Hampstead hammer Finchley to stay on course for Middlesex title

Steve Clark

Steve Clark - Credit: Max Flego

Hampstead kept up their challenge for a first-ever Premier Division title with a fine batting display in a seven-wicket win over Finchley.

After Finchley made 212, with Chris Beaumont-Dark claiming 4-11 for Hampstead, the home side cruised to 214-3 thanks to Steve Clark’s 95 and 73 for Graham Clark.

Nick Brown, chairman of Hampstead playing committee, paid tribute to the duo, in particular the contribution of Steve Clark, the club captain.

He said: “It was a shame that Steve didn’t complete his hundred as he has deserved one this season. I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves – he was one of only four players to score more than 350 runs and get 20 wickets last season in the Premier Division.

“He has 400 league runs this season as well as 15 wickets and is the number-two ranked seam bowler in terms of runs per over. He has the respect of all the players and we hope he will be our captain for a number of years.”

Jake Milton made 55 for Finchley, supported by Keerthi Ranasinghe (43) and Hassan Khan (38), but five of their team-mates failed to even reach double figures, leaving Hampstead in with a good chance of victory.

And they duly obliged, led by the two Clarks. Both were eventually removed in quick succession by Jake Milton (3-21), who also bowled Mubasher Hassan for a duck. Jaahid Ali (19 not out) and Liam Hughes (15 no) batted sensibly, however, to see Hampstead home with the minimum of fuss.

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“It was an excellent performance by us with the ball,” added Brown. “It was very hot, but we bowled in the right areas and most importantly, we caught very well.”