Hornsey foiled by stubborn Finchley
- Credit: Archant
Hornsey skipper Michael Philipson bowled his side to within touching distance of victory against Finchley as they hauled themselves out of the bottom two in the Middlesex County League Premier Division.
Philipson tore through the Finchley batting with figures of 5-35, only to be thwarted by ninth-wicket pair Muhammad Arshad and Mahmudul Hassan.
Their unbroken partnership of 33 enabled the visitors to avoid defeat at Tivoli Road – although the winning draw was still sufficient for Hornsey to leapfrog them into eighth place.
Philipson decided to bat after winning the toss, but that decision appeared questionable when Francois Haasbroek (2-48) had Will Notley caught behind for a duck in his first over.
Fellow opener James Bull (5) did not last too much longer, becoming Haasbroek’s second victim at 11-2, but that paved the way for Philipson and Middlesex wicketkeeper Adam Rossington to join forces.
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The duo put Finchley’s bowlers to the sword in a third-wicket stand of 195, with Rossington hitting five fours and three sixes as he closed in on a century.
Philipson (89) missed out on his ton, giving Sunil Tailor (1-44) a return catch, but Rossington reached 106 before he was run out by Haasbroek at 227-4.
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Richard Wharton (19 not out) and Jack Goldberg (14) kept the accelerator going as Hornsey declared on 252-5 at the end of the 45th over and that, after an earlier rain delay, left them with the same time to dismiss their opponents.
Martin Tucker (1-29) gave his side a good start with the wicket of Haasbroek (5) and Ed Wharton (2-15) weighed in with a tight spell, accounting for Sayed Bukhari (12) and Ayush Sahota (1).
Philipson then had Hassan Khan caught behind without scoring to reduce Finchley to 39-4, but visiting captain Jake Milton (42) found a solid ally in Tailor (24).
However, Philipson continued to plug away and got his reward when he had his opposite number stumped by Rossington, before removing Sumit Jadav for a duck.
Farhan Butt (16) offered resistance but, when Richard Wharton took the catches to dismiss him and Tailor in quick succession, both off Philipson, the end seemed nigh for Finchley at 111-8.
However, despite the best efforts of the captain – who is now the league’s top wicket-taker with a total of 15 – it was not to be as Arshad (5no) and Hassan (25no) steered their side to 144-8 and safety.