MIDDLESEX CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION ONE
Old Actonians 257-3
Bessborough won by seven wickets
BESSBOROUGH won a massive 10 points with a seven-wicket victory over Old Actonians at Headstone Manor on Saturday.
It was a vital win for Borough and saw captain Danny Hawes and his men leapfrog their opponents in the Division One standings.
Hawes won the toss and asked Actonians to bat first.
The Bessborough bowlers started reasonably, but every bad ball seemed to be put away by the Actonians batsman and a score of 300-plus looked likely.
However, even though a flood of wickets failed to arrive, Bessborough managed to keep some sort of control to the run rate as Actonians declared on 257-3 off 50 overs.
The early loss of captain Danny Hawes put Bessborough under considerable pressure.
Teenage batting sensation Tharshan Kanagaraj and Alex Haniff took up the mantle and after a shaky start they put together a magnificent 124-run partnership, which got Bessborough back on track.
Kanagaraj scored his maiden league 50 for the firsts as he scored 81 off only 105 balls in an innings that included 13 boundaries. But when Kanagaraj was dismissed, Bessborough needed another 106 from 20 overs to leave the game hanging in the balance.
Talha Junaid joined Haniff, who had just passed 50, to build another big partnership.
Junaid started to unleash some brutal strokes as he struck 45 off 35 balls, which included two massive sixes, as he took Bessborough to the brink of victory.
With Junaid dismissed, wicket-keeper Will Grogan joined Haniff at the crease as the pair put on a final 42 runs to lead Bessborough to a brilliant seven-wicket win with Haniff finishing 85 not out and Grogan on 20.
The win leaves Bessborough in fourth place, only 10 points behind leaders MTSSC, who surprisingly lost by four wickets to lowly Old Lyonians this week.
Elsewhere, Bessborough’s second XI were beaten by 17 runs at Wycombe House in a game which could have gone either way.
An excellent bowling performance from spinners Mitesh Vyas and club chairman Nitin Modha, who both claimed four wickets, bowled out Wycombe House for 189 from 52 overs.
In reply, Bessborough were reduced to 13-4 and only a big defeat looked likely.
However, half centuries from Rishi Patel (60) and Kibreeth Rameez (51) gave Bessborough an outside chance of victory.
A flurry of late wickets meant Bessborough fell an agonising 17 runs short.
The thirds won their first league game of the season by beating Indian Gymkhana by seven wickets in a bad tempered game. Priyatharshan Sathananthan (71) and Vivek Patel (54) leading the charge.
Bessborough fourths grabbed a well earned point after securing a losing draw at Turnham Green, courtesy of a final wicket stand of 44 from Shyam Lakhani and William Gill.
Meanwhile, a scorching summer’s day provided the perfect backdrop for an amazing President’s Day at Bessborough Cricket Club on Sunday.
Legends both past and present came together to celebrate president Graham Sainsbury’s 60th birthday and also his 50 years of service to the club.
Bessborough, led by Hawes, posted 206-4 in their 49 overs. The President’s XI, which included Sainsbury’s daughter Chloe, were bowled out for 123 and the club earned a victory by a margin of 83 runs.
Former Bessborough legend Mark Ramprakash, who is now on the Middlesex coaching staff, was unavailable to play due to work commitments but made an appearance as he popped down for the after-match entertainment.