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2s and 3s extend leads at top of the table

There was plenty of drama around for Brentham on Saturday with all four sides involved in close contests. In the end, the 1s escaped from their home game against Harrow with a losing draw, the 2s and 3s secured important wins, while the 4s suffered defeat.

Chasing 190, the 1s looked set to take all ten points at 109-2 and 171-7 but in the end had to bat out the final few overs to avoid defeat. With the ball, The Trees had Harrow 52-3 and 107-5, Hassam Uddin (2-50) and Usman Maqbool doing the early damage. After the away side recovered to 175-6, Usman (4-35) and Atif Shah (2-6) took the final four wickets for 14 runs to set up a tempting target to chase.

After the early losses of Nikunj Prajapati (15) and Thirath Goane (13), Aadil Khan (29) and Preet Patel (46) added 71 for the third wicket to take The Trees past 100. However, they departed within two runs of each other and were followed by Jaz Rehal (11) and Anmol Singh (4) as Brentham lost 4-19. Hassam Uddin’s breezy (32*) looked to be taking Brentham towards the ten points with the equation reduced to 18 to win with three wickets in hand. However, the loss of two wickets in three balls forced The Trees to shut up shop, finishing an agonizing nine runs short of the target in the end.

Vish Patel’s 2s extended their gap over third to 18 points thanks to a hard-fought win over promotion rivals Wembley at Vale Farm. The home side looked set for a big score at 135-2 before Ashfaq Ahmad (5-52) had his say. His two wickets in three balls, quickly followed by one for Harpreet Singh (2-49), saw Wembley lose 3-0 in seven balls. They were never really able to recover and ended up 217 all-out in the 52nd over.

Abbas Ilyas (62) and Saad Rehmann (55) laid the perfect foundation for the chase, putting on 126 for the first wicket; Abbas registering his fourth fifty of the season, alongside one century, along the way. There was a mini-wobble after both departed but Ashfaq then continued his superb day with an unbeaten 54 off 56 balls to get The Trees home. Ashfaq’s innings included four fours and three sixes, the last of which took the Trees to the ten points.

A much changed 3s, under stand-in skipper Ciaran Brett, showed great mentality to overcome Wycombe House at Gunnersbury Park. The home side got off to a rollicking start on a difficult pitch before the skipper put the brakes on the innings with four quick strikes. Aditya Patel (1-53) also took the key wicket of their free-scoring opener as 53-0 became 71-5. A patient sixth-wicket partnership put on 51 but once Ciaran got his fifth the end came quickly. Pratyesh Desai (3-7) ran through the tail to go alongside Ciaran’s 6-61 as the hosts reached 146 off 44 overs.

Those same pitch gremlins were evident in the reply as Brentham found themselves 22-3 early on. The man for the situation, PD contributed a vital, and patient, 37, alongside 25 from Steffan Walecki and 16 from Dan Harraghy as Brentham got within 35 with five wickets in hand. That quickly became 29 to win with three wickets in hand before a match-winning cameo from Chris Jones. His 24 off 11 balls took The Trees to within one hit of victory. There was still time for more drama as he departed but Aditya came in and hit his first ball for Brentham to the boundary to seal a hard-fought win.

For the 4s it wasn’t to be at home to Teddington, the away side running out victors by four wickets. Another side to be affected by changes in the team above them, captain Krushna Kerai (32) and Haroun Islam (37) provided the main resistance with a 60 run third-wicket partnership. After falling to 110-7, the final three wickets added 56 to the total as Brentham posted 166.

Richard Taper (2-48) bowled Teddington’s opener with the first ball of the reply to give The Trees hope. Vinay Khetia (2-42) and two run-outs kept Brentham in the hunt but eventually the visitors got over the line with nine overs, and four wickets, to spare.

On Sunday, Brentham made it three wins from three in the Chess Valley with a five-wicket victory over Ealing Hanwellians at Brentham. Bowling first, Brentham made early inroads through Ayaz Khan (2-25) and Hasam Uddin (2-42) to reduce the visitors to 47-4. The away side dug in after that and, thanks to 39 from their number five and 55 from their skipper at eight, pulled themselves up to 211 off their allotted overs.

Despite finding themselves 0-1, Brentham made light work of the chase thanks mainly to a 140-run second wicket partnership between Anmol Singh (88) and Hasam (56). A couple of late wickets gave the scoreline a bit more respectability for Hanwellians but Aadil Khan (42*) marshalled the closing stages of the chase as Brentham remain top of Division Two.

This weekend the 1s and 2s both face Indian Gymkhana, Prav Jadhav’s 1s making the trip to Osterley while Vish Patel’s 2s have use of the Brentham Club. The 3s travel to SKLPC while the 4s host Harrow St Mary’s at William Perkins.

On Sunday, the Chess Valley side head to Northwood while there’s MDL action at Brentham against Ealing Trailfinders.


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