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Highgate’s destiny remains in their own hands despite suffering a nine-wicket thrashing by Division Three promotion rivals Wembley and dropping to third in the table.

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The north London side were rolled over for just 87 at Vale Farm and their hosts chased down the target in less than 14 overs to make certain of their own elevation to Division Two.

But Highgate can still join their conquerors next season if they win their last two games – against Acton, who are now eight points above them in second spot, and fourth-placed MTSSC.

Wembley won the toss and inserted their visitors, who were quickly in trouble at 5-2 as Junayd Azar removed Chris Arul (2) and Ed Binns (0) with successive deliveries.

Ed Atkins, with a gritty knock of 32, did his best to hold the Highgate innings together, but wickets continued to tumble around him as Will Russell (14) and Nick Brunner 6) both fell to Sneh Shah (2-36).

William Brookes (13) helped Atkins steer Highgate to 69-4 but, when he edged a catch behind to become the first of five victims for Tapan Patel, the visitors’ innings soon disintegrated.

Atkins was next to go, bowled by Patel, who scythed through the tail to finish with the remarkable figures of 5-5 from 5.3 overs as Johan de Silva (0), Scott Thaxton (7) and Jack Peck (0) all succumbed.

Azar (3-44) removed Craig Gourlay (7) as Highgate folded for 87 in the 36th over – and that never looked remotely like a total the bowlers could attempt to defend.

Wembley opener Moazzam Rizvi was in no mood to hang around as he blazed a swift 42 from just 23 balls before Thaxton (1-25) had him caught by Gourlay.

But that was to be Highgate’s only success as Prinay Patel (30 not out) and Mitchell Fry (11no) coasted home at 88-1 from just 13.5 overs and clinched the home side’s promotion.

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