It’s picture perfect as James Cameron directs Hampstead to victory

James Cameron hits out for Hampstead

James Cameron hits out for Hampstead - Credit: Max Flego

Middlesex County Cricket League - Premier Division Hampstead (10pts) 277-9 Finchley (0) 105

James Cameron led Hampstead to their first league win of the season on Saturday, stealing the show with bat and ball.

Cameron, who recently retired from the professional game, top scored with 83 as Hampstead made 277-9 from 60 overs – and he then took 3-20 as Finchley were skittled for 105.

Hosts Hampstead were asked to bat, and they initially struggled to make headway at Lymington Road.

Robert Jones went for 15 and Ben Scott, who had scored 257 across his previous two Premier Division innings, was caught for two.

Opener Steve Clark (22) made his exit, and he was swiftly followed by Mubasher Hassan (1) and Liam Hughes (4), leaving Hampstead in a bit of trouble at 59-5.

However, Cameron was getting into his stride and he shared an important 122-run sixth-wicket partnership with Ragheb Aga.

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Aga eventually departed at 181-6, having notched 71 off 76 balls, and his replacement Anthony Wilkinson (15) helped Cameron to boost the total to 228-6.

Wilkinson and Cameron both departed without adding to that tally, but Raoul Colvile (9), Charlie Cooke (30 not out) and Chris Beaumont-Dark (9no) all added useful runs before Hampstead declared at 277-9.

That proved to be plenty as Finchley struggled against the Hampstead bowlers, who shared the wickets around.

Clark (3-42) and Aga (3-33) made early inroads, restricting the visitors to 50-4, and Cameron then dismissed Ayush Sahota (25), Imran Qayyum (1) and Sunil Tailor (17) to leave the visitors on 100-8.

The end swiftly followed, bringing Hampstead their first 10-point haul. They sit third in the table, three points behind leaders Ealing.

The chairman of Hampstead’s playing committee, Nick Brown, said: “It was important for us emotionally that we got our first league win on Saturday after the part-disappointment of the previous two games.

“It was particularly pleasing that we showed that we could win games bowling second, and that we were able to turn a game around from losing position, because at 59-5 we were in real trouble.

“Jimbo [Cameron] and Ragz [Aga] played exceptionally well and turned a losing position into a platform that enabled us to get another big score, but I need to also give credit to Charlie [Cooke] and the rest of the lower order.

“They did a great job and it demonstrates the quality that there is in the side - these are good players and could certainly bat higher up in the order.

“We won’t get carried away with one win though. We go to Twickenham next week and they just beat the champions, so there is no complacency. We will certainly have to play well to get a result, and we have a couple of players out, but we have quality to come back into the side so we shall just have to see how we go.”