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Middle man denies Hampstead win

29 June, 2018

HAMPSTEAD halted their losing run in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League on Saturday by battling their way to a hard-fought draw against Shepherd’s Bush.

In a match of fine margins at Lymington Road in West Hampstead, Liam Hughes’s side would probably have had all 10 points instead of just the four they ended play with, had they found a quicker way to take the wicket of middle-order batsman Ali Easton.

With Scott Barlow removing openers Henry Lewis (22 runs) and Robbie Watts (13), and Chris Beaumont-Dark also helping himself to a couple of wickets, Shepherd’s Bush were sitting on 201-6 when Easton came to the crease.

In a defiant display, he rapidly scored 63 off 72 balls before being bowled by Beaumont-Dark – helping the visitors reach 299 all out off 66 overs.

Beaumont-Dark was the pick of the Hampstead bowlers as he finished with figures of 4-71 from 15 overs.

It was clear that every single run was going to count, and so the home side set about chasing down their target.

Openers George Adair and Mubasher Hassan put 66 on the board before Adair was bowled by Dexter Marsh, departing with 25 runs to his name.

Within the blink of an eye 66-1 turned to 66-2 as Steve Clark was caught behind for a golden duck. Sam Evison, however, ensured that Clark’s early departure was but a simple blip on the scorecard as he came in and made a half-century.

The partnership between Hassan and Evison was broken up when Hassan was stumped by Henry Don off the bowling of James Kidson, leaving Hampstead on 143-3. Hassan could be more than happy with his afternoon’s work, having hit 87 off 102 balls.

Don and Marsh combined again to remove skipper Hughes for just six runs, but again the hosts steadied the ship as Matthew Watson came in and added a further 38 runs to the total to edge Hampstead closer to that winning mark. Barlow also showed good shot selection as he scored 38 not out.

In the end, however, this was a contest that was always too close to call, and, perhaps fittingly, ended in a draw. Hampstead closed play on 282-9 off 58 overs, 18 runs away from victory or, depending on how you look at it, just one wicket away from defeat.

North Middlesex were also held to a draw in their match away to Teddington.

A knock of 110 from Nick Pryde, along with half centuries from both Augustus Kennedy and Ben Williams, saw Teddington score 287-6 from 63 overs.

North Midd made a determined start with openers Will Nicoll (46) and Luke Hollman (38) taking them to 68 before Hollman was bowled by Euan Munday. Joe Cracknell and Alex MacQueen also scored 33 and 31 runs respectively.

In the end, however, North Midd just couldn’t match their rivals, taking a point as they closed on 223-9.

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