Patel praises Crouch End for ‘playing in the moment’

Ryan Cunningham bowling for Crouch End (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Ryan Cunningham bowling for Crouch End (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo). - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

A fourth consecutive victory edged the new boys a step closer to the promise land of the Premier Division

Crouch End vice-captain Pratik Patel has talked up the focus of his team-mates after a fourth win in a row in the Middlesex County Division Two last weekend.

The new boys, who entered this year off the back of consecutive promotions, are now 25 points clear of third-placed Brondesbury with seven matches left in 2019.

It means Hiren Desai's side are closing in on another memorable campaign, but Patel insists the squad are not too bothered about the table right now.

He said: "I think the reason we have enjoyed this season so far and why we have won so many games is because we are playing in the moment.

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"We honestly don't look or talk about the league table during the week, we just try to focus on our practise and then when it comes to Saturdays think about turning up on time and preparing well.

"Of course we will start to dream when things become more clear, but right now we know the table will take care of itself if we continue to do the things we have been doing.

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"Above all else we just want to be known as a competitive team who play hard cricket and that's what we have done so far."

The next challenge for Crouch End is a home encounter against Osterley on Saturday where they will eye a fifth straight victory.

Earlier in the season, the two sides produced a high-scoring affair with over 600 runs scored and Desai's men winning on the road by a margin of 106 runs.

Patel added: "We are taking it one game at a time. We know Osterley will be tough and they have a lot of match-winners in their team.

"They have guys who can take five, six or seven wickets and who can score hundreds and these types of fixtures are the hard ones.

"It only takes one person to come off and take the game away from you, so we are fully aware of that going into Saturday."

Last weekend the Calthorpe side triumphed by seven wickets away to Enfield, chasing down a score of 141 for victory.

The hosts were put into bat, but could only manage 140-7 from 41 overs after a delayed start with Ryan Cunningham taking 4-60.

Patel backed him up with 3-57 and in reply Tom Scollay scored an unbeaten 47 to guide Crouch End home with overs to spare.

All-rounder Patel said: "The outfield was very wet and it was a close call about whether we would go on or not. A decision was made at 2 and the umpires thankfully said 'let's go on' and it was a massive toss to win.

"Enfield only had 41 overs to bat due to the delay and we had 33 overs to chase, so it was closer than it looks and calling correctly and bowling first was really important."

He concluded: "Ryan has been so crucial over the last two to three years and been our frontline bowler when it comes to our promotions. He always leads by example and is so good at dot balls and then getting wickets and especially the key scalps."

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