Hampstead through to ECB National Indoor Championships finals
Hampstead became the Southern area champions in the ECB National Indoor Championships for the first time in their history when they defeated Broadstairs in the final at the Kent County Cricket Academy in Canterbury.
The day began with the two semi-finals, and firstly Broadstairs were involved in a tight encounter with Worcester Park from Surrey. Broadstairs chose to bat and were soon in trouble when Brennan slipped and failed to make his ground with the score on 14, Marshall and Narraway then consolidated scoring at around seven an over with both being able to retire after reaching their individual 25s.
The tail failed to trouble the scorers to a great extent although Ball’s second over went for 20 allowing 40 to be scored from the final four overs with Marshall reaching 30 and Narraway top scoring with 32 - setting Worcester Park 100 to win.
In reply the Hill brothers looked comfortable against Kid and Reavill and kept the rate at seven and over to start with. However, Reavill’s last over produced two wickets to set the Surrey side back. Hill and Bell steadied the ship until the former was well caught of the ceiling and wall by Smith off his own bowling.
With 48 required from the last four overs, Narraway and Smith restricted the batsmen and in the last over 14 were required with two wickets still intact. Bell went for the back wall and failed on the first two balls; seven were scored off the next two, but then Ball was run out from a leg bye leaving a six to be hit for victory off the last ball.
Ball only managed a single and he too was run out as Broadstairs won by four runs.
Hampstead had an easy victory in their semi-final, with Stony Stratford probably wishing they had not put the opposition in as Harvey and Kershen added 57 in six overs before Harvey was run out for 24.
The lower order also failed to score significantly and the Bucks side got themselves back into the game by taking three further wickets in the next three overs.
Kershen came back and went on to score 51 not out in partnership with Cooke, who ran well with him when the fifth wicket fell at 93. A further 28 were added from last two overs to give the Middlesex team a total of 121.
Stony were always behind the run rate and were two wickets down in the first four overs thanks to fine fielding, Cooke’s first over went for 14 but he also snapped up Avery for three.
Pretorius (12) was the only batsman to reach double figures but when Sharma was brought into the attack he bowled a double wicket maiden to seal the fate of Stony who were bowled out for 47 in the eighth over.
Broadstairs chose to bat first in the final and had to change their batting order due to an injury to Brennan. The pace of Lamb and Dharmaraja seemed to unsettle them and most of the early runs came from wides.
Marshall was run out in the fourth over by a direct hit from Sharma and then Narraway was caught by Cooke in the same over. Kidd (18) offered some resistance with the help of Reavill (15), but wickets fell regularly and Broadstairs were all out by the first ball of the 11th over for 70, Dharmaraja (2-13) being pick of the bowlers.
It went from bad to worse for Broadstairs as the usually accurate Reavill struggled to find his line and length, and his three overs went for 28 of which 16 were extras.
Kidd was tidy, only conceding 10 from his spell including the fortunate wicket of Kershen, who was stumped from the pads of Brennan. With two catches also being put down the Hampstead team rode their luck and Harvey (25) and Sharma (17) eased to victory in the tenth over giving them the opportunity to perform at Lord’s in the national finals on Sunday March 12.