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North Middlesex are defeated in the final over at Teddington

18:15 26 May 2014

North Middlesex captain Tom Nicoll top scored for his side with the bat, hitting 37, and he then took three key wickets, only to end up on the losing side. Pic: Max Flego

North Middlesex captain Tom Nicoll top scored for his side with the bat, hitting 37, and he then took three key wickets, only to end up on the losing side. Pic: Max Flego

Max Flego Sports Photography

North Middlesex suffered a second successive defeat in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League as a draw slipped from their grasp in the last over of a rain-affected match at Teddington.

North Middlesex's Joel Hughes claimed 4-50. Pic: Max FlegoNorth Middlesex's Joel Hughes claimed 4-50. Pic: Max Flego

North Midd struggled to score runs in the wet conditions and a devastating spell from home captain James Keightley (5-21) also slowed their progress as they posted 145-9 from their allotted 50 overs.

Teddington were given just 28 overs to reply and a draw looked likely, but James Wade (67) and James Fear (46) enjoyed a key partnership and the hosts struck 16 off the last two overs to emerge triumphant at 146-7.

North Midd lost the toss, predictably being asked to bat for the third consecutive wet fixture as the clouds gathered, and both sides literally struggled to find their feet.

Wides dominated the scoring early on while the visitors’ opening pair of Connor Nurse and Adam Holmes found runs hard to come by.

When Nurse (17) was caught behind by a diving Joe Barnett, the visitors had only reached 41-1 off 22 overs, and attempts to increase the run-rate were foiled as Holmes (19) was run out and Evan Flowers (5) was adjudged lbw after a Ben Ladd-Gibbon delivery.

Ladd-Gibbon (3-40) also had Michael Clements (4) caught as North Midd slumped to 60-4, but captain Tom Nicoll and John Mills improved the visitors’ prospects by adding 67 together.

That was the cue for Keightly to bring himself into the attack, and he claimed four quick wickets in a row.

Mills (33) skied a cunning slower ball and Will Nicoll was bowled for a first-ball duck before Tom Nicoll (37) and Maruf Chaudhury (3) were also dismissed.

When Joel Hughes (3) was stumped, North Midd had lost five wickets for just 11 runs and they eventually reached 144-9 off their maximum 50 overs.

Given only 28 overs to reply, Teddington began positively, hitting 11 off the first over from Ed Bird (0-37), eight of which were through the slips.

However, Joel Hughes had Joe Austin (0) and Harry Bush (1) caught by wicketkeeper Joe Hewton and Flowers respectively, and Wade then survived a confident appeal.

An unlikely victory seemed possible but Fear (48) lived up to his name, sharing an 87-run partnership with Wade (67) and putting the hosts on course for victory at 109-3.

A fine spell of bowling from Tom Nicoll (3-27) changed all that as he removed both danger men and his opposing skipper Keightley (1).

Geordie paceman Hughes (4-50) then accounted for Tom Ullyott (5) and Barnett (1) in one over as the hosts lost five batsmen for 23 runs.

That left them 132-7 and needing 16 runs off the last two overs to win, with a draw looking the likeliest result again.

However, Josh Toyer (9 not out) and Duncan Wood (6no) combined urgent running with inventive strokeplay to bring the total down to eight off the last nail-biting over –and the deceptive leg-spin of Nicoll was not enough to stop the late charge as Toyer sent the third-last ball of the day high over midwicket for a six which secured Teddington’s victory and left them joint top of the early Premier Division table.

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