Gourlay grabs six wickets as Highgate beat Kenton to go top
- Credit: Max Flego
Deadly Craig Gourlay demolished Kenton with a six-wicket burst at Shepherd’s Cot to lift Highgate to the top of the Middlesex County League Division Three table.
Gourlay finished with figures of 6-39 to dismiss the visitors for just 130 and then watched as captain Jake Sharland hit an undefeated half-century to guide Highgate home by eight wickets.
Sharland won the toss and, unsurprisingly, asked Kenton to bat in damp conditions – a decision which bore fruit right away when his opposite number Schopun Jooma was run out for just a single by Ben Sudell.
The visitors were in trouble at 29-3 when William Brookes (2-45) got rid of Sachin Patel (7) and Ashish Karia (14), although Viran Parmar and Kalpesh Keria staged a mini-recovery.
But Gourlay broke the back of Kenton’s middle order, bowling Parmar for 27 before he had Keria (12) caught by Sudell and then removed Deepak Singh (5) leg before.
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When Gourlay bowled Mohammed Amir for a duck, the visitors were floundering at 70-7, although Bhavesh Tapariya (21) and Kanti Vaghtiani (13) went on the counter-attack and fired their side into three figures.
Scott Thaxton (1-18) caught Vaghtiani off his own bowling and Gourlay picked up his fifth wicket by removing Tapariya, but Charles Erdwin plundered a quick undefeated 25.
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Erdwin’s innings, which was crafted at better than a run a ball, included two fours and two sixes, but Gourlay eventually rounded off proceedings in the 38th over by bowling last man Sami Haider (2).
Highgate set about their task confidently, with Sharland dominating the strike as he and Chris Arul (9) put on 33 before the latter fell to Erdwin (1-33).
There was only one further success for Kenton, with Haider (1-33) bowling Ed Binns (12), but Sharland cruised past 50 and was ably supported by William Russell.
Russell stuck an unbeaten 43 from 49 balls in an unbroken partnership of 68, with Sharland finishing on 67 not out as Highgate reached their target in the 37th over.
Highgate batsman Ed Atkins said: “Following on from last week’s nail-biter, we were determined to carry on our good start to the summer, and Saturday’s performance was clinical.
“It was a pleasure to watch Craig in action – a master craftsman and a man on top of his trade.
“Their total wasn’t going to be enough on a decent wicket and Jake and Will batted with aplomb to see us home.
“We will keep working hard in the nets and hope that our unbeaten run continues.”