Hampstead hoping Adair is back for fixture at North Middlesex

The latest news from the local cricket scene (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

The latest news from the local cricket scene (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

The two local clubs will want to be involved in the battle for the Premier Division title this year

Hampstead and North Middlesex will both target a second win this season when they do battle this weekend at Park Road.

The home side, led by captain Joel Hughes, head into the Middlesex County Premier Division contest following an impressive win over Finchley last time out.

Matt Watson's Hampstead had no such joy on Saturday after they lost at home to Ealing, who had defeated North Middlesex on the opening day.

It places the local clubs fourth and sixth in the table respectively with this weekend's hosts on 12 points and the visitors on 11.

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However, Hampstead have been handed a boost ahead of the derby encounter with opening batsman George Adair set to return.

"I'm disappointed with the loss, however last season we weren't competitive with Ealing and on this occasion we were," chairman Nick Brown said.

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"We were also down by two of our best three batters, with both openers George and Mubasher Hassan out.

"I think that's a burden we're struggling with at the moment, but we hope George will be back on Saturday.

"Mubasher should be back soon after too, so with a full strength batting line up, I think we will be competitive with everybody."

Hampstead pushed Ealing close last Saturday, but suffered a 36-run defeat at Lymington Road.

The away side won the toss and batted first and made 230 before they were all out in the 49th over.

Will Roberts caught the eye for Hampstead with 4-30 and Suresh Peiris claimed 3-48, but late-order runs by Scott Ensom, who hit 32 not out, proved crucial.

In reply, Hampstead's opener Jack Biddulph scored 78 from 89 balls, but the next best effort was 32 from Ben Frazer.

Captain Watson scored 15 from number seven, but once he was out the writing was on the wall and Ealing dismissed the hosts for 194 in the 46th over.

North Middlesex had plenty to celebrate last weekend though, as they held their nerve to triumph over Finchley by 17 runs.

Batting first, England under-19 star Luke Hollman struck 135 off 150 balls to help the home side get up to 299-5 from their 50 overs.

Evan Flowers (51) and Liam O'Driscoll (48*) provided support, while in reply Finchley were set 219 from 33 overs to win.

They got close, but Hollman's 3-55, along with Hugh Teesdale's 2-34 and O'Driscoll's 2-18, helped restrict the visitors to 201-9.

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