1s and 3s keep up perfect starts


Preet Patel struck Brentham’s maiden MCCL century of the season as the 1s kept up their 100 per cent record with victory over Eastcote. Elsewhere, a dominant display from the 3s against Shepherd’s Bush also saw James Hitchcock’s side make it two wins from two but there were defeats for the 2s and 4s on weekend two of the season.


Winning the toss and getting the chance to bat first at Eastcote is never a bad way to start a Saturday and that’s exactly what Prav Jadhav was able to do. The Trees lost Thirath Goane (15) early, but Aadil Khan (38) and Nikunj Prajapati built a solid foundation. Aadil departed with the score on 98, bringing Preet to the crease.


He added 82 with Nikunj, who was caught and bowled for 78 off 62, including three sixes, and 42 with Prav (18) before stepping on the accelerator in the closing overs. From 245-5, Preet scored 33 of Brentham’s next 43 runs to go to his century off 72 balls with 16 fours and a six. He was eventually out in the final over for 102 as Brentham finished on an imposing 298-8 off 45.


Despite scoring just shy of 300, Brentham looked to be short as Eastcote replied in blistering fashion. The hosts raced to 158-0 before Preet’s superb day continued with the ball. He removed both set openers within 11 runs of each other as Eastcote fell to 170-3. Having created an opening, Brentham went in for the kill. Usman Maqbool ran through the middle order on his way to 5/36 as The Trees took the last seven wickets for 24 to win by 64 runs.


If the 2s could have been as ruthless with the tail as the 1s, then they would be sitting on two wins from two as well. As it was, Barnes escaped from 55-6 to post 186-9 from their 45 overs. Yogesh Prabhu (4/22) did the damage at the top of the order at the Brentham Club. However, an unbeaten 82 from Ralph Harvey-Kelly and contributions at eight and nine from their captain and keeper got Barnes up towards 200.


Brentham’s reply never really got going. The top seven all passed eight but it wasn’t until Tom Barry, who also took 3/46 with the ball, at nine that any Brentham batsman got beyond the teens. Tom ended with 36 as Vish Patel’s side were dismissed 25 short of their target with five overs to spare.


The 3s followed up their 144 victory on the opening weekend with another crushing win, this time by 138 runs against Shepherd’s Bush. James’ side did have a couple of moments of worry, finding themselves 20-2, 80-4, and 154-6 at different points, but a patient innings from Pratyesh Desai (31) built the foundation from which Chris Jones (43*) and Ciaran Brett (22*) added 58 in seven overs at the end to take Brentham up to 212-7.


That turned out to be more than enough. Ayaz Khan took his tally to ten in two games with 4/16 while Ciaran chipped in with 3/24, two courtesy of outstanding slip catches from Matt Plews, to leave the hosts 27/7. Only one Bush batsman got into double figures as two in two from Pratyesh and one for Hemen Mehta wrapped their innings up for 74.


There were runs galore in the 4s game against Actonians at William Perkins. Batting first, the away side plundered 330-5 off their 45 overs; Richard Taper (2/42) the only Brentham bowler to exert any real control over the scoring rate.


Despite solid contributions from Shiv Dattani (46), Haroun Islam (26), Asad Choudhury (30), and Pete Campton (38), Actonians total never looked under threat as The Trees finished on 210-8 off their 45 overs.


On Sunday, Brentham made progress in the Middlesex Trophy with a rain-affected victory over Ealing Trailfinders at Brentham Club. The Trees racked up the runs in a match reduced to 33 overs-a-side. Thirath Goane (51), Zaraq Nazir (37), and Nikunj (30) built a foundation of 147-3 from which Prav (18 off 11), Faizullah Khan (34 off 21), and Usman (25 off 15) took the score up to 242.


Trailfinders’ reply was dominated by a knock of 114 off 68 balls from captain Shahbaz Meer. With 16 4s and two 6s, he was the only batsman to pass 12; Zaraq (4/41) and Atif Shah (2/29) doing the damage as the men from Vallis Way were all out for 185 in 29.2 overs.


This weekend’s action sees the 1s host South Hampstead, the 2s travel to Kenton, the 3s welcome Ealing to William Perkin, and the 4s head south to Twickenham. On Sunday, there’s a home friendly against Kensington and Chelsea at the Brentham Club.