North Middlesex aiming to keep up form and retain T20 crown
PUBLISHED: 17:00 21 June 2018
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Joel Hughes is pleased with the way his team are performing heading into an important couple of days
Captain Joel Hughes wants North Middlesex’s batsmen to keep up their flow of runs ahead of a big weekend for the Park Road club.
First up is a Middlesex County League Premier Division clash at Teddington on Saturday with the hosts in the bottom two after the opening seven fixtures.
A day later, on Sunday, North Middlesex will take on Osterley in the final of the T20 Cup which will take place at Brondesbury.
Having won the competition in 2017 and 2016, Hughes wants to make it three in a row, but first up is a league clash and they will be seeking another win after Alex MacQueen’s ton helped defeat Shepherds Bush last time out.
“We have had four hundreds already this season and I’m pretty sure we didn’t get one last year,” said North Middlesex’s captain.
“It is really good people are getting match-winning scores for us and hopefully we can continue to do this throughout the season.
“We go through periods where we are really good and others where we are very poor, so I just want us to remain consistent as much as possible going forward.”
Hughes will want to see another strong display on Saturday away to Teddington, who have suffered four defeats in seven games.
Even though the Bushy Park club have struggled in 2018, the North Middlesex bowler won’t be taking anything for granted.
“I have been told Teddington are a little bit weaker this year, but we know they still have good players,” said Hughes.
“It only takes a couple of people to really perform well to win the game so we can’t underestimate them and we won’t.
“We have not always fared too well over there and I can only remember us winning once, so it will be a tough game.”
North Middlesex will go into it with confidence after a solid five-wicket success at Shepherds Bush last weekend.
Hughes claimed 4-44 with Luke Hollman picking up 4-63 to help dismiss the hosts for 255 in the 65th over of the innings.
In reply, North Middlesex were in trouble at 58-5, but MacQueen struck a wonderful 118 not out and was supported brilliantly by Tom Nicoll, who finished on 88.
The Park Road club will look to build on this over the weekend and also claim their first piece of silverware this season.
“We are very keen to defend our T20 Cup title,” added Hughes. “We have won it in each of the last two years, so to do it for a third time would be incredible.
“I believe we will have a strong side out and nine first-teamers involved, so I am hoping we can win it again.”