Highgate fall back into drop zone after failing to kill off the leaders

Highgate dropped back into the Division Two relegation zone after they failed to kill off champions-elect Finchley and were edged out by two wickets.

Defending a total of 224, the Shepherd’s Cot side reduced Finchley to 149-7, only for Keerthi Ranasinghe and Sunil Tailor to turn the match with an eighth-wicket stand of 61.

Highgate skipper Jake Sharland won the toss and chose to bat, adding 65 with Chris Arul before giving a return catch to Jake Milton (2-31) just one short of his half-century.

Arul (16) soon followed, but Sandun Dias blasted 72 from just 50 balls as he shared a century partnership with Muazam Ali (33).

Both eventually fell to Hassan Khan (3-36), along with Ed Foster (13), but Craig Gourlay’s swift 25 ensured that Highgate posted a challenging 224-6 from 45 overs.

Dias (3-48) struck with the second ball of the Finchley reply, removing Phil Hughes leg before for a duck, but the visitors recovered to reach a steady position at 126-3.

Dias captured the wickets of Khan (32) and Thomas Powe (0) and, with Robin Glassberg (2-43) dismissing Sumeet Sharma (53) and Jamie Powe (3), Finchley suddenly appeared to be in trouble.

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But Ranasinghe went on the offensive, hitting 29 from 20 deliveries before he fell to Gourlay (2-47) – enough for his side to regain the impetus, and Tailor (29 not out) saw them home with nine balls to spare.

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