Middlesex League Premier Division: Three and easy for Tom Nicoll’s North Middlesex team after stunning weekend

Tom Nicoll of North Middlesex (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Tom Nicoll of North Middlesex (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo) - Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo

Park Road club moved up to third in Premier Division before qualifying for T20 finals day with two wins on Monday

North Middlesex had a weekend to remember with another Middlesex League Premier Division success, but they also qualified for the finals of the T20 competition on Monday.

Tom Nicoll’s team defeated Shepherds Bush on Saturday before winning two ties in the shorter-format of the game.

Joe Cracknell continued his stunning start to 2017 with 86 in the Premier Division before two key knocks on Monday.

“Our 17-year-old opener Joe hit 86 on Saturday and batted fantastically in the two T20 games as well and he is in great form,” said Nicoll.

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“He has been with the club since the age of eight, but he has really kicked on this year and matured.

“You can see he has got a lot bigger and is batting out of his skin at the moment, so long may it continue.”

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North Middlesex played two games on Monday with the first a third-round tie at home to Enfield.

Cracknell smashed a quick fire 35 before Evan Flowers struck 74 and he was backed up by his captain, who hit 37.

Nicoll’s team made 214-6 from their 20 overs and despite a valiant effort, Enfield fell 19 runs short.

Joel Hughes (1-21) and Jaron Semper (4-40) ensured North Middlesex qualified for the last eight.

Soon after leaving the field, Nicoll won the toss against Southgate and they batted first again.

Teen Cracknell bludgeoned a rapid 63 with his captain scoring 56 and helping North Middlesex make 199-7.

A solid team bowling effort kept Southgate behind the run rate before the heavens opened and Duckworth-Lewis was required.

The visitors ended up on 133-8 from 17 overs and it was enough to give North Middlesex a 66-run victory.

Nicoll added: “We are delighted to qualify for the finals again and we produced some serious batting.

“We have won the competition twice in the last three years and the other time we finished as runners-up, so we love the T20 format.

“Thanks to the supporters and our scorer S.Nicoll. Now we are looking to do well in the finals again and hopefully we can come out on top.”

North Middlesex’s two wins on Monday made it three overall during a successful Bank Holiday weekend.

Cracknell and Will Vanderspar (53) put on 143 for the first wicket against Shepherds Bush and it allowed the hosts to score 290-5 from their 50 overs.

Wicket-keeper Charlie MacLeod and Liam O’Driscoll chipped in with vital unbeaten scores of 31 and 30 respectively.

“It was a really good performance and we batted really well, which was important after the match at Teddington,” said Nicoll.

“Joe and Will were fantastic and they put on over a hundred for the first wicket and it set the tone for the day.

“Everyone else chipped in with crucial scores, so we were pretty confident at the halfway point.”

O’Driscoll then picked up 4-33 from his 10 overs with Hughes (2-39) ending the fine knock of Bush opener Jack Brydon (110) to give North Middlesex a 92-run victory.

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