League leaders Daman squeeze home against Bloomsbury Royals

David Stranger-Jones struck a half-centruy for Coach & Horses in their defeat to Clapton & Oval

David Stranger-Jones struck a half-centruy for Coach & Horses in their defeat to Clapton & Oval - Credit: Archant

Daman preserved their position at the top of the North East London Cricket League with a narrow one-wicket victory over Bloomsbury Royals at London Fields.

The table toppers put the visitors into bat and economic bowling cranked up the pressure on the Royals openers, but Farhad Hussain stepped up the run-rate to eventually end on 60.

The wheels started to come off, however, as Mukhtar Shekh picked up four wickets in as many overs for just eight runs, showing his class.

The league’s leading wicket-taker rolled through the tail, leaving Daman with a respectable target of 147.

Daman’s opening pair of Imran Mussagi and Owais Salim got off to a decent start, yet the home side struggled on a bowler’s paradise, leaving them well below the required run-rate.

But with his side deep in trouble, Muntazir Kima (27) proved to be the hero of the hour, dispatching the Royals attack to all corners of the park and despite four quick wickets, it was he who proved crucial in bringing up another victory for the hosts.

Elsewhere, on a muggy and grey afternoon on the North Marsh, Clapton and Oval made it two wins from two as they overcame Coach & Horses by seven wickets.

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Coach were put into bat on a slow-looking pitch and despite losing an early wicket, they managed to maintain a healthy run-rate in the first 15 overs.

The talismanic David Stranger-Jones was brutal on anything loose as he raced to 52 before being bowled by Kaspar Pedersen.

Clapton had Abdul Munim to thank as his deceptive medium-pacers ripped through the middle order.

John Turner (45) and Edgar Medlicott (31) steadied the ship as Coach finished with a total of 207-8 from their 40 overs.

In reply, Clapton got off to the worst possible start, losing an opener in the very first over to an excellent slip catch.

But a sublime innings from Marcus Bowerman (108 not out), expertly paced and elegant in execution, supported by Tom Taylor (62), saw the home side to a comfortable victory with three overs and seven wickets to spare.

At Millfields, Baring Up are still waiting for their first points of the season after they lost by seven wickets to Tower Hamlets 3rd XI.

In another one-sided game, Baring Up were put into bat and posted 204-8, with the performance of Mitchell Greenham (48) the only highlight of their innings.

Though the Tower Hamlets run chase began badly with openers Rony Mamun and Sad Ahmed dismissed, the home side wrested back the initiative in splendid style.

Akshan Ali (91no) and Yogesh Dinesh (65no) unleashed a flurry of shots to cruise to victory by seven wickets.

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