Brown hails Hampstead’s 300 while Hornsey captain rues missed chances

Middlesex County Cricket League - Premier Division Hampstead (4pts) 306-6 Hornsey (1) 224-8

Former county stars Ben Scott and James Cameron starred as Hampstead passed the 300-mark to secure a winning draw for the second successive weekend in the Middlesex County League Premier Division.

Sumeet Sharma took six Hornsey wickets but the hosts held on, with their final pair successfully defending the last five balls to secure a point at 224-9.

Scott had been the main man the previous Saturday, notching an unbeaten 167 on his debut as Hampstead racked up 366-6 against Ealing – and he was at it again against Hornsey.

The former Middlesex CC man survived a dropped catch en route to making 90, while his ex-Worcestershire team-mate James Cameron made 71.

Liam Hughes (43) and Ragheb Aga (30 not out) also made strong contributions as Hampstead declared on 306-6 after 59 overs.

Hornsey made a good fist of their reply at their Tivoli Road home, with Imraan Mohammed scoring 60 against his old club and Richard Wharton (80) getting his best score for the club as the hosts reached 113-1.

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However, Hampstead’s Sharma (6-43) applied the brakes with a strong performance, and when Wharton departed at 186-6, Hornsey were playing for a point.

Patel was a key man in ensuring that his side remained unbeaten, making 44 runs alongside Wharton, Will Notley (7) and Sam Hickingbotham (0) before being dismissed with the first ball of the final over.

That left Hornsey with their final pairing as Bhasker Patel joined Ed Wharton in the middle - but he successfully defended the last five balls to secure a point as the home side finished on 224-9.

The chairman of Hampstead’s playing committee, Nick Brown, said: “Although we are disappointed not to win after being largely in control for the second week running, we are very happy with how we have started our season.

“We thought that our batting looked strong on paper, but we are doing the business on the field and I think this is the first time we have ever scored more than 300 in consecutive league games.

“It was a very professional performance and everyone was pleased that Jimbo [Cameron] got runs. The external spotlight was on him as he has just left the pro game and these runs will help him – and us – a lot.

“We are also delighted to have Sumeet back at Hampstead. He is a terrific multi-tooled cricketer – a tremendous fielder, a great option with the ball and a really talented batsman.

“There is a really good vibe, everyone has settled in very quickly. Myself and the rest of the committee couldn’t be happier.”

Hornsey skipper Patel said: “We let them off the hook, we dropped four catches and one of them was costly. We dropped Ben Scott when he was on 23, and he went on to make 90.

“We didn’t take our chances, we didn’t field as well as we can and if we had done then maybe they would have ended up with around 240 rather than 300-odd – but they also bowled better than us.

“It was a flat wicket, I think 300 was par and we got what we deserved really. We didn’t play well enough to win but we didn’t deserve to lose either – we competed well and one point was about right.

“The pleasing thing is that every batsman has scored runs in the early part of the season, in the league and the cups, and we’ve got the best part of 600 runs across our two league games so far. That wasn’t the case at the start of last season.

“Hampstead are a strong team, they’re a new-look side. I usually know most of their team and I only recognised three or four faces.

“They had seven or eight new players so they’ve been busy and I think we’ve faced one of the stronger teams we’ll play this year. I’d tip them to be right up there, probably in the top three.”

Hornsey are sponsored by Greene & Co, the north London estate agents.