Middlesex County League Premier Division: Settled Highgate head to Hampstead with more belief according to Johan de Silva

Highgate players celebrate after winning in the Middlesex County League (pic: Michael Clarke/Highgat

Highgate players celebrate after winning in the Middlesex County League (pic: Michael Clarke/Highgate CC). - Credit: Archant

After chasing down 333 to defeat local rivals North Middlesex last weekend, Muz Ali’s team will eye more success on Saturday

Highgate travel to Hampstead on Saturday on a high after securing their first win in the Middlesex County League Premier Division last weekend during a thrilling encounter with North Middlesex.

Muz Ali’s team had lost the 2018 season opener on May 5 at home to Richmond before an away clash at Shepherds Bush was rained off seven days later.

Optimism was still rife ahead of Saturday’s home game against local rivals North Middlesex and it proved worthwhile as Highgate chased down a target of 332 with two wickets in hand.

Johan de Silva admitted the first XI squad now feel a lot more at home in the Premier Division ahead of this weekend’s fixture at Hampstead, who won by 191 runs at Brondesbury last time out.

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He said: “The team now look forward to the prospect of an away assignment at Lymington Road against Hampstead.

“We feel settled having notched up our first win of the season against a polished and highly-regarded North Middlesex side.

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“Particular thanks this week go to our match day sponsor, Andrew Newton of Indian Summer Accountancy. We very much value the support his company have pledged to the club throughout the 2018 season and he can be contacted via email at andy@indiansummerhq.co.uk.”

Although Highgate registered a fine victory last weekend, at the halfway stage North Middlesex would have fancied their chances.

The away side scored 332-7 from their 50 overs at Shepherd’s Cot with talented teen Joe Cracknell smashing 121 off only 95 balls.

He was well supported in the middle overs by James Parslow (60), Will Vanderspar (54) and Rob Fahrenheim (46).

Ali’s men showed no fear in the chase, however, and made a fine start thanks to a stunning 105 by Liam Knight and Phil Knott’s 58.

Both were dismissed before the hosts could get over the line, but 21 not out from Craig Gourlay guided Highgate to a historic win.

“Saturday was a landmark day for the club, with the first-team recording their first ever victory in the Premier League,” said de Silva. “Those present witnessed a thrilling game with 670 runs scored for the loss of 15 wickets.

“Much can be made about the size of the ground leading to high scores, but ultimately it’s the same pitch for both teams. Some fine cricket was seen on Saturday and it contributed to a memorable game and day for the club.”

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