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Hampstead return to winning ways with first victory in seven games

18:13 07 July 2014

Ragheb Aga (centre) celebrates with his Hampstead team-mates. Pic: Max Flego

Ragheb Aga (centre) celebrates with his Hampstead team-mates. Pic: Max Flego

Max Flego Sports Photography

Hampstead finally got back to winning ways at the weekend, with captain Steve Clark hitting a century as the reigning champions picked up their first league victory for seven games.

Clark (120) and Ragheb Aga (50) shared a 102-run fourth-wicket partnership as Hampstead posted 251 – and Freddie Fairhead then took 5-59 while Archie Fellowes picked up 3-23 as visiting Twickenham were bowled out for 229.

The chairman of Hampstead’s playing committee, Nick Brown, said: “We’re all very relieved. The game swung for and against us a couple of times, but we got the win in the end and that’s all that matters.

“Steve Clark and Ragheb Aga put us into a very strong position and at 214-3 after 43 overs, we were looking at a total of 300-plus, so it was bitterly disappointing to only end up with 251 and it was an experience that we need to learn from.

“Nonetheless, Steve was tremendous. He leads from the front every week and has now scored 200 runs in his last two innings, so he is in great form and we can only hope it continues.

“We can’t be completely happy –something isn’t quite clicking – but we are getting closer and we have good players.”

Asked to bat, Hampstead’s openers reached 57 before Rob Jones departed for 30, followed closely by Ben Scott (2).

Fairhead added 25 before being trapped lbw, and Aga then joined opener Clark in a profitable partnership which took the hosts over 200, with Clark (120) eventually being bowled by Parminder Singh (4-79).

Aga reached his half century as Hampstead reached 239-5, but they only added another 12 runs as five batsmen fell in single figures, leaving the home side all out for 251 after 56.3 overs.

Hampstead started well with the ball, with Fairhead removing Kamran Toor for a duck and Aga (1-39) prising out Babar Choudhary (15), leaving the visitors 38-2.

But opener Eugene Berger (59), Carlos Nunes (32) and Clint McCabe (62) all made strong contributions before being removed by Fairhead, helping Twickenham to 179-5.

There was all to play for but David Russell (5) became Fairhead’s fourth successive victim, and Fellowes (3-23) then removed Rashid Mullahzadah (11) and Simon Dunning (4), leaving the visitors 208-8.

Fairhead completed his five-for by dismissing Singh for 22, and Fellowes ended the match in the 46th over by having Arunjit Sandhu (1) caught as Twickenham fell 22 runs short.

Next up for Hampstead is a trip to face league leaders Teddington and Brown said: “It will be a test because they are going well, but they know and respect our ability, so we are looking forward to it.”

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