Hampstead stay top of the table
Batsman Matthew Watson hits 79 off 90 balls during win against rivals Highgate
31 May, 2018 — By Steve Barnett
Luke Hollman inspired North Middlesex to victory with a 103-run knock against Finchley
MIDDLE-ORDER batsman Matthew Watson helped Hampstead continue their table-topping start to the season in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League on Saturday.
Watson came in at number 5 and quickly set about scoring 79 off 90 balls as Hampstead beat neighbouring rivals Highgate by 59 runs at their home ground in Lymington Road.
Watson built strong partnerships with Oliver Redwood, who scored 21, Fred Fairhead, who chipped in with 18, and Chris Beaumont-Dark, who made a late stand of 40, as the home side recovered from a struggling 63-3 to finish their 50 overs on 263-8.
Opener Shane McNamara got Highgate off to a bright start as he scored a half-century before being caught by George Adair off the bowling of Will Roberts. Highgate gradually put runs on the board, with eight of their XI scoring 14 or more.
But with only McNamara showing any real staying power, and with Roberts (3-18), and Mubasher Hassan (2-35), in commanding form, Highgate were skittled out for 204 in the 47th over. Hampstead skipper Liam Hughes also played his part, taking three wickets without conceding a single run.
The victory leaves high-flying Hampstead joint top of the table with Richmond on 31 points.
North Middlesex are in third place after they bounced back from their two-wicket defeat against Highgate last time out by securing a 63-run victory over rivals Finchley on Saturday at their Park Road ground.
The star of the show was Luke Hollman, who lives in Tufnell Park. The batsman smashed 103 off 141 balls in a mighty knock that included seven fours and four sixes. With Will Vanderspar adding a further 71 runs and Evan Flowers scoring 62, North Midd ended their 50-over spell on 308-6.
Finchley did their best to chase down the target, with opener Sumit Jadav hitting 46 and Sumeet Sharma scoring 42. But all-rounder Hollman proved just as dangerous with the ball as he was with the bat, taking three wickets at the expense of 42 runs, as Finchley were bowled out for 245.