North Middlesex look to make strong start

PUBLISHED: 11:00 03 May 2017

Evan Flowers of North Middlesex (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Evan Flowers of North Middlesex (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Nicoll wants to hit ground running in league opener

Luke Hollman of North Middlesex (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)Luke Hollman of North Middlesex (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

North Middlesex captain Tom Nicoll is hoping his side can hit the ground running when the new Middlesex Premier League season gets underway this weekend.

Nicoll’s men take on newly promoted Finchley, having experienced mixed fortunes last weekend.

Beaten by Hampstead in a friendly on Saturday, North Middlesex won a rain-affected T20 match against South Hampstead on Monday.

Nicoll said: “It was good to get back to winning ways straight away and we’re hoping to hit the ground running on Saturday.

“Finchley have picked up some good players and it will be tough, but we’re only missing one of our regulars and hopefully we should win.”

Nicoll put Hampstead into bat after winnig the toss and saw opening bowlers Joel Hughes and Adam Price produce good new-ball spells on their way to a brace of wickets apiece.

Connor Nurse (3-44) proved the pick of the attack as the visitors closed their 50 overs on 220-9 and Nicoll added: “Connor bowled very well and it was good to have him back in the mix.

“Joel and Adam were accurate and didn’t give much to the batsmen and generally we bowled and fielded well.

“I thought 220 was below-par and we set off well.”

Joe Cracknell (32) and Evan Flowers (44) put on 76 for the second wicket, with Luke Hollman (37) and Nicoll (23) also making starts.

But the home side lost their way and came up short on 195, with Nicoll adding: “Joe looked very compact and Evan was the pick of our batting again.

“We were well on track, but Hampstead bowled tight and made things difficult. We lost a few wickets and all of a sudden it got too much and we fell short.

“It was a good game, though, and there were positives to take, we learnt a lot.”

Jaren Semper impressed against South Hampstead, taking 3-13, and North Middlesex were left to chase 35 in just six overs as the weather intervened.

They are due to meet Enfield in the next stage on May 28, with the area final taking place the very next day.

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