Hampstead brush off Wembley but fail in cup

Hampstead moved to within a win of second-placed Finchley in the Middlesex County League premier division after victory at Wembley on Saturday. However, Paul Weekes outfit were made to work hard for the p

By Patrick Mooney

Hampstead 275-5 Wembley 136

Hampstead moved to within a win of second-placed Finchley in the Middlesex County League premier division after victory at Wembley on Saturday.

However, Paul Weekes' outfit were made to work hard for the points by the last wicket pair who defied the bowlers for nearly 20 overs before the No 11 was eventually caught at slip by Imraan Mohammed, off the bowling of Mohammed Akhtar.

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Earlier, Hampstead, having been asked to bat first, racked up 275-5 from only 55.1 overs with openers Brandon Buckley (81) and Mohammed (86) putting on 172 for the first wicket.

Their onslaught, which included 24 fours and five sixes, allowed Weekes to declare early, a decision which proved decisive in the face of Wembley's late order resistance.

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Unfortunately, the home side's other batsmen were unable to show as much determination, falling to 87-9. Dexter Thomas was the pick of the bowlers with 4-45 before Wembley were finally dismissed for 136.

Hampstead now face runaway league leaders Ealing at Lymington Road tomorrow.

However, the following day Hampstead's involvement in the Evening Standard Trophy ended in dramatic fashion against Waltham at Lymington Road.

Having been set 242 to win from 50 overs Weekes' side were looking good, requiring less than a run a ball from the final 10 overs with six wickets in hand. But the pressure of some excellent spin bowling left a crumbling middle and lower order one run short of their target in the final over.

Hampstead had put themselves under pressure from the start, allowing Waltham's batsmen to score 83-3 from the first 15 overs.

Only Zac Khan made good use of the new ball, taking three wickets. On a pitch that suited the slower bowlers, Weekes finished with 2-26, while the other bowlers struggled to contain Waltham's batsmen.

Hampstead's reply had got off to solid start with openers Mohammed and Gary Headley punishing anything loose in an opening stand of 83 before Headley was adjudged caught behind for a well-made 47.

Waltham's spinners then made Mohammed and new batsman Weekes work hard for their runs, but the pair guided their side towards a position from which they could close out the game.

However, once that partnership had perished, the remaining batsmen were unable to hold on and Hampstead were all out for 240.

l Calthorpe (160) recorded their first Middlesex Championship League win of the season despite a poor batting display at Old Lyonians (160) on Saturday. Batting first, Calthorpe looked in control at 124-4, thanks mainly to Phil Jenkins (37) and Hitesh Goswami (20), before collapsing to 160.

In reply, Calthorpe's bowlers came to the rescue, led by Sasha Rhoden (4-42) while Jenkins and Leo Wood took two wickets each.


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