Search

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

14:40 19 May 2014

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

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 Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Arsenal sent a message to the rest of the Premier League after an impressive display of power and glory at the West Ham United’s London Stadium this evening by winning 5-1.

Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen both scored twice while Heung-Min Son was also on target as Tottenham strolled to a 5-0 home win against Swansea at White Hart Lane. Here are five talking points.

Yesterday, 22:30

Mauricio Pochettino says he has used a much-needed week off to focus on “the bigger picture” with his players and to stress the importance of being mentally ready to play at full intensity every three days.

Yesterday, 12:00

Mauricio Pochettino says it has been difficult for Moussa Sissoko to get into a rhythm at Tottenham and show his best form after three months of interruptions.

Yesterday, 09:15

Mauricio Pochettino admits Tottenham were a little hasty in selling Gylfi Sigurdsson to Swansea, conceding that the Iceland international would have been a “perfect player” for his squad.

Thu, 22:30

Mauricio Pochettino says Harry Kane’s latest contract extension shows the striker is motivated by a love of Tottenham rather than money.

Thu, 14:15

Mauricio Pochettino admits he is concerned about Erik Lamela’s hip injury, which is not improving as quickly as expected, while centre-back Toby Alderweireld is still not certain to return against Swansea on Saturday.

Thu, 09:00

Two heads are better than one, the saying goes – and that’s certainly been the guiding principle behind the establishment of Blacksmiths FC.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate 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

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now