Cricket: Newham maintain lead at halfway stage

Newham continue to hold a 19-point lead at the top of the Essex County League Premier Division table at the halfway point of the season.

They beat Hawks by 20 runs to claim their eighth win in nine outings – the other being abandoned – as nearest rivals Redbridge won at Scintilla.

And their latest success was built on a century from Amit Midha, which helped the hosts make 281-9 from their 45 overs at Flanders Field.

Kashif Iqbal (37) and Tariq Aslam (43) gave Newham a solid start with a stand of 93, before they slipped to 112-3.

Midha put on a century stand with captain Sajjad Mirza (61) and reached 106, his first hundred of the campaign.

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Hawks batted well in reply, keeping up with the pace after Muhammad Farooq and Tauseef Rehman picked up early wickets.

Iqbal (2-62) and Wasim Majeed (2-36) picked up two scalps each as Hawks were held to 261-6.

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Newham begin the second half of the season with a trip to Hawks this weekend.

The seconds were well beaten by Hamilton Lions in Division One, after choosing to bat first at Fairlop Oak.

Newham started badly and were in trouble at 56-5 before Nadeem Muhammad’s brilliant 51 helped them recover, with good supoprt from Qamar Qureshi and Rohan Pawar, to 189.

Despite taking an early wicket, Newham struggled to make an impact with their bowling as Rahil Ali Shahzad (83) and Muhammad Rashid Hussain (67 not out) saw Lions win by eight wickets with 15 overs to spare.

And it was a similar story for the third team in their match against Grays seconds in Division Two.

Newham again chose to bat first after winning the toss, but saw their top order suffer a collapse against the new ball.

Tabish Mahmood hit six fours in his 38 and had help from Narsing Manchallawar and Muhammad Kamran as the total reached 179 in 34 overs, thanks in no small part to 54 extras, including 46 wides.

But the visitors cruised to a win inside 23 overs, with Nazir Ahmad (51 not out) and Muhammad Farhan Shafi (42) batting superbly as they won with 20 overs to spare.

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