Rain ensured the spoils were shared at Headstone Manor this weekend where Bessborough were taking on South Hampstead, although their rivals could not take advantage.
The heavens opened at Headstone Manor before the requisite 20 overs could be bowled in the second innings of the game versus South Hampstead, meaning that one point was shared between the sides.
That might be more than Bessborough would have claimed if the match had gone the distance as they were in some trouble at 50 for four after 15 overs, chasing 203. However, neither of their two relegation rivals could make any headway at their expense, Kenton and Uxbridge both losing.
With two weeks of the season remaining the relegation battle couldn’t be scripted any better as Bessborough will take on both sides; having a 13-point advantage over Kenton (who they travel to next week) and a three-point lead over Uxbridge (who they host the following week). A win in either game will be enough to stay up.
Earlier in the day Bessborough had looked sharp in the field with pace man Rohan Desai (pictured) producing his best spell for the team, claiming four for 33, while spinner Kibreeth Rameez further cemented his claim for player of the year with four for 34 to take his tally of league scalps to 33.
The second XI stretched their unbeaten run to five games with a comprehensive 153-run victory over second-placed MTSSC. Batting first Bessborough scored 238 after a shaky start, with number four bat Saghar Tanoli top scoring with 63 (making it four 50s in nine innings in a great debut season) and Gihan Pallage adding a handy 42.
MTSSC simply collapsed in their reply, being dismissed for 85 inside 19 overs. Overseas star Urooj Ahmed bagged incredible figures of five for 15 from just 3.4 overs, debutant Obaid Ur-Rehman picked up two for 20 and the side’s leading wicket-taker Faisal Tanoli added another two to make it 19 for the season.
The third XI secured their place at the top of the table in the 1987 Cricket League after a resounding seven-wicket victory away to Old Actonians. The home side took their time to post 183 for seven from the full 50 overs with Wasi Ali (4-37) and Stephen Kimsey (2-36) the main threats.
Bessborough coasted to the target thanks to an elegant 89 not out from colt Steefan Fernando, which is his best score so far for the seniors, although far better is sure to come. His twin brother Beavan was the next highest scorer with 23.
The fourth team were saved by the rain as they escaped with a losing draw in a very one-sided encounter versus Alexandra Park. Remarkably, despite being eight down after 20 overs Bessborough could have snatched a totally undeserved winning draw if they had scored just eight more runs before the rain came down.
The side now must win their last two games and hope that neither Harrow St. Mary’s or Wembley pick up more than a couple of points to stay in Division 5 of the 1987 Cricket League.
One side whose relegation is confirmed is the Sunday team who lost by 77 runs against a strong Winchmore Hill team in the Chess Valley Division Three. Bessborough had restricted the home side well until first-team batsman Mark Barrell came in at number 10 and bludgeoned 45 in 22 balls to take the score up to 210 from the 45 overs.
Bessborough never got to grips with some pacy short-pitched bowling although their chances weren’t helped by two suicidal run outs. Vidoosha Jayawardena (36) and Shiv Patel (24) were the only two batsman to find any sort of form as the team were skittled inside 36 overs for 133 to seal their fate.
© Cricket World 2016