In-form North Middlesex go to leaders Richmond with momentum

North Middlesex's Joe Cracknell looks to run the ball down to fine leg (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Ph

North Middlesex's Joe Cracknell looks to run the ball down to fine leg (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo). - Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo

Joel Hughes’ team visit Old Deer Park looking to make it four wins in a row

North Middlesex make the trip to Richmond this Saturday looking forward to testing themselves against the Middlesex County League Premier Division leaders.

The Park Road club have hit form at the back end of the season and are currently on a three-match winning streak.

It means Joel Hughes will take his side to Old Deer Park full of confidence and belief, especially with the format switching from all-day cricket to 50-over games.

He said: “We’ve got a nice bit of momentum now and we’re taking a strong team to Richmond.

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“The 50-over game is a bit more exciting and suits us more I think, and it is a big one on Saturday, so we’re looking forward to it.”

North Middlesex haven’t lost in the division since July 7 at home to Ealing, who are currently in a battle with Richmond for the title.

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Since then, Hughes’ improving squad have batted brilliantly with scores of 278-9, 287-7, 307-6 and then 174-4 on Saturday.

Last weekend’s effort with the bat saw them win by six wickets at home to lowly Twickenham, who were all out for 172.

Hughes was able to call upon the club’s academy products Luke Hollman and Ethan Bamber, both part of England’s under-19s team, for the home game.

The talented young pair were in top form too as Bamber picked up 2-33 from 12 overs while Hollman finished with 5-32 off 13.2 overs.

“It was great to have Ethan and Luke back and they both bowled superbly,” said Hughes.

Hollman’s figures of 5-32 were the exact same as his last Premier Division appearance for the club against Hampstead on June 30.

“Luke’s a quality and consistent performer, so it was great to have him back playing for us again,” added North Middlesex’s skipper.

After dismissing Twickenham for small total, Hughes was happy to see his team not suffer many hiccups in reply.

Opener Liam O’Driscoll hit 33 off only 40 balls and although Hollman and Evan Flowers went cheaply, James Parslow kept up his encouraging recent run.

He top scored with a 63-ball 67, which included 10 fours and one six, but was caught with North Middlesex on 158-4 and it was left to Joe Cracknell to get them home with an unbeaten 45.

“With those small totals, you can come unstuck if you’re too cautious, but Liam and Luke were positive and it set the tone,” said Hughes. “We had a bit of a wobble at 61-3, but Cracknell and Parslow both batted brilliantly.”

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