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Weekly League roundup by George Watson

Week Seventeen - 19 August 2018

Millwall crowned league champions

Division 1

Millwall were crowned 2018 league champions after an absorbing win over rivals London Tigers as Division one drew to its season conclusion. In a match which showed many similarities to the cup final last week, Millwall won the toss and Arif Ahmed had no hesitation before opting to bat. This time, Millwall learnt from last week looking a lot more aggressive, Shumon Miah hitting a confident fifty and skipper Arif Ahmed rediscovering his earlier league form, but he was eventually run out for 40, which sparked a mini collapse as Millwall went from 103-2 in ten overs to 158-7 in their allotted sixteen overs.

Once again it felt as if Millwall had fallen below par for the pitch, but in similar fashion to the cup, the Tigers lost an early wicket before Raihan Ahmed and Mohammed Fahad resumed the Tigers’ dominance with some aggressive batting. Fahad, who struck five fours and a six, was beautifully bowled for thirty-three, which sparked a collapse for the Tigers as they lost wickets in quick succession, despite having overs in the shed. Opener Raihan returned to the crease but his dismissal moments later for 51 sparked jubilant celebrations by Millwall, with the league President Burt Vandermark watching on. It was the sign-off for an impressive season for Millwall, losing just the one league match.

Sky ended second as they defeated Rose & Crown in a low scoring encounter. Opting to bat first Sky finished on 150 all out with Safreez Ahmed (54) top scoring. Sean Feeney top scored for the Crown with an aggressive 37 alongside Charlie Chalinor (33) but it wasn’t enough as Rose & Crown fell thirty runs short at 128-5.

The Division ended with Old Fallopians seeing the season out with a double century as they posted a whopping 206 against Regents. After a slowish start, Suhail Shaid smashed a superb late 46. Regents finished on 132-3 with Mark Partridge (36) top scoring.

Divison 2

Camel Lights started the week in pole position to defend their title and ended the week giving up the defence of their title following a tense defeat to Masiha. Brendan Cleaver (50) top scored and Andre Davey was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3-20 as Camels were bowled out for 123. Mashia’s reply looked all but over in the first ten minutes as in-form Sheldon Greenland and Stuart Miller both fell cheaply with the score on six. However a dynamic partnership between Thomas Taylor (53) and Gus MacKay (33) kept Masiha in the game. Despite a flood of late wickets Dam Blackwell kept his head with a crucial boundary-less innings of 15 to help Masiha to victory off the last ball. Camels had a second game of the week forfeited on Friday handing them a guaranteed top three place.

Expats took full advantage with a nail-biting win over Old Fallopians 2nd XI. Opting to bat first OF made a great start with Wasim Furqan and Matt Wake putting on 70 inside six overs. A sudden burst of late wickets held them back with Alex Hickson taking a double wicket final maiden to reduce the OF to 124. A simple chase? Should have been, with the ever dangerous Alex Hickson and Ed James putting on a confident opening partnership of 70. However when Hickson pulled and was caught for only his second dismissal under fifty this season, Expats lost a series of quick wickets and concern turned to fear. With still two overs in hand, their girlfriends cheering them on and the last batsmen Conrad Sullivan at the crease who had only ever batted twice, the match was tense but Conrad held his nerve to drive the ball out for a two to spark jubilant Expats celebrations.

Crossrail saw their penultimate-ever game end with victory over Homerton. Dan Venn’s men hit an imposing 179, with Mohammed Iqbal hitting his second fifty of the year. League secretary Gary Horseman’s superb twist-and-turn runout of Venn gave the league a first: alongside his catch of Fizroz Hussain for zero, a committee secretary removing two other committee members in the same innings in successive balls. Sadly, the feeling didn’t last, as Crossrail tore through the traditionally strong Homerton batting, knocking them down for just 116 with Sagar carrying his bat for 41.

Mad Morroccas, three games behind everyone, enjoyed a comprehensive win over Broadway. Naumann led the way with a quick-fire fifty as MM smacked 163-3. Despite an enjoyable 44 from Shah, Broadway fell short finishing on 134. Next up for Mad Morroccas is Victoria Lounge, victory for the Lounge and the title is theirs. A defeat and Expats are champions.

L&Q Living ended their debut season with victory over Pacific. Opting to bat first L&Q hit 166-4. Pacific finished on 133, with Mutz Siddiqui (44) top scoring.

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