Spinner’s six-wicket haul sends Hornsey to summit in Division Two

Hornsey spinner Johnny Fawcett (left) exchanges high fives with Sam Solia

Hornsey spinner Johnny Fawcett (left) exchanges high fives with Sam Solia - Credit: Archant

Hornsey spinner Johnny Fawcett blew away the Indian Gymkhana batting with the division’s first six-wicket haul of the season to put his side top of the Division Two table.

The left-armer continued his impressive start with the Crouch End club as he spun out the visitors with figures of 6-29, paving the way for Sean Solia’s unbeaten half-century to seal a three-wicket win.

Home skipper Paul Weekes won the toss and inserted Gymkhana, with Jack Bruce (2-27) making early inroads by bowling Chirag Patel (10) and then having fellow opener Zain Chughtai (16) caught behind.

That left the visitors in an unsteady position at 34-2, but Sadiq Ahmadzai (41) and Puneet Mehra (54) turned the momentum back in their favour with a stand of 69.

Although Ahmadzai fell to Jaskeerat Gulshan, Dinesh Mahant (29) and Mehra steered the total to 154-3 – but then their last seven wickets tumbled for just 28 runs as Fawcett got into his stride.

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Mehra was the first to depart, caught behind, before Mahant and Mujtaba Syed (7) followed suit, and Gymkhana were in desperate trouble when Weekes removed Bhupinder Singh for a duck.

Captain Rakesh Khade reached seven before he edged Fawcett behind, with Sumit Khullar (0) following next ball, and the spinner wrapped up the innings for 182 in the 41st over by bowling last man Asadullah Rabi, also for a duck.

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Hornsey made a solid start in reply as Jamie Harris (20) and Weekes (16) reached 35 without loss, but both then fell in quick succession to Robin Asgher (2-45) and Mehra (1-42) respectively.

Martin Tucker hit a brisk 23 from 20 balls before he became the first of two run-out victims – and when the second, Garfield Struthers, departed for five, Hornsey were wobbling at 83-4.

Solia (67 not out) and Steve Atkinson (25) began repairing the damage with a patient partnership of 58 but the tendency for wickets to fall in pairs was again repeated.

Atkinson edged Asgher behind and Bruce (3) was bowled by Bhupinder Singh to reduce Hornsey to 148-6.

However, Solia added 31 with Jack Goldberg and, although the latter fell for 15 with just four more needed, a boundary from Solia took Hornsey across the finish line with 4.2 overs to spare.

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