3s make it a perfect 7 from 7


James Hitchcock’s 3s made it seven wins from seven in the MCCL on Saturday despite a major weather scare against Old Isleworthians at Boston Manor Playing Fields.


After winning the toss and electing to bat in difficult conditions, The Trees found themselves 9/2 in the third over with Jaidev Pindoria (8) and Paul Whelan (0) the early victims. That brought the skipper to the crease with John Clapham. Together they blunted the opening onslaught and then started to push on. James was run out for 25 but that brought Ahmad Shahid to the crease for the match-defining partnership.


With JC anchoring the innings, Ahmad unleashed an array of cuts and drives as the pair put on 137 together. Both passed 50 as eyes turned towards a declaration. JC departed for 66 but Matt Plews' 12-ball blitz enabled The Trees to declare on 233/4 off 44 overs; Ahmad finished 64 not out with Matt on 35.


The reply couldn’t have started better with Ciaran Brett (4-36) nicking off the opener first-ball. Ayaz Khan (6-26) then joined the fun with two quick wickets, the second an incredible one-handed caught and bowled. As the weather continued to close in, and the rain became heavier, the wickets continued to fall.


Ayaz collected his second five-fer of his season with three further victims caught in the cordon while Ciaran eventually removed their dead-batting number four. When Paul caught their number ten off Ciaran for a duck, Old Is sat at 47-9. However, four balls later the batting side decided conditions had deteriorated and walked off the pitch. Following a 20-minute delay, the teams returned. Two catches went down before Ciaran eventually got the winning wicket as The Trees retained their eight-point lead at the top of the league ahead of this Saturday’s home game against Chiswick at William Perkin.


Elsewhere, there were slim pickings for the other Saturday sides.


For the 1s at home to Southgate, only Thirath Goane (15) and Preet Patel (18) passed seven as The Trees were bundled out for 70 in 31 overs. In reply, Southgate wasted no time knocking off the runs, reaching their target one ball into the 11th over. Next up for Prav Jadhav’s team is a trip to Highgate this weekend.


For the 2s it was a case of nearly at Hackney Marshes against Stoke Newington. Batting first, the home side consistently lost early wickets, Tilan Wijesinghe (4-60) the chief threat for The Trees. However, from 34/3 and 107/6, Stoke Newington managed to get up to 215/8 off their full 55 overs.


Brentham’s reply was full of starts but nobody could go on to play the big innings. Abbas Ilyas top scored with 28 as eight of the top nine got into double figures. As the total of 216 began to slip out of reach, the four-point total of 175 became the focus. At 168-8 with five overs to spare it looked like it would go right to the wire but two wickets in four balls saw the home side over the line. The second-placed Trees host eighth-placed SKLP CC this coming Saturday.


The 4s game was overshadowed by a serious injury to Azzy Butt as Brentham took a point at home to Ealing Trailfinders. The visitors batted first and racked up 295-5 off 50 overs. Krushna Kerai (1-40), Mohsin Hassan (1-72), and Hari Subramani (1-44) the only bowlers to enjoy success; Krushna and Mohsin also picked up a run-out a-piece.


Abdul Shukkoor and Azzy began the reply in steady fashion. However, following Abdul’s departure for 11, Azzy slipped while playing a shot and suffered a serious knee-injury. With Azzy requiring lengthy treatment before heading to hospital, and a subsequent rain-delay, it was 90 minutes before another ball was bowled. With no chance of reaching any sort of target, Brentham patted back 47 of the 52 balls after the restart to close on 34-2 after 20 overs. Brentham are away at fourth-placed Chiswick this weekend.


On Sunday, there was a cracking finish to the opening Middlesex Development League game of the season as Wembley held out to secure a winning-draw. Batting first, Brentham reached 177/9 off 44 overs, Jack Ellis (43) and James Hitchcock (37) the mainstays of the innings


In reply, Wembley were cruising at 80/0 but the enforced retirement of their overage opener on 50 sparked a complete turnaround in the game. 15-year-old Damhiru Wijesinghe took 3-29 and 13-year-old Deen Hoque took 2/10 as Wembley then found themselves 130/7. Wembley’s eighth-wicket pair took them past the four-point target and towards the winning total. However, with their number 11 not around to bat, a wicket in the final over from skipper Jack Solomon left their last man to bat out 3 balls to secure their four-points.


The Sunday friendly side were beaten by 87 runs away at Acton. Harpreet Singh (4-9) and Atif Shah (2-65) doing the late damage for Brentham after Acton’s top order had built a more than handy foundation. Brentham lost three early wickets in their chase of 281 before 41 off 27 from Thirath Goane and a run-a-ball 59 from Harpreet Singh started to give the innings some momentum. After they both fell there wasn’t much else as The Trees were dismissed for 194 off exactly 30 overs.