Bessborough dropped off the top of Middlesex Championship Division One for the first time in five weeks after a losing draw at Wycombe House.

The hosts had Bessborough’s batsmen in trouble at 39 for four but a well-crafted knock of 70 from Nirav Ghantiwala – the club’s leading batsman this season with 417 runs – helped the side finish on 171 all out from 55 overs.

Effective bowling from Bessborough set the team on course for victory with the opposition on 84 for four after 24 overs.

But they couldn’t find a way to displace Wycombe’s number eight and ten with the hosts finishing on 146 for six.

Bessborough’s second team moved up to fourth in Middlesex Division Three with a comprehensive 154-run win away at Wycombe House.

Hemmen Jutla came the closest of any Bessborough player to reach a century this season with a fine 97 after a strong opening stand from Ishan Shah (35) and Adil Parker (62) helped them to 289 for six.

The win was wrapped up swiftly as Wycombe were dismissed for 135 in 28 overs – pace bowler Rohan Desai taking a season’s best of five for 35.

Elsewhere, the Thirds suffered a heavy defeat against Indian Gymkhana that keeps them mired in the Middlesex 1987 League Division 1 relegation battle. Bessborough Fourths returned to winning ways with a dramatic 24-run victory in their game against relegation-battling Wembley Fifths.

Batting highlights came from William Gill, with a blistering 56, and a more classical 45 from skipper Sahil Hath saw Bessborough finish with 221 runs.

Wembley replied well and at one point looked to take the game after sloppy Bessborough fielding, but Eddie Idrees hit Thavarasa Kandasamy’s middle stump on the penultimate over to seal the victory.

The win saw the side move up to fourth in Middlesex 1987 League Division Five.