Highgate extend winning run - and their lead at the top

Highgate captain Jake Sharland batting against Kenton on Saturday. Pic: Max Flego

Highgate captain Jake Sharland batting against Kenton on Saturday. Pic: Max Flego - Credit: Max Flego

A sixth-wicket stand between Jake Sharland and Craig Gourlay proved crucial as Highgate triumphed over Kenton by 18 runs to maintain their 100 per cent record in Division Three of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

The league leaders were in difficulties at 38-5 after being put in to bat at Shepherd’s Cot, but Sharland and Gourlay put together a partnership of 69 to steer their side to a competitive total of 187.

That proved to be just enough, with overseas player Hashen Ramanayake taking four wickets as Kenton were bowled out for 169 – ensuring that Highgate extended their lead at the top to 10 points.

Highgate bowler Freddie Barrass said: “At 38-5 we were in real bother, but that fighting partnership between Craig and Jake got us back in the game.

“Hashen bowled excellently and played a crucial role in the victory. With all four of our teams winning it was an excellent evening at the club – and long may it continue.”

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Highgate’s top order struggled to deal with Kenton bowler Mohammed Shafiq, who removed Chris Arul lbw for just four and repeated that feat to dismiss fellow opener Ben Sudell (9).

Ramanayake (2) became Shafiq’s third leg before victim and, when the Kenton man bowled Marley Ali and Will Brookes – both for ducks – with successive deliveries, the home side were reeling.

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Skipper Sharland steadied the ship in tandem with Gourlay, hitting eight boundaries in his innings of 41 before he eventually departed at 107-6, caught behind off Roshan Patel.

But Gourlay pressed on towards his half-century and he was ably assisted by the tail, with Johan de Silva contributing six and Barrass 10 to lift Highgate to 145-7.

Shafiq, who finished with 7-62, eventually removed Gourlay for 63, but Ed Foster gave the bowlers the charge, adding a valuable knock of 26 from 23 balls before he was last out at 187 in the 53rd over.

Ramanayake gave Highgate an excellent start when the visitors began their reply, removing Rajiv Soneji for a duck and also accounting for Schopun Jooma (11).

Kenton were unable to get going and Brookes (1-22) took a return catch to dismiss Sachin Patel (7), while Gourlay (3-62) also struck to keep his side in the driving seat.

However, Baqar Rizvi (44) repaired the Kenton innings and, although he was run out by Barrass, Charles Erdwin (32) and Kalpesh Keria (39) threatened to inflict the home side’s first defeat of the season.

But Foster (1-15) prised out Erdwin and Gourlay got rid of Kanti Vaghtiani (15) and Ankit Shah (0) before Ramanayake (4-48) wrapped up proceedings to seal Highgate’s fourth straight win.

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