Search

Aga’s on fire as Hampstead triumph away at North Middlesex

14:40 19 May 2014

Hampstead

Hampstead's Ragheb Aga was the top scorer in the match against North Middlesex, hitting 65. Pic: Max Flego

Max Flego Sports Photography

Ragheb Aga led Hampstead to victory at North Middlesex with a crucial knock of 65 as the reigning champions picked up their first victory of the season in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Mubasher Hassan bowls for HampsteadMubasher Hassan bowls for Hampstead

After a false start the previous weekend, when rain forced most County League games to be abandoned, Hampstead got the defence of their crown up and running by beating their newly-promoted hosts.

Mubasher Hassan took 4-33 while Zak Khan clamed 2-18 to dismiss a young North Midd side for 158 at Park Road in Crouch End, and Aga then struck 65 as the visitors reached their target with three wickets in hand.

Asked to bat on a juicy wicket, North Midd lost their homegrown teenage opening pair, Connor Nurse (4) and Zulfi Azom (4), early on due to disciplined seam bowling from Khan and Aga.

Evan Flowers rode his luck for a while, surviving a series of appeals to post 26 before becoming the first of four victims claimed by young left-arm seamer Hassan, who also removed Michael Clements (3).

Hampstead's Zak Khan (left) bowls North Middlesex's Nick Brand at Park Road in Crouch End. Pic: Max FlegoHampstead's Zak Khan (left) bowls North Middlesex's Nick Brand at Park Road in Crouch End. Pic: Max Flego

North Midd’s middle order failed to gain traction after a succession of promising starts – Tom Nicoll (14) and Maruf Chowdhury looked at ease before a suicidal run-out saw Chowdhury depart for a well- compiled 27.

The lower order showed considerable fight, with some explosive hitting from John Mills (17) and Nick Brand (32) adding some starch to the total before North Midd were bundled out for 158 from 54 overs.

Hampstead openers George Adair (26) and Rob Jones (8) started the chase positively with some early boundaries before Jones was caught by Flowers off debutant Joel Hughes.

The Geordie paceman and Nick Brand (2-31) applied the brakes and former Middlesex man Ben Scott was run out for 11, while Freddie Fairhead was snared lbw by Brand (2-31) and Adair was caught behind by another debutant, 17-year-old wicketkeeper Matthew Cracknell.

That left Hampstead 66-4 and, although Hassan and Aga steadied the ship and added 40 runs together, Hassan (14) fell to a diving outfield catch from Flowers off the bowling of North Midd skipper Nicoll (1-32) and the game was up for grabs.

Nicoll’s bowling continued to provide chances for the home side, but after surviving a drop at slip, the class of Aga (65) took the game away from North Midd as he became the only player in the match to post a half century.

He was eventually caught by Nicoll of the bowling of Ed Bird (2-32) but Liam Hughes (5), Charlie Cooke (16 not out) and Archie Fellowes (0no) took Hampstead across the line.

The chairman of Hampstead’s playing committee, Nick Brown, said: “We’re happy to have won, however it should have been more comfortable.

“We were very good with the ball. Ragheb and Zak took control from the start and North Middlesex were never able to get anything going.

“We’re also very pleased with the contribution we are getting from Mubasher with the ball. He has always been capable of getting wickets, but this season he has added more control and if he can continue as he has started he will get a lot more overs this season than last year, which will help up spread the bowling load.

“To lose seven wickets on a good surface chasing 160 was disappointing, we are much better than that. I liked our aggressive approach, but without Ragheb scoring 65 we may have turned what should have been a routine win into a defeat.”

North Midd captain Nicoll said: “Hampstead are a quality side and they thoroughly deserved the win, but we had our chances and there is no doubt that we can compete at that level. We are a talented young side with a lot of improvement left in the tank.”

Latest Sport Stories

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says there are many ways to run a football club and create a successful team, but the key is to show absolute belief in your plan to inspire confidence around you.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham’s decision not to sign a striker in January is part of a long-term strategy which will help them through “a very tough period” during the construction of their new £400million stadium.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says talk is cheap and that actions speak louder than words when it comes to Tottenham’s title chances.

Tottenham's Dele Alli. Pic: PA

Mauricio Pochettino says Dele Alli will undergo tests in an attempt to discover why he felt dizzy against Norwich on Tuesday – but he expects the 19-year-old to be available to face Watford on Saturday.

Harry Kane (left) and Toby Alderweireld

Toby Alderweireld says he wouldn’t swap his Tottenham team-mate Harry Kane for any of the world’s strikers.

Wed, 16:45
Saracens' Maro Itoje (right) tries to barge his way past Bath's Horacio Agulla at Allianz Park on Saturday

England coach Eddie Jones believes Maro Itoje delivered his best performance for Saracens in Saturday’s record fightback against Bath.

Wed, 16:28
Kingstonian goalkeeper Rob Tolfrey denies Wingate's Ahmet Rifat (centre). Pic: David Stevens

Wingate & Finchley striker Rob Laney bemoaned the brilliance of Kingstonian goalkeeper Rob Tolfrey as the Blues were defeated 2-1 on the road on Monday.

Wed, 16:16
Shaun Dixon in action for Highgate Harriers. Pic: Dieter Perry

Shaun Dixon and Ben Noad helped Highgate Harriers to repeat their 2012 success with victory in the South of England Championships on Saturday.

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe