Bessborough followed up their fine win against Winchmore Hill last week with a three-wicket victory over MTSSC, although they still find themselves in a fight to avoid relegation.
MTSSC won the toss and elected to bat on a glorious sunny day at their home ground. Opener Sharuvinothan Yoganathan tried to set the tone when he clubbed the third ball for six but bowler Rohan Desai (1-57) won the battle when the same batsman holed out to Bessborough skipper Rohan Karkhanis two balls later.
The fielding side had to wait seven overs for the second wicket when Sharuban Kanthasamy (2-43) trapped MTSSC's overseas player Nalaka Desilva for 26, who had looked dangerous with three fours and two sixes in his brief innings.
By the 14th over MTSSC were four down for 80 runs, which became 106 for five by the 21st over. Raghukulan Loganathan (69) and Rukshan Silva (28) set about rebuilding the innings with a sixth-wicket partnership of 64, but Bessborough stuck to the task by taking regular wickets and keeping the run-rate at a manageable level.
MTSSC closed out their 45 overs on 218 for nine with the pick of the bowlers being skipper Karkhanis (pictured) with a season’s-best four for 31. He and Desai also took three catches each in the field.
Bessborough’s reply got off to a slightly shaky start when Vidoosha Jayawardena (7) perished in the third over but thereafter all of the batsmen made good contributions, without any going on to pass 50, enabling the side to comfortably keep up with required rate. The winning line was reached with 16 balls remaining and three in hand.
The win helped Bessborough move up one spot to seventh place at the expense of Harrow Town but wins for their other two relegation rivals, Uxbridge and Kenton, means that they remain just 12 points from the bottom.
A Bessborough win next Saturday at home to South Hampstead, coupled with a defeat for Kenton at North London, would be enough to secure Bessborough's MCCL status for another year.
With the rare luxury of being safe from relegation by early August the second team continued their good form with a close two-wicket win against Winchmore Hill in a game that went down to the penultimate over.
WH batted first and were largely kept in check by some tight bowling by young spinner Ajan Sivakumar (1-31 in nine overs) and another great spell by Faisal Tanoli (4-30 from nine), finishing the 45 overs on 221 for seven.
Despite a solid 31 from second-team debutant Thanushan Sundarlingam, Bessborough looked to be struggling at 113 for five after 29 overs. Into the breach stepped all-rounder Mitesh Vyas at number six with a superb 68 under pressure. Three quick wickets kept the match alive but Eranda Jayasinghe saw them home with a calm 24 not out.
Bessborough could move into the lofty heights of fourth place with a win over MTSSC next week, but they have no chance of promotion with runaway leaders Southgate already on a near invincible 136 points.
The third team were given a sound thrashing at Indian Gymkhana, losing by seven wickets. Bessborough posted 203 for nine from 50 overs with the highlight being a maiden senior half-century for colt Neil Kiritharan, who scored a classy 62 opening the batting.
Indian Gymkhana made short work of that target, completing the task inside 30 overs for the loss of just three wickets.
Bessborough 3s are not mathematically safe in the top tier of the 1987 Cricket League as they sit just 13 points above the relegation zone with 30 points from three games still left to play for and will want to get back to winning ways next week at Old Actonians.
The fourth team are virtually doomed to relegation from Division Five of the 1987 Cricket League as they lost their ninth game of the season away to promotion-chasing Harrow Town.
The game featured a father versus son duel as Bessbough’s stand-in skipper John Trowbridge faced up to his youngest son Stephen, who was bowling for the opposition. Unfortunately for Bessborough youth was the winner this time as Harrow Town won by 84 runs. The one saving grace for Trowbridge the elder was that he wasn’t dismissed by his boy.
Even if the side somehow manage to win all three of their remaining games, which is the longest of long shots considering they have won only one game all year, their chances of staying up would still be very slim as their closest rivals only need a few more points to get out of reach.
On Sunday, Bessborough were second best in an entertaining and close match against Wembley that went down to the last over. Bessborough started the game well with some of their young stars showing off their talent; Vidoosha Jayawardena scoring a fluent 38 until he ran himself out, Thanushan Sundarlingam taking a more direct approach with a powerful 61 and Sujan Sivakumar looking good during his 28.
The slightly older Tharshan Kanagaraj and Shiv Patel also chipped in with scores of 26 and 30 respectively, as Bessborough were dismissed for 238 in 42 overs.
Those three unused overs would prove crucial, as did some dropped chances, as Wembley were able to time their innings to perfection, getting past the target with four balls remaining. Pick of the bowlers were Ajan Sivakumar (3-35), skipper Ian Ridley (3-54) and Faisal Tanoli (1-47).
Bessborough will travel to Winchmore Hill next Sunday for the final game of the Chess Valley season still needing a win to finish outside of the bottom three.
© Cricket World 2016