North Middlesex win T20 competition for the first time
12:54 31 July 2014
North Middlesex have won the T20 competition of the Middlesex County Cricket League for the first time – and they now progress to the national stage.
North Midd underlined their commitment to youth development by fielding two teenagers and six current or former colts – and they beat Osterley in the semi-final before overcoming Wembley in the final later the same day.
Osterley elected to bat in the final four, but the second over was a wicket maiden bowled by left-arm spinner Connor Nurse (2-14) – and Nick Brand (3-21) and Evan Flowers (2-23) also weighed in to limit the opposition to 128-7 from their 20 overs.
In reply, openers Nurse and Flowers made 27 for the first wicket, with Flowers hitting three boundaries before being dismissed.
Nurse went on to make 41 and skipper Tom Nicoll blasted 55 from 44 balls, including four sixes, to secure a seven-wicket victory at 131-3 with three balls left.
That set up a final against Wembley, who elected to field, and Nurse found himself on the other end of a wicket maiden in the first over, caught at mid-wicket – but Nicoll stepped up with another captain’s innings, striking 56 from 39 balls.
A flurry of wickets left North Midd 90-6 from 13 overs but 17-year-old Matt Cracknell hit 27 off 19 balls and Will Nicoll notched 26 off 27 to produce the largest total of the day at 144-9.
Wembley hit the second ball of their innings for six – but Nurse stole the show.
Having taken a wicket with his first delivery of the final, he achieved the rare feat of getting a hat-trick in his second over, leaving Wembley on the ropes at 36-4.
Wickets for Brand (2-32), Hughes (1-16) and Tom Nicoll (1-24) then skittled Wembley for 110.
Tom Nicoll said: “It was a fantastic win for the club, our first major trophy for years – and it was great to do it with a mix of players that have been at the club for a long period as well as young up-and-coming colts.”
North Midd now go through to the national ECB T20 cup, with the next round on August 10.