North Middlesex win Middlesex Development League Final
Osterley won toss and opted to bat on an Uxbridge ‘road’. Hostile bowling from Under 17 Ben Owen (4 for 27) and controlled swing and seam from Under 16 Fergus Mason (2 for 23 ) cleaned up the top order reducing Osterley to 41 for 6 off 13 overs. They dug in with a couple of decent partnerships but could not break the stranglehold imposed by the Midd’s tight bowling and fielding. Skipper and Under 18 Connor Nurse’s spell of 1 for 9 off 7 was exceptional. Osterley held out to use up their 40 overs finishing on 142 for 9. This was below par but gave the much vaunted Osterley attack a target to bowl at.
The Midd lost Matt Cracknell in the 3rd over as Osterley piled on the pressure. A steady partnership of 43 between Nurse (20) and Evan Flowers steadied the ship until the Skipper was given out caught behind. In came Zulfy Azom (Under 18) who handled a tense period exceptionally well. He and Flowers re-established the Midd’s control and eventually put the Osterely bowling to the sword. Flowers showed his class with some blistering drives, cuts and pulls finishing with a superb 87 not out (1 six and 15 fours). Azom more than played his part with an intelligent 20 not out.
This victory was the culmination of a happy and successful campaign for the Midd whose team included 5 players who started at the Club when they were Under 10 or younger and at least 3 more when they were under 12. This is clear evidence that the Club’s Academy structure aimed at developing first team cricketers is working. It also emphasises the close integration between Colts and Senior players.