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Survival in own hands for Bessborough

Neal Patel in action
Neal Patel in action
©Bessborough CC
Rohan Desai in action
Rohan Desai in action
©Bessborough CC

Bessborough set up a winner-takes-all Middlesex County Cricket League relegation decider next week against Harrow by thrashing Kenton by nine wickets at Headstone Manor on Saturday.

The visitors' luck deserted them before the start of play as one of their players was unable to take the field due to a personal emergency and things got even trickier when Bessborough’s stand-in skipper Sherrick Chavda won the toss and inserted them on a dampish wicket.

Bessborough’s fortunes improved further when Sharuban Kanthasamy (3-28) had opener Rajiv Soneji (1) caught by Ian Barrie in the fourth over. Thereafter the new ball pace duo of Kanthasamy and Neal Patel (pictured) ripped into the Kenton line-up, skittling them for 55 in just 22 overs. Patel’s figures of five for 20 are his best for the club.

In reply, Bessborough coasted to victory in 16 overs as Ishan Shah (17 not out) and Ramesh Gunalan (29 not out) brushed off the early loss of wicket-keeper William Grogan (4) as the side picked up the vital 10 points.

A victory for nearest rivals North London (54 points) on Saturday means that the equation for Bessborough’s survival (48pts) is very straightforward: beat Harrow (55pts) next week and stay up. Anything else and the side will drop back down to the Middlesex Championship after one year in the MCCL.

Bessborough’s second XI secured their MCCL status (pending any change to South Hampstead's 25-point deduction) after an inspired spell of bowling by Rohan Desai (pictured) at Ickenham.

Desai claimed a club-best seven for 53 as Ickenham were dismissed for 147 inside 45 overs. In reply, Bessborough needed only 25 overs to complete the job with overseas keeper Jigar Shah finding form with a well-crafted 65 not out in partnerships of 52 with captain Philip Bush (34) and 81 with Tharshan Kanagaraj (43).

The Third XI’s promotion charge will go to the wire after both they and challengers Osterley won on Saturday.

Bessborough beat Richmond 5s by six wickets at Headstone Manor to move to 105 points in Division 2 of the Middlesex 1987 Cricket League, an unassailable 12 behind champions-elect North London (assuming Ealing fulfil their games) and five ahead of Osterley with one round of the season remaining.

The win on Saturday was achieved after Richmond were bowled out for 143 in 48 overs, with wickets shared between the side’s leading wicket-taker Stephen Kimsey (4-32), captain Ian Ridley (3-23), Nandesh Patel (2-27) and Thanuka Jayawardena (1-25).

Skipper Ridley with 37 and vice-captain Sahil Hathi (42 not out) shouldered most of the responsibility for getting the runs in a chase that was successfully completed in 25 overs.

The 3s will hope to clinch their promotion next Saturday and on paper they have the slightly easier task as they travel to already-relegated South Hampstead (who restricted us to a winning draw in the reverse fixture), while Osterley are away to Richmond, who sit third from bottom.

The 4s' inconsistency reared its ugly head again in a 20-run defeat away to Southgate. Having limited their hosts to 156 all out, including wickets from spinners Dipak Chavda (3-31) and Sameer Aggarwal (2-34), Bessborough fell short as collapses at the start and end of their innings put pay to their hopes of registering their first back-to-back wins of the season.

Jamie Young cemented his credentials for player of the season with another fine performance with the bat, scoring 48, equalling his best runs tally for the seniors.

On Sunday, the grey weather failed to detract from a highly enjoyable afternoon as Bessborough welcomed back a number of past legends to take part in two entertaining short-over games with plenty of memories shared over wonderful food and drink.

The partying crowd was swelled with the return of players and parents of the Under 15s who were cruelly denied a place in the MCA final as they lost their semi-final versus Sunbury by virtue of losing one more wicket with the scores tied.

© Cricket World 2015

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