Hampstead hold nerve at Harrow and eye back-to-back wins

Hampstead players face the camera before their Middlesex County Premier Division opener at Harrow St

Hampstead players face the camera before their Middlesex County Premier Division opener at Harrow St Marys (pic: Hampstead CC). - Credit: Archant

Chairman Nick Brown praised the impact of David Graham and new signings Rich Banham, Ben Frazer, Suresh Peiris and Callum Jackson

Hampstead host Ealing this weekend in the Middlesex County Premier Division off the back of a fine win at Harrow St Marys.

The Lymington Road club got over the line on Saturday with seven balls to spare, chasing down 204 to beat the new boys.

Nick Brown, Hampstead's chairman, said: "We're pleased to make a winning start to the season. It was a game we were in control of for the most part, but in the end we had to scramble over the line."

Matthew Watson won the toss and put Harrow St Mary into bat first and they got up to 203-6 from their 50 overs.

Ben Frazer (2-37) and Rich Banham (2-11) impressed at the start of the innings and Suresh Peiris (1-23) and Scott Barlow (1-47) backed them up to restrict the hosts.

Brown added: "We got excellent performances from a number of our new guys. Rich was superb with the new ball, and he and Ben established a tight grip on the game. In fact we were very impressive for the first 20 overs.

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"A lot of the credit for our impressive start in the field needs to go to David Graham, he arrived recently from Australia where he had been the President of North Sydney CC.

"David approached us, wanting to get involved at the club and we have asked him to restructure our practice and to take responsibility for the first-team on match days, he's made an immediate impact, the pre-match warm up is unrecognisable from previously.

"Our new overseas player Suresh did a great job with the ball too. It was his first bowl in England aside from a couple of net practices, his 10 overs for 23 runs demonstrated a lot of control, which was exactly what we were hoping for."

Opener Callum Jackson got Hampstead's chase off to a good start with 76 at the top, but the next best score was 35 from Peiris.

In the end, they needed 19 not out from Barlow to see them over the line in the 49th over of their innings.

"George Adair and Mubasher Hassan are both out with injury at the moment, so we had to reorder our batting line up, fortunately Callum wanted to open and he was superb," Brown added.

"He knows Harrow's Tom Barber from their time with England under-19s, which probably helped as Tom is a real handful, especially in league cricket, his innings made the difference.

"In addition to his bowling, Suresh showed us enough with the bat for us to expect more useful contributions from him as the season goes on.

"But in the end, we were indebted to Scott. He's a really important part of our team and demonstrated his batting ability again on Saturday."