Highgate fall agonisingly short of chasing down big total in North Middlesex defeat

Highgate in batting action in the Middlesex County League (pic: Michael Clarke/Highgate CC).

Highgate in batting action in the Middlesex County League (pic: Michael Clarke/Highgate CC). - Credit: Archant

The Shepherd’s Cot club were dismissed for 280 when chasing 288 for what would have been only their second league win of the season

Highgate suffered heartbreak on Saturday after losing by seven runs at North Middlesex in the Middlesex County League Premier Division.

The hosts batted first and managed to post 287-7 off 60 overs despite more fine work by Uzair Amjaid, who claimed 3-102 off 24 overs.

In reply, Highgate gave the chase a good go, but eventually come up short after they were all out for 280.

Johan de Silva said: “Having won the toss, North Middlesex skipper Joel Hughes elected to bat, but we picked up the early wicket of Liam O’Driscoll, bowled by Malik Shahid Sadiq (1-18). Sadly we put down a few chances prior to picking up the second wicket.

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“Overs were rattled through especially quickly on Saturday with 39 completed by lunch and North Middlesex sitting on 142-4.

“We felt the game was in the balance, but an excellent knock from Tom Nicoll (93) propelled them to a commanding 287-7 from their 60 overs with the pick of our bowlers Uzair with 3-102.”

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After letting the hosts get too many runs, Highgate were comforted by the fact they had chased down 333 to beat North Middlesex on May 19.

If they were to achieve something similar, one of their batsmen were going to need go big, but unfortunately no one could reach three figures.

Overseas Shane McNamara batted well for his patient 56 and Hasnain Ali added a vital 78 from number five, but the basement side were dismissed for 280 to come agonisingly close at Park Road.

“The team knew time was not an issue when trying to get the runs, so settled in against a polished North Middlesex bowling attack,” said de Silva.

“Despite the early loss of Matt Holly (11), McNamara and Zaakir Khawaja settled in, and took the score to 86 before Khawaja was dismissed for 28.

“Shane batted well for 56, but we then lost a cluster of wickets in quick succession to leave us 136-5.

“A fine resistance from the lower-middle order ensued, led by Hasnain Ali (78). With 10 overs to go the game was in the balance, but the critical run-out of Ali turned the game in North Middlesex’s favour.

“It left us nine down with 25 to win. Ed Foster (16 not out) and Sadiq batted sensibly with Sadiq sending a towering six over the clubhouse in the penultimate over.

“With eight required from the last, a risky single off the second ball led to a direct hit run-out for skipper Hughes and North Middlesex claiming all 12 points for batting first.”

Highgate remain rooted to the foot of the table, but can take plenty of positives out of this latest Premier Division showing.

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