Patel full of praise for free-scoring Crouch End wicket-keeper batsman Vijay

Crouch End players leave the pitch (pic: Crouch End CC).

Crouch End players leave the pitch (pic: Crouch End CC). - Credit: Archant

After scoring 445 Division Three runs in June, Jalpesh Vijay has been backed to catch the eye of County Championship clubs

Crouch End vice-captain Pratik Patel believes it won’t be long before county cricket clubs are looking at youngster Jalpesh Vijay.

The wicket-keeper batsman has over 600 runs for the Calthorpe outfit in 2018 and continued his good form on Saturday with an innings of 114 during their victory over North London in the Middlesex County League Division Three.

Vijay has hit centuries in three of his last four league knocks and tops the runs scored for the whole of the Middlesex County League.

Patel was glowing in his praise for the one-time Warwickshire second XI trialist this week, he said: “I spoke about Jalpesh at the start of the season and did say he was someone to keep an eye out for and he has been brilliant.

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“He has the most runs of anyone in the Middlesex County League and has scored three centuries already in Division Three this season.

“I want us to keep hold of him, but I am surprised no county clubs haven’t taken a look at him because he’s an enormous talent.”

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On Saturday, Vijay only needed 70 balls to score 114 with six sixes and 14 fours in his explosive innings.

After once again impressing with the bat, Patel is hopeful Crouch End can continue developing the batsman’s game.

“Jalpesh has three hundreds in his last four league innings and hopefully he can keep it up,” said the vice-captain.

“In June especially, he has been outstanding and scored more runs than anyone in all of the divisions.

“We want him to keep it up and to keep helping him improve as a cricketer so long may his great form continue.”

Vijay’s hundred helped Crouch End get up to 264-8 off 47 overs when they decided to declare .

It proved just about enough time to dismiss North London, who almost batted out for a hard-fought draw.

The hosts didn’t make the best of starts chasing 265 for the win and were quickly 39-7 and on the verge of defeat.

Ryan Cunningham was the chief destroyer for Crouch End, but Orban Holdgate and Freddie Issitt come together for the eighth wicket.

The duo put on a 100-run partnership, but the departure of Holdgate (27) exposed the tail and Cunningham (8-41) claimed two more wickets to see North London all out for 153 in the 54th over with Issitt unbeaten after a 118-ball innings of 59 not out.

It was some effort by the hosts number nine, but in vein as Crouch End secured a 111-run victory which moved them to the top of Division Three.

Patel added: “I think 260 runs anywhere is a good score and we had done our homework on North London.

“Three of the games they have won, they have batted first, so we knew they would want to bat first.

“We won the toss and took a bit of a gamble batting first as we knew they could bat out for the draw, but we backed ourselves and it paid off.”

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