TGSPHOTO

Tim Murtagh has pledged to keep fighting for the County Championship crown as Middlesex begin a crunch spell of three games against their title rivals.

James Franklin

In a way it was mildly frustrating to put in a performance like we did against Glamorgan – because it showed the true ability of this team in 50-over cricket.

Highgate's first XI celebrate promotion after beating North London

Highgate captain Jake Sharland wants his side to break the Middlesex County League points record after they clinched promotion by beating neighbours North London.

Evan Flowers struck 77 but North Middlesex were bowled out for 165. Pic: Max Flego

North Middlesex’s lingering title hopes were dashed as a disappointing batting display condemned them to a third successive defeat, leaving captain Tom Nicoll targeting a third-place finish in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Middlesex's Toby Roland-Jones. Pic: Sarah Ansell Photography

Toby Roland-Jones says Middlesex have been motivated by memories of last year’s slide to sustain their County Championship challenge this time around.

Highgate's Craig Gourlay celebrates a wicket. Pic: Max Flego

Highgate coach James Maby is urging his players to maintain their focus ahead of the derby clash that could seal their Middlesex County League promotion.

Chetan Patel (left) in discussion with Hornsey captain Garfield Struthers

Hornsey maintained their charge for promotion from Middlesex County League Division Two with a fourth successive win after they finally broke down Uxbridge’s resistance with just two balls to spare.

James Franklin

It’s always nice to be part of the final wicket in a close-fought-win – although I’d have been very disappointed to have dropped that catch on Monday!

North Middlesex captain Tom Nicoll took four wickets and top-scored for his side with the bat, hitting 66, but his side were defeated by Twickenham. Pic: Max Flego

North Middlesex suffered another setback in their bid to stay in the Premier Division title race as they suffered their second successive defeat.

Nick Gubbins in T20 action for Middlesex against Essex: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Middlesex batsman Nick Gubbins is optimistic that his recent move down the order will make him a better player in the long term.

Ed Bird took four wickets for North Middlesex but they were defeated. Pic: Max Flego

North Middlesex will be sick of the sight of Ealing after suffering a heavy defeat against their rivals for the second time in three days.

North London captain Jack Atchinson. Pic: Max Flego

Medium-pacer Sam Bardon opened the North London attack for the first time – and responded with a hat-trick as the Division Three basement boys recorded a resounding nine-wicket victory over Middlesex Tamils.

Nick Compton

As things stand, we’re still in the mix in the Royal London One-day Cup – but we need to find a bit of consistency.

Hashen Ramanyake scored 96 and took four wickets for Highgate in their win over Kenton. Pic: Max Flego

Hashen Ramanayake and Ed Foster bowled Highgate to victory as the Division Three table-toppers stretched their lead to a commanding 22 points in the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Paul Weekes of Hornsey celebrates after taking the wicket of Shepherd's Bush's Jack Brydon. Pic: Max Flego

Hornsey (10pts) 180-7 Shepherd’s Bush (0) 150

Dawid Malan inT20 action for Middlesex against Essex Eagles. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Middlesex batsman Dawid Malan feels the county’s Twenty20 fortunes would improve if the tournament were streamlined over a shorter period of time.

Hornsey's Chetan Patel (pictured) shared a 50-run partnership with Paul Weekes. Pic: Max Flego

Hornsey batsman Chetan Patel believes his side are back in the promotion race after crushing Brentham by 114 runs for their second successive win in Division Two of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

North Middlesex captain Tom Nicoll hit 60 and then took three wickets. Pic: Paolo Minoli

North Middlesex slipped to third in the table, dropping 14 points behind the leaders after falling agonisingly short of a victory at Southgate in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

James Franklin

It seems to be that time of the season when counties are trying to take some pressure off their main venues, and that gives us the chance to play at a few outgrounds.

Craig Gourlay hit 75 not out for Highgate as they triumphed against Harrow Town

Craig Gourlay smashed an unbeaten 75 from just 32 balls to complete a thrilling run-chase as Highgate beat Harrow Town to stretch their lead at the top of the table.

Middlesex's Steven Finn took four wickets against Essex

Steven Finn starred with another impressive bowling display to secure a resounding derby victory for Middlesex against London rivals Surrey at Lord’s.

North Middlesex's triumphant Under-15s

North Middlesex’s Under-15s are just one win away from a place in the national finals of the ECB National T20 Cup after overcoming Bishop’s Stortford.

John Simpson batting for Middlesex in the NatWest T20 Blast. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

John Simpson believes Middlesex finally have the resources to challenge for one-day honours as they prepare to launch their 50-over campaign this weekend.

Jack Peck bats for Highgate. Pic: Max Flego

Highgate’s hopes of extending their advantage at the top were dashed as Winchmore Hill’s seventh-wicket pair hung on to force a winning draw.

Nick Compton

The next few weeks are all about the 50-over Cup and it could be interesting to see what impact the international game has on the domestic competition.

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