Chairman admits Hampstead must respond quickly to stand a chance of defending their title
- Credit: Archant
Chairman Nick Brown admits Hampstead need to respond quickly to have any chance of retaining their title after the reigning champions were defeated again in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League.
Having lost their opening fixture against North Middlesex, when they were bowled out for 123, the Lymington Road side fell 56 runs short in their chase against newly-promoted Shepherd’s Bush on Saturday.
Hampstead initially had Bush 20-2, but a century partnership between Andrew Wilson (56) and Ian Massey (81) got the visitors out of trouble and, although Jack Biddulph took 4-49, they reached 246-9 from their 50 overs.
Sam Evison (66), George Adair (33), Ollie Steele (23) and stand-in captain Ragheb Aga (20) helped Hampstead to reach a strong position at 157-3 in reply, but the hosts lost their last seven wickets for 33 runs and were bowled out for 190 in the 45th over.
“This is another bad result for us,” said Brown. “We were without [captain] Steve Clark and Liam Hughes but we picked a team that was supposed to have a long batting line-up and it didn’t deliver.
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“We expect to have Liam and Steve back next week but this season now needs to start very quickly for us or we will be out of the title race before it has really started.
“Full credit to Shepherd’s Bush, I thought they batted very sensibly and their total was very efficiently constructed.
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“They were in line for 270 or more, so we were quite glad to have held them sub-250 and that should have been a gettable total. It was a flat pitch but we’re not doing a good enough job with the bat, it’s as simple as that.
“We got a good start from George and Sam and, needing 100 to win off 14 overs - four of them powerplay, with seven wickets in hand - that’s a game we should be winning.”