Teddington CC - 1st XI Vs North Middlesex CC - 1st XI - Saturday 20th May 2017

Despite a fairly wet week in the run-up to the match, and an indifferent afternoon forecast, North Middlesex won the toss and elected to bat first. This approach had served them well in their first two games of the season, with the North Middlesex captain clearly thinking that was a winning strategy and a strong bowling attack would champion the otherwise bowler-friendly conditions which greeted the sides in the morning before play. This proved not to be the case. Jack Sever picked up the first wicket, clean bowling the young North Middlesex opener and sending off-stump cartwheeling. However, North Middlesex's other opening batsman, the much vaunted Will Vanderspar proved harder to dislodge. It took a moment of brilliance from the exceedingly agile Sam Cato and a minor misjudgment from Vanderspar to dismiss the opener for 18- run out attempting to take 2 to Cato at third man.

Thereafter followed an exceptional bowling display from the Teddington seamers, led initially by the self-professed all-rounder Pollock, who put in a solid 10 over spell into the wind, before being picked up by James Keightley and Charlie Hopkins. Keightley put in another exceptional bowling display, consistently beating the bat, and finishing with figures of 3-15, while Hopkins returned figures also of 3-15, in arguably his best bowling spell of the year. North Middlesex ended 77 all out, thanks to a final wicket by Oxford classicist Sam Cato.

Needing just 77 to win, the game looked in the bag at the interval, but North Middlesex were quick to remind the Teddington top order of their previous disappointing performance at Finchley the week before. After Keightley got the home side off to a good start, wickets fell in fairly short order, with Teddington reduced to 35-3 and some nervousness spreading on the sidelines. The fall of the third wicket brought Armstrong and Williams to the crease, with North Middlesex turning to their Middlesex left-arm spinner, Ravi Patel, to try to rip through the Teddington middle order. Armstrong and Williams batted tentatively, with a number of close shaves, as they edged their way closer to the North Middlesex first innings score. Armstrong unleashed some heavy hitting shortly after drinks to take the wind out of the North Middlesex sails, before hitting the winning runs off the final ball of the 29th over. Armstrong finished on 26*, including two sixes, whilst Williams walked off with 15* to his name, sealing a 7 wicket win for the 2016 League Champions.

Whilst on paper an easy victory, the final scorecard didn't tell the full tale, with the Teddington batting line-up still eager to post a big score to put some of the more vocal spectators back in their place. Next week brings Richmond, who are also 2 from 3 thus far this year, with the squad taking good momentum from this week's victory and looking to build on the ever growing confidence in the changing room.

View the scorecard