The 1st XI produced what can only be described as one of the best performances ever in the top flight by a Southgate team on Saturday to demolish the 2015 Premier League champions Hampstead and remain in the Premier division. The chief architect of their downfall was Fawad Mullahzadah ( 8-20 ) who produced one if not the finest bowling display ever to be witnessed at the Walker.
It’s the best figures for a Southgate bowler ever in the top division ( verified by Ricky Gunn ) so well done to Fawy on his monumental achievement.
Read the scorecard in the link alongside the match report below.
SOUTHGATE 1 v HAMPSTEAD 1
Hampstead 64 ao (19.3 overs )
Yet another team currently at the top of the Premier League became victims of this young Southgate side as Hampstead were beaten by 6 wickets at The Walker Ground on Saturday.
This correspondent has commented on his search for superlatives to describe some of this team’s victories this season but for this game there is only one suitable.
Captain Faisal gambled by winning the toss and inserting the visitors and it proved a highly successful move. A sensible decision for two reasons: 1. There was a fair chance of rain which could bring those great pals of teams batting second Duckworth and Lewis into play and 2. In the previous home match against Finchley the wicket had dried out nicely for the second innings after being a little difficult earlier in the day.
The collapse of Hampstead to an all out total of 64, though, had nothing whatsoever to do with the wicket. It was down to a masterly display of bowling by the Southgate opening pair, Fawad (8-20) and Faisal (2-40).
Laziness has prevented me in previous weeks in stating Fawad’s full name but I think this week it deserves full recognition.
Fawad Mullahzadah, only one syllable short of one for each wicket! A superb example of top class swing bowling, creating havoc with arguably the strongest batting line up in the league by bowling straight and fast. He was backed up by the skipper Faisal and a superb fielding display totally different to the previous week’s rather pallid and lifeless performance.
A fine catch from Tom Edrich, which enables him to retain his place as the top catcher in the league, a magnificent overhead catch at short mid wicket by Arnie Sahota and another excellent wicketkeeping performance by Phil Dunnett backed up the bowlers perfectly. For the third week running Phil chose the right moment to stand up to Fawad and forced a batsman to play an injudicious stroke. Wickets falling in such circumstances are not coincidence and Phil later proved his all round ability when, standing back to Fawad he took a magnificent one handed catch off an inside edge to finish the innings. Phil, too, is at the top of his personal sector with most wicketkeeping victims throughout the league.
Southgate’s sometimes brittle batting was unlikely to make the ‘chase’ an easy one, although Michael Stevens scored a fluent 23.
Jamie Jouning, in his first game since his injury in the opening match of the season, may have been unlucky with an lbw decision, Arnie was soon caught at slip and Lassie mis-hooked and was caught off a skier. At 40-4 there were concerns. Tom Edrich (17*) however, batting in his usual sensible way was joined by Suresh Kalagara (11*) promoted for the occasion and the pair managed to steer their side to victory without losing another wicket.
Tom and Southgate had a large slice of luck when he was dropped at slip and the player involved dislocated his finger and had to be taken to hospital by the Downton Abbey butler Carson (the actor Jim Carter, who is Hampstead’s chairman).
We have now played the top three teams in the league five times this season and won four of them. Does that make us the best team in the league ? Answers on a postcard, please.
Master statistician Ricky Gunn has provided me with following best bowling performances by Southgate players in the history of the Middlesex County Cricket League:
Mathew Creese 9-65 v Harrow Town in 2011.
Fawad Mullahzadah 8-20 v Hampstead in 2015
Alan Wyatt 8-32 v Finchley in 1974
Dominic Fox 8-35 v Enfield in 1989
Michael Dunn 8-41 v Enfield in 1980
Bob Hailey 8-43 v Enfield in 1979
Colin Saville 8-55 v Eastcote in 1999
Bob Hailey 8-58 v Brondesbury in 1979
Dominic Fox 8-61 v Shepherds Bush in 1989
Bob Hailey 8-67 v Teddington in 1979