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Unbeaten MCCL weekend for Trees

It was an unbeaten Saturday for Brentham’s four teams with a pair of wins and a pair of draws apiece. Abbas Ilyas, Matt Plews (above), and Ashfaq Ahmad all hit tons as The Trees enjoyed a fine, final weekend of June action.

After a tough few weeks for Pravin Jadhav’s team, a much improved performance saw them take a losing draw away at Highgate. The home side made full use of batting first, racking up 304-5 off their 49 overs. The hosts were 60-2 at one stage, Faiz Khan with a wicket and early run-out, but a century at better than a run a ball from their number three and a 23-ball 50 late on saw them run through the gears. Skipper Prav finishing with the best figures of 2-62.

In reply, Brentham lost Aadil Khan for no score in the second over but built solidly after that. Nik Prajapati and Thirath Goane added 75 for the second wicket, Nik and Preet Patel then combining for a 87-run third wicket stand. Nik departed seven short of his century while Preet went on to register his fourth half-century in eight knocks this season. Preet finished 66* as The Trees closed on 261-6 off 51 overs.

Vish Patel’s 2s are now 12 points clear of third after an 88-run with over SKLPC at Brentham Club. Abbas’ classy 106 at the top of the order was the defining contribution as The Trees made 221-9 off 48 overs. From 8-2, Abbas and Tomek Tsang (35) added 72 for the third wicket before Dan Taylor (41) and Abbas then shared a 92-run fifth-wicket partnership.

After Yogesh Prabhu (2-20) removed both openers, Tilan Wijesinghe once again starred with the ball, his 5/36 off 18 overs ripping the heart out of the middle order. Harry Marston chipped in with two late on as the away side were all out for 133 with five overs to spare.

For the first time this season, James Hitchcock’s side were denied the win, Chiswick batting out 48 overs to secure a draw. Anchored by a superb maiden league hundred for Matt Plews (106) and 72 from Paul Whelan, The Trees put up another huge score a William Perkin. Following a 131-run opening stand between the two, James Hitchcock (31), Chris Jones (25), and Unmesh Wagh (26*) kept the scoring rate up as Brentham reached 288-4 off 44.

Chiswick were up with the rate early on but once Matt Bunker Jnr (2-47) and Tom Barry (3-24) removed the top three, the away side’s thoughts turned to survival. A quick double strike from Tom reduced them to 103-5 but their lower order dug in to frustrate. Catches went down at key moments as Brentham tried everything to force the win. As it was, Chiswick closed on 164-7 off their 48 overs. It wasn’t all bad for The Trees as results elsewhere saw the lead at the top of the table stretched to 13 points.

The 4s also secured a winning draw against Chiswick at Kings’ House school. Batting first, there were contributions all the way down the order as Krushna Kerai’s side reached 238-8 off 46. Four of the top five passed 25 with Max Lovelock (47) top scoring. Some quick late runs from Matt Bunker Senior (31) took Brentham well past 200 in W4.

Max then contributed as well with the ball, taking four of the five wickets to fall. Some tight bowling from Richard Taper and Amay Hegde always kept the home side behind the rate as they eventually closed their innings on 212-5 off 46, 26 runs short of the winning target.

On Sunday, the Middlesex Development League side suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Hayes. Batting first, only James Hitchcock (22) got into double figures as The Trees were skittled for 82 in 29 overs. The away side wasted no time in getting to their target, taking just eight overs to reach the required figure. Aaron Bolger taking The Trees sole wicket.

A stunning hundred from Ashfaq Ahmad wasn’t enough for the friendly XI to secure victory over Holtwhite Trinibis. Ashfaq’s 128 off 110 balls was 111 more than anyone else in the team managed and made up the lion’s share of The Trees total of 190. The home side then strolled to their target two down with four overs to spare, Vinay Khetia taking two late wickets to give The Trees something to smile about.

This weekend’s MCCL action sees the 1s host Harrow while the top of the table 2s travel to second-placed Wembley. The 3s are at Gunnersbury Park against fourth-placed Wycombe House while the 4s welcome Teddington to William Perkin. On Sunday, the MDL side travel to London Tigers while Ealing Hanwellians make the short trip to Brentham in the Chess Valley.


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