Hampstead produced ‘best all-round performance of the season’ in Ealing draw

Hampstead's Rich Banham appeals for a wicket (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo).

Hampstead's Rich Banham appeals for a wicket (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo). - Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo

The Lymington Road club were one wicket away from a fine victory in the Middlesex County Premier Division

Chairman Nick Brown praised Hampstead after a hard-fought contest away to Ealing in the Middlesex County Premier Division on Saturday.

The visitors batted first and declared on 232-6 from 5 overs with Rob Keen (26), Sam Evison (67), Ben Frazer (51) and Suresh Peiris (25 not out) making key contributions.

In the field, economical bowling by Ajit Sambhi and Frazer ensured Ealing couldn't get above the run-rate and eventually they finished on 197-9.

Although Hampstead only picked up two points from the clash, they could be proud of their efforts against the joint-leaders of the division.

Brown said: "Ironically, in spite of only getting a losing draw, this may well be our best all-round performance of the season.

"Having been put into bat after the delayed start, we were always going to have the worse of the conditions and indeed, it was very tough early on, Mungo Russell in particular was excellent.

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"However, our application with the bat was excellent, firstly Robbie Keen and then Sam Evison both grafted to get us out of a sticky position.

"Ben Frazer and Jack Biddulph (16) then added some momentum to the innings and it was finished off by Suresh Peiris and Matt Watson (17*)."

Ollie Wilkin's 41 off 31 balls gave Ealing the strong start they needed, but Frazer was able to dismiss him on his way to 4-50 off 17 overs.

Sambhi backed the all-rounder up with 4-62 from 18 overs with captain Watson only using four bowlers.

It worked well enough with Hampstead reducing Ealing from 176-4 to 194-9 before they finished 36 runs short of the victory target.

Chairman Brown added: "It's fair to say Ealing got off to a flying start, a typically hard hitting innings from Ollie Wilkin had us on the back foot, but Ben got both the openers and we were able to get a foothold back in the game after Ollie was out.

"Ealing could only muster 29 in 11 overs after having scored 90 in the previous 16.

"At 176-4, there was probably only one winner, but 58 off about eight overs was going to be a stretch.

"When Ajit got Ryan Farrell, we were able to take complete control of the rest of the game, we took 5-19 in the next six overs and almost won the game."

Hampstead are still sixth in the table despite such a strong showing, but are now three games unbeaten in the Premier Division.