Hampstead deny Ealing victory in ‘tremendous advert for the league’

George Adair struck 73 for Hampstead against Ealing. Pic: Paolo Minoli

George Adair struck 73 for Hampstead against Ealing. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Hampstead denied second-placed Ealing victory in a high-quality encounter in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Ealing’s Robbie White struck 151 as the hosts made 293, and Elliot Opie then took 7-66 – the second game in a row that an opposing bowler had taken seven Hampstead wickets, following David Burton’s 7-57 for Richmond.

But that was not enough to secure them victory. Indeed, George Adair (73) and Jamie Gibson (55) helped to give Hampstead a chance of victory at 202-4 – but the visitors ended up settling for a losing draw at 259-9.

The chairman of Hampstead’s playing committee, Nick Brown, said: “This was a tremendous advert for the league, there was a lot of good cricket played.

“Under normal circumstances, if you have a batter scoring 151 and a bowler getting 7-66, you could reasonably have expected to win, so in that respect I imagine Ealing would be disappointed – but I think we gave them a strong run for their money with the chase.

“I don’t think we are far away. We are not winning games primarily because of outstanding individual performances from opposition players as opposed to being beaten by ‘better teams’ - but that depends how you define that.

“Certainly consecutive seven-fors is pretty unusual. It’s certainly a run we’d like to arrest on Saturday [against Indian Gymkhana].”

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Ealing elected to bat and started strongly with opener Chris Peploe (43) and White sharing a 122-run partnership to take the hosts to 127-1.

Archie Fellowes (3-40) and Freddie Fairhead (3-103) took three wickets apiece but Chris Wakefield (19), Opie (24) and Leigh Parry (16) helped White to boost the score to almost 300.

Hampstead also made a strong start to their reply as Adair and Gibson took them to 141-2 – and Jaahid Ali (26) and Liam Hughes (37) then put on 60 together, reaching 202-4.

Hampstead needed 92 to win at just over a run a ball so there was all to play for – but they then lost four wickets for just 10 runs, leaving Jack Biddulph (20), Charlie Wedgwood (14 not out) and Fellowes (6no) to bat out the remaining overs and avoid defeat.