Hampstead Ladies overcome Wanstead to claim fourth spot

Hampstead's ladies celebrate. Pic: Tom Roberts

Hampstead's ladies celebrate. Pic: Tom Roberts - Credit: Archant

Hampstead’s ladies finished fourth in the North London Women’s League after a strong performance against Wanstead at Lymington Road.

Elle Mitchell hit an unbeaten 68 off just 52 balls while Punam Dahya struck 44 as Hampstead made 160-3 from their 30 overs.

Mitchell then took 20-2 and Jess Black claimed 21-2 as the visitors were restricted to 124-7.

The home side featured three of the club’s 10 new players this season and each contributed to the result, which was essentially a play-off for fourth and fifth place.

Losing the toss, Hampstead were put into bat, and openers Sian Culley (4) and Punam Dahya (44) set an attacking tone to the game.

For the bulk of the season Hampstead have fielded first, preferring to be chasing with the willow, but yesterday they proved they could easily look to employ the ‘bat first’ tactic next year.

The batsmen seemed to relax knowing there was no target looming over them, and consequently some played their best innings of the season.

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Ange Bonora replaced Culley but was bowled first ball by Natalie Wheat (2-17), who had dismissed Culley the same way.

However, Mitchell proceeded to strike eight boundaries, while Harriet Millard (22 not out) also played her part as the home side finished on 160-3.

The pressure was on Wanstead to attack, which meant risks had to be taken – and Thea Graham and Sapna Patel were in fine form in the field.

Rachael Hewer (1-16) bowled Wanstead’s experienced opener Hannah Newman for a duck, and Black (2-21) then dismissed both Saba Nasim (8) and Wheat (0).

When Mitchell (2-20) snared Mariam Hasan (20), Wanstead were 28-4, and the run-rate became too much for them as they finished 37 runs away from the target.

Skipper Culley, who added yet another string to her bow by keeping wicket with confidence, said: “It was an excellent team effort for our final league match, with important contributions from both experienced players and newcomers.

“We’ve faced tough opposition in the league this season, so next year we’ll be hoping to step it up a gear and get back to the top of the table.”

Hampstead have a chance of silverware next weekend when they play in the finals of the T20 Cup.

Culley added: “Hopefully we can carry the momentum of this win into next week’s Twenty20 finals day and bring some silverware back to Hampstead!”