Richmond's 1st XI secure the Middlesex Double with a 4 wicket win over North Middlesex in the Middlesex Cup Final.
Richmond 1st XI's domination of Middlesex cricket in 2018 was completed with another thrilling run-chase as the lads beat North Middlesex by 4 wickets in the Final of the Middlesex KO Cup. Played at Ealing's Corfton Road, the match was a fitting end to the Middlesex Senior club season with two very good clubs competing for the final honours. North Midd won the toss and chose to bat. Richmond got the best possible start as David Burton bowled England Under 19 youngster Luke Hollman first ball. But, after that North Midd's batsman dominated moving the score along at a very good pace. At the half way stage, a score in excess of 280 looked a distinct possibility. However, the brakes were applied very successfully by the left-arm spin pairing of Abdullah Nazir and Bhavesh Pankhania, and slowly but surely, North Midd's run rate dropped. There was a flourish towards the end, helped by some lax fielding, but in the end North Midd reached 257 for 7 off their 45 overs. At the break, Richmond's batsmen seemed confident of achieving the target, buoyed no doubt by the confidence generated over the season of chasing down large totals. Will Phillips and Cormac McLoughlin got us off to a positive start before Cormac as dismissed for an excellent 30 off 31 balls. Will and Ben Compton took added 49 before the former holed out to long-on. Abhishek Jhunjhunwala joined Compo and the pair added 30 in quick time before Abhi was adjudged LBW. Adam London and Compo then added another 40 before Compo, having completed another excellent half-century, played on. 167-4 - 91 needed off 13 overs and North Midd marginally ahead. However, yet again Daniel Stanley showed his skills as a finisher and he and Adam continued to play intelligent cricket and inch us closer to the target. But with 7 overs to go Adam was bowled for 43 and once again the momentum seemed to shift back to our opponents. The Richmond faithful grew nervous as skipper Greg King joined Dan. Kingy has not enjoyed the best season with the bat and, whilst he and Dan managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over, boundaries were hard to come by. With 3 overs to go 33 runs were required. It was now or never. A single for Dan was followed by a wide. Next ball, Kingy went big - hitting straight into the gardens at the top end of the ground. This was followed by an excellent reverse sweep for 4 and a 2 to deep cover. A quicker dot ball followed but off the final delivery Kingy managed a paddle shot and another boundary. 18 off the over and 15 required off the last two. A dot ball was followed by a couple of single before Dan managed to bisect the boundary fielders at deep mid-wicker before inside edging for a second boundary. 5 were required off 7 balls and the game almost won. Annoyingly Dan was then run out attempting an unnecessary second to leave 4 required off the final over. Kingy, Alex Griffiths and Kingy again brought the scores level and it was Griff who dispatched the 4th ball of the over to the boundary to secure the win and the Middlesex Double! It was a fitting end to a magnificent season and everyone who played a part in the League and Cup campaigns should be congratulated. This side has now won 13 consecutive games since 23rd June and this was the 5th major run-chase off the season. Each has been outstanding but in many ways this was the sweetest. So Richmond wins the League for the 4th time in our history and the Middlesex Cup for only the 2nd. Massive congratulations to Greg and the players for an outstanding effort.