Crouch End close in on promotion
PUBLISHED: 13:00 14 August 2019
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Sejil Ramniclal's 6-62 inspired a tense victory at home to Winchmore Hill on Saturday
Crouch End are on the cusp of winning promotion to the Middlesex County Premier Division and a victory this weekend would secure it.
Hiren Desai's team will travel to Eastcote, who are bottom of Division Two, knowing a win would secure a shot at the top flight in 2020.
Failing that, all eyes will be on the results of Hornsey and Brondesbury with the clubs having a slight say in when Crouch End's promotion will be confirmed.
It seems a formality now as the Calthorpe club registered a tense three-run win against Winchmore Hill on Saturday to move 19 points clear at the top of the table.
Crouch End's long-term aim will be winning the title, but promotion will be assured this weekend after they held their nerve at home to dismiss the visitors for 180.
Winchmore were chasing 184 for victory at Calthorpe, but the hosts' Sejil Ramniclal claimed the final wicket to end with figures of 6-62 from 16.5 overs.
Vice-captain Pratik Patel said: "Our team really never gives up and on the fifth ball of Sejil's over, Poojan Vyas caught their last man in the slip one-handed.
"The celebrations were ridiculous and it was an outstanding game. We gave the golden cap to Sejil for his six-wicket haul, 18 runs at 11 and the outstanding catch of Jim Gatting. What a game for the lad."
Winchmore had decided to field first after winning the toss and saw Crouch End's Jalpesh Vijay crunch 56 off 57 balls, including three sixes.
Chetan Depala added 38 at number six, but runs down the order by James Jenkins, who finished unbeaten on 12, and Ramniclal's 18 proved so crucial come the end.
Dismissed for 183, Crouch End restricted the runs early on, but struggled to pick up wickets until Tom Scollay claimed two in quick time on his way to 3-27.
Winchmore were now in a spot on bother and when they were reduced to 153-9, the hosts' seemed almost home, but it wasn't the case.
Scott Burkinshaw smashed four sixes and took Hill close before Ramniclal got the job done to spark wild scenes.
Patel added: "Missing Ryan Cunningham, our spinners stepped up and showed the strength and depth that we have."