North Middlesex aim to bounce back from disastrous batting collapse against Twickenham
North Middlesex (0pts) 122 Twickenham (10) 124-2
Skipper Tom Nicoll insists North Midd will learn lessons from the catastrophic batting collapse that led to their eight-wicket rout at the hands of Twickenham.
The Park Road side appeared to be well placed at 110-2 thanks to an excellent partnership between Evan Flowers and teenager Joe Cracknell – but then the wheels came off in dramatic fashion.
The last seven wickets tumbled for only two runs, with more than half of the North Midd batsmen failing to trouble the scorers, and the visitors raced past their modest target in just 25 overs.
“Apart from a great partnership between young Joe and Evan Flowers, this was a really tough day at the office for us,” admitted a shell-shocked Nicoll.
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“However, we will learn from it, and we are looking to be back at our best in our next game at Stanmore.”
Nicoll, who won his first toss of the season, had no hesitation in deciding to bat at Park Road – but his brother Will was the first of six batsmen to score a duck, falling leg before to Rashid Mullahzadah (5-26).
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Connor Nurse (5) was well caught at mid-wicket by Clint McCabe with the total at 13-2, but 15-year-old Cracknell – making only his second start for the first team – joined forces with Flowers to stage a fightback.
The pair ran intelligently between the wickets, dispatching bad balls to the boundary, and they had added 97 when McCabe (1-20) achieved the breakthrough, trapping Flowers lbw for 44.
There seemed little cause for alarm as Cracknell moved on to his half-century – but, once Tom Nicoll (1) edged Mullahzadah behind, a sudden avalanche of wickets was under way.
Adam Holmes (0) departed in the same fashion, with Parminder Singh (3-19) removing Cracknell (50) and Sam Webber (0) leg before and also accounting for Liam O’Driscoll (0).
Mullahzadah rounded off the disaster by winning lbw decisions against Joe Hewton and Joel Hughes, both for ducks, and North Midd suddenly found themselves all out for 122 in 29.2 overs.
Twickenham openers Leo Carter and Eugene Burger set out to maintain their side’s momentum with some positive batting in the powerplay as they reached 39 without loss.
Hughes (2-34) did give his side a flicker of hope as he removed Carter (21), who was caught in the covers by Nurse, and then had Burger (17) caught behind soon afterwards.
But former Middlesex batsman Dan Housego (29 not out) and MCC Young Cricketer Shawn Hicks (48no) knocked off the remaining runs with ease, steering their side home without further loss at 124-2.