Twickenham batsman Jean-Pierre Cronje smashed 118 as his side beat Shepherds Bush on Twickenham Green on Saturday to take a firm grip on the Middlesex County League Division Two title race.

Cronje’s efforts saw skipper Carlos Nunes’ men pile up 251-8, as third-placed Bush struggled to keep a lid on the run rate.

The young paceman Rashid Mullahzadah (4-29) and Parminda Singh(3-47) then took control with the ball for Twickenham as the visitors were dismissed for 137.

The result moved Twickenham 14 points clear at the top of the table after rivals Richmond slipped to a surprise defeat to North Middlesex at Old Deer Park.

James Wood hit 93 as the hosts scored 223-5dec only to see North’s skipper Adam Holmes top score with 65* as they won with two wickets and nine balls to spare.

In the Premier Division, Joe Austin (83) and Richard King (64) helped Teddington to 262-8 at Finchley, before Duncan Wood (3-45) and Nicholas Ellsmore (4-33) ensured the visitors got the winning draw.

Teddington host Hampstead, Twickenham host Action and Richmond go to Brentham, tomorrow.