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Shepherd’s Bush win on their first game back in top flight against Southgate

PUBLISHED: 17:31 11 May 2016 | UPDATED: 17:31 11 May 2016

Sam Howell in action for Shepherd's Bush (Pic: Paolo Minoli)

Sam Howell in action for Shepherd's Bush (Pic: Paolo Minoli)

Archant

Shepherd’s Bush (10pts) 180

Southgate (2pts) 166

Sam Howell played a starring role as Shepherd’s Bush opened their Premier Division campaign with a 14-run victory over Southgate on Saturday.

The hosts won the toss and elected to bat first but lost an early wicket as Tom Felton fell to Rashid Mullahzadah for just four, the first of four wickets the Southgate bowler would claim.

It was a 52-run fifth-wicket stand that really gave Shepherd’s Bush the edge in this tight encounter and they had Ian Massey and Miles Illingworth to thank for that work. Massey was the side’s top scorer, racking up 37 runs and hitting five boundaries in the process.

While Massey was finally dismissed, trapped leg before by Ashley Sivarajah, Ilingworth hit a respectable 28 of his own before Mullahzadah struck again to limit the damage.

Howell proved to be the real match winner for Bush as his eventful day began with the bat, the eighth man to take to the crease.

Howell hit an unbeaten 24, including two fours, to help the hosts reach 180 all out.

His partners at the crease could not keep up with him as James Kidson, William Speer and Ed Morse could only add five runs between them before Southgate wrapped up the Bush innings.

It was when he took the ball that Howell caused real trouble, inspiring Bush to a hard-fought victory.

The Southgate innings started as it would go on; Howell claiming a wicket by clean-bowling opener Alvin Durgacharan for just one run.

Howell’s next victim was Michael Stevens, caught behind by Dan Davis. Faisal Mir was the third to go at the hands of Howell, another Davis catch removing him for 13.

The same combination struck yet again to see Luke Hutton depart for nine as Howell claimed his fourth wicket of the game.

A mention must go to Southgate batsman Ayush Sahota, who top scored with 46 and almost single-handedly dragged Southgate to their victory target.

But the day belonged to Bush after Mukesh Bhatt was dismissed for a solitary run and Southgate were all out for 166. Howell ended up with incredible bowling figures of 4-25 as his side claimed 10 points.

n Elsewhere in Division Two, Harrow St Mary’s began their season with an impressive three-wicket victory over Finchley.

Finchley racked up 267-7 from 45 overs, but HSM chased that down with three balls to spare thanks to half-centuries from Aalok Soni and Nikin Ruparelia.

Meanwhile, Wembley were beaten by 89 runs in their opening game against Barnes.

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