ECB MIDDLESEX PREMIER LEAGUE Shepherd's Bush 129 all out (56.3 overs) Stanmore 131-3 (33 overs) Stanmore (10pts) beat Shepherd's Bush (1pt) by seven wickets
BUSH'S learning curve is about to snap under the strain unless they can start posting winning totals.
For the third week in a row, the newly-promoted team discovered there are very few loose balls in the top flight, and a score above 130 has been a task too tough for Ed Reynolds and his men.
The Bush captain and Sam Dishon were the only two who got anywhere near a decent score on Saturday - and even then a combined 64 barely papered over the cracks.
"It's inexperience that's costing us," said Reynolds. "And while I'm not about to press any panic buttons, we're conscious of our low totals in the last three matches."
Mehuel Ashra was asked to make lightning strike twice and skittle out Stanmore for very little. But unlike last week, when Bush knocked over Brondesbury for 94 - there was no happy ending. Reynolds added: "Another 100 and we could have asked them some serious questions - but in the end they won at a canter, and that worried me more."
Bush are eighth out of 11 teams, and are away to bottom club Richmond on Saturday.
SOUTHALL turned in a decisive display to hammer arch rivals Osterley by 148 runs - a first five-wicket haul of the season for Younis Hakimi (pictured) doing most of the damage.
Their innings got off to a poor start as both openers departed cheaply, leaving them on 15 for two wickets, but captain Usman Asghar (79) once again batted with great style and composure to get Southall going.
He was supported by Imran Aziz (79), who continued his splendid form as the pair sprinted to a 153-run partnership by cutting, pulling and dispatching the bowlers with great force and consistency.
A quick-fire 44 from Junaid Virani and 33 not out from Aftab Choudhry piled on the agony for Osterley, as Southall closed the innings on 274-7 off 55 overs. After the interval, Hakimi (5-52) bowled with incredible pace and accuracy as he ripped out the top order.
He was well supported by the guile and trickery of Mobeen Iqbal's (3-23) spin.
Two excellent run-outs added to Osterley's woes and they were eventually bundled over for 126 to give Southall their season's first league victory. The next game is another key clash against table-topping Indian Gymkhana.