Division Three: Uxbridge 211 (1pt) Drew With Highgate 170-9 (4pts)
A SINGLE wicket stood between Uxbridge and victory yet they left second-placed Highgate disappointed after banking a solitary point.
The Park Road side's efforts warranted greater reward as Highgate inched past the winning draw mark in the closing overs and then clung on to their spoils.
The hosts even survived a huge appeal for the 10th wicket with two balls remaining when Steven Wright thought Craig Gourlay played on to his pad and sent the ball looping to Paolo Vasco at silly mid-on.
Gourlay's reprieve enabled Highgate to claim the winning draw by just three runs after Uxbridge produced a strong fight-back in defence of their hard earned total of 211. The Highgate openers used the short, straight boundaries to good effect after the pitch dried out considerably during the day, reaching 48 without loss after just eight overs when it had taken Uxbridge 20 to put that on the board.
However, Graham Lines took a wicket in his first over on the way to five for 42 from 18 overs and, in tandem with Ryan Connor (2-55), he reined in the free-scoring batsmen. Wickets began to tumble and having captured five with less than 100 on the board, Uxbridge confidence was high until stubborn resistance from Gourlay and the rest of the tail followed and a 27-ball stand for the 10th wicket between Gourlay (23 not out) and Tony Duckett (6 not out) kept them out.
Having been asked to bat Uxbridge openers Andre Jason and Nick Hardy (27) had to play a much more patient game as Duckett and Phil Brown found considerable assistance from a damp pitch. A solid opening stand of 47 was exactly what Uxbridge needed in the conditions and the third-wicket partner-ship of 44 between Jason and Riz Dar further underpinned the start.
The scoring rate was slow though and once Jason fell one short of his half-century Dar and Chris Alder (37) went about setting a target. A hamstring injury impeded Alder as he was run out and when Dar fell in similar fashion for 65 the middle and lower order were unable to maintain the momentum as they subsided to 211 all out. * The third team secured a thrilling last ball victory over Richmond to end the league leaders' five-game winning start.
Richmond made a reasonable start after being sent in, before Chris Darvill (3-61) claimed the first wicket and tight bowling from him and Peter Parfitt kept a hold on the scoring rate, before spinner Swani Venkataraman (4-67) took two quick wickets.
Richmond declared on 224 for eight after 50 overs and were well on top when they reduced Uxbridge to 19 for three, when skipper Rob Darvill patiently rebuilt the innings with Maqsoodi showing his usual aggression to keep up with the required run rate.
When Maqsoodi departed for 42 Richard Tinsley (16) and Nick Dowsett (31) forged vital partnerships with Rob Darvill although the asking rate climbed to almost 10 an over with 10 overs remaining. Rob Darvill fell for 55 leaving Venkataraman and Chris Darvill to continue the chase and after bringing the scores level with one ball to go Uxbridge got the run they needed to gain all 10 points.