Teenage star Ethan Bamber takes five wickets for North Middlesex against champions
Sixteen-year-old Ethan Bamber took five wickets for North Middlesex but the visitors had to settle for a winning draw against reigning champions Teddington in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League.
Sam Webber (66) and Joe Hewton (54 not out) helped North Midd to declare on 239-7 after 64 overs, and Bamber then claimed figures of 5-41 as Teddington struggled to 86-6 in reply.
However, the home side were able to hold on and avoid defeat with 187-8, leaving North Midd with six points rather than the 13 they would have banked for batting first and winning – and they are now 20 points off the summit.
Captain Tom Nicoll said: “This was a good game of cricket, though it was frustrating not to come away with 13 points. Great batting by Joe Hewton and Sam Webber got us out of a hole, but Ethan Bamber was the star of the show.
“Ethan has real pace – all five wickets were caught behind, bowled or lbw. I’m sure there will be many more five-wicket hauls for him. Teddington applied themselves well to bat out the 54 overs.”
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Nicoll won only his third toss of the season and elected to bat, but Adam Holmes (2) fell lbw with the score on 13 and, although promising youngster Joe Cracknell (23) and Will Vanderspar (19) shared a 33-run partnership, the former perished when attempting to clear the ropes and North Midd then lost three wickets for just seven runs, leaving them 91-6 at the break.
However, Webber and Hewton rescued the visitors with a seventh-wicket stand of 98, while Connor Nurse added 26 off 29 balls to allow Nicoll to declare on 239-7 after 64 overs.
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Teddington started well in reply as James Keightley raced to 21, including five boundaries, but he was trapped leg before by Joel Hughes (1-60) and Webber (1-20) dismissed his replacement Ben Williams (5) with a savage short ball, caught by Cracknell, to leave the hosts 34-2.
Bamber then removed opener Tom Twiney (14) with the last ball before tea, and the homegrown seamer made further inroads by snaring James Wade (11) and Tom Healy (21), while leg-spinner Nicoll (1-22) produced a fine ball to dismiss Will Rist (11).
At this point Teddington were 86-6 and North Midd were firmly chasing the 13 points – but the hosts survived the final hour.
Tom Elliott (24) and particularly Charles Hopkins (51no) put up a staunch resistance with a 56-run seventh-wicket stand, which was finally broken by Bamber – who also removed Elliot Hannah (12) – but Ben Ladd-Gibbon (6no) helped Hopkins to finish the job.