Highgate’s winning streak is ended by Wembley

Highgate’s winning streak came to an abrupt end as they lost ground on the Division Three leaders following an 89-run home defeat to Wembley in the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Chasing 261 for victory, the home side lost wickets at regular intervals and their fate was eventually sealed by an astonishing spell of 4-0 from Wembley spinner Alex Greig.

Nick Brunner, who led Highgate in the absence of Jake Sharland, won the toss and put the visitors in, but his bowlers could not curb Wembley’s healthy scoring rate.

Highgate were not helped by the loss of opening bowler Tony Duckett, who had to withdraw from the attack with an injury after sending down just 22 deliveries.

It was Jonathan Bowley (1-23) who eventually made the breakthrough at 71, having Matt Sampson (31) caught behind, but Prinay Patel (57) and Mitchell Fry (34) guided the Wembley total into three figures.

Ed Binns (1-8) accounted for Patel before Sneh Shah upped the visitors’ run-rate, hitting seven boundaries in his innings of 52 and sharing half-century partnerships with Fry and then Moazzam Rizvi.

Craig Gourlay (3-90), who took on added responsibility with the ball, got rid of both Fry and Shah, but Rizvi blasted a quickfire 55 not out to lift his side to 260-5 from 55 overs.

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Highgate started badly in reply, losing Syed Ali first ball to Chirag Amin, and fellow opener Ed Atkins soon followed for four, bowled by Tapan Patel (3-64).

Binns reached 28 before he became Patel’s second victim, leaving the home side in trouble at 45-3 before Brunner (51) and Sam Cussins (40) led a fightback with a stand of 59.

But, once Brunner fell to Patel, Highgate lost two more wickets, with Vimal Arjan accounting for Surath Liyanage (0) and Gourlay (4).

Matt Holly adopted an aggressive approach, hitting 39 from 33 balls in a stand of 60 with Cussins – only for Greig to sweep aside the tail in a breathtaking seven-ball spell.

Holly was the first to depart, caught by Prinay Patel, and the wickets of Cussins, Blair Tickner (0) and Duckett (1) followed for the addition of just one run as Highgate collapsed to 171 all out.