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Weekly League roundup by George Watson

Week Twelve - 15 July 2018 (download report as a PDF here)

Heat, runs and football ...

Division 1

The week opened with the eagerly anticipated match between unbeaten Sky and London Tigers at the top. Opting to bat, the Tigers lost Shakeel Ahmed early before Shumon Sharif (51) and Muhammed Noor (53) dominated the crease. Some last gasp striking from Rinku Hussain elevated the Tigers to a daunting 186-3. In response, Sharif looked sharp with the ball taking two early wickets as Sky wobbled before Aleem Hussain and Riz Siddiqui kept them in the hunt with some majestic batting. However with the light fading and good bowling Sky fell short, losing their unbeaten streak by 14 runs.

Directly opposite on pitch 3, everyone kept an eye on Millwall, also unbeaten who looked in ruthless form against last years runners-up Friends. There was clinical striking from in form openers Arif Ahmed (50) — who has an average this season of 274, and Farhan Rahman (50) with some last gasp striking from Salman Amus, as Millwall posted a tricky 183-3. Despite an enjoyable half century from Afzal Ajmal, Friends couldn’t keep up with the run rate as they fell short, ending on 162-5.

London Fields pulled off a stunning victory over defending champions and the kings of chasing Rose & Crown. Tom Hughes (51) led the way with some fierce batting, alongside skipper Will Isaac (50) as The Fields continued the high scoring trend of the day, smacking 183-5, which could have been more had not been for some super late bowling by the Crown. Rose & Crown started in typically aggressive fashion, and were well ahead at the half way point. However after both openers, Joe Fisher and Pat Heaphy retired not out, the Fields dug in deep and restricted the defending champions to their first league defeat of the season as they fell 23 runs short.

Millwall and London Tigers now remain the only unbeaten teams in the division.

Tuesday saw the Old Fallopians defeat Mile Tailenders. The Tailenders looked in good nick as they posted a tricky 185-2, Wilson Digby (51) and Saj Ariyadasa (50) top scoring. However thanks to impressive batting from Bilal Quereshi (51) and Mohammed Junaid (51), the OF won with 3 overs to spare.

Best National saw off Regents on Pitch 3. With some super bowling, Regents were restricted to 94-2 in 16 overs. Best Nationals eased to 96-0 in just 6 overs openers Baba Enowdhary (48) and Rhehan Mahmood (42) seeing them home.

Friends made a great start with scores from Mohit Gupta (44) and Shahrukh Khan (46) leading the way before a mid-innings wobble alongside some late blows from Ajmal Afzal sent them to 176-5. In an exciting finish, with rain in the air and the thunder roaring above, the Bears fell short finishing on 158-1, with Will Arnold (50)and Jared (50) top scoring.

Divison 2

Mad Marroccas enjoyed their highest ever score on Tuesday as they crushed Old Fallopians 2nd VIII. Batting first, MM, walloped a magnificent 224-3, despite losing an early wicket, Jamie Cox and Robbie Jacobs both struck superb half centuries as they took the bowlers to the cleaners on the fast outfield. In reply, Old Fallopians never found their rhythm as they fell for 89, giving Mad Marrocas a superb 135 run victory.

Broadway continued their good run as they saw off Division Two leaders Expats. Batting first, Taimoor Ahmed led the way as Broadway finished on 151-5. Despite leading batsmen Trent Bryne out for the season with a broken shoulder, the Expats made a good start thanks to in-form Alex Hickson (51) and Ed James (50). However with to tight bowling from Broadway, Expats finished 15 runs short.

Victoria Lounge and Homerton enjoyed a close match on pitch 1. VL, batting first edged their way to 174-5. Despite great hitting from Homerton they fell slightly short finishing on 167-5, with Mark Towle stranded on 49.

Meanwhile Masiha struck a confident 175-6 against L&Q Living, Fozal Stevens (51) and Ian Blackwell (54) leading with the bat, alongside Sheldon Greenland who continued his smashing form striking 5 sixes in his innings of 40. Opener Keith Perry looked in good touch as wickets fell around him, before his own dismissal on 43 as L&Q finished on 126-6, 49 runs short.

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