After several false starts the North London Cricket League finally began at the weekend.
Millfields witnessed defending champions St Clements and I Don’t Like Cricket serve up a tense contest in sun.
St Clements won the toss and elected to bowl on a difficult wicket, with IDLC opener Ross Legg making a well-constructed 23, as the bowlers tore through the middle order after the halfway point.
Several late blows from skipper Jack Hope helped his side reach three figures, before succumbing for just 122, having been 75-3 at the break, with Adnan Akhtar (3-42) and Nadeem Akhtar (3-22) the pick of the bowling.
St Clements made the worst possible start with fast bowler Al Collins tearing through the top order, claiming a stunning hat-trick along the way, to leave them reeling on 29-5.
A calm and assured knock from skipper Afghan Khan (28) and superb counter attacking knock by Nadeem Akhtar (32) stabilised the innings, seeing the defending champions home with 12 overs to spare.
“Credit to Collins who did not deserve to be on losing side after his earlier heroics,” said Khan.
It was a bowler’s wicket at Springfield as Hackney CC defeated Stamford Hill in another low-scoring contest.
Stamford Hill won the toss and decided to bat, a decision that after the first overs may have seemed like the right one, with a boundary being struck right away.
But it soon became clear this was a day for the bowlers, or rather one bowler in particular, Charlie Moffat.
His first over was a sign of things to come, striking with two early wickets, and he produced a masterclass in line and length bowling producing wicket after wicket.
Moffat’s spell saw him take seven wickets for just seven runs as Stamford Hill were bowled out for 42 runs in 16.3 overs.
The Hackney response got off to the worst possible start with both openers falling for ducks, but just as a game appeared to be breaking out, Paddy Clarkson decided to calm the home team’s nerves with a quickfire 23.
After he fell, Tom Mouritz calmly steered Hackney to the required target, with his 10 not out notable as being only the second score in double figures in the entire game.
In stark contrast London Fields saw Royal Sovereigns smash a huge 354-3 against Pacific.
After losing an early wicket, thanks to a superb diving catch from keeper Murtaza Siddiqui, the Sovereigns quickly found their rhythm as Dwight Alexander went on to smash a superb unbeaten 101, alongside 96 from Eraj Alexander, who hit 27 from one over before being trapped lbw just four short of his ton.
In reply, the chase was always going to be an uphill battle and Pacific ended short on 155, with Alexander following up his 96 with a superb 5-14 haul.