Do or Die Time for Hammers Cricket Team

Local lads battle to reach finals of London T20 Tournament

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London T20, the cricket tournament which sees teams from 12 London boroughs battling for the top prize of over £12,000, is fast approaching the quarter finals on August 9.

And as Ben Smith, Captain of Hammersmith and Fulham's team The Hammer reports, the next weeks are do or die time as the Hammers need to win two of their next four matches to assure them a place in the finals round.

Ben says this Sunday's showdown at Low Hall sports ground in Walthamstow against Hackney is shaping up to be a thriller, with captains from both teams plotting the downfall of the other!

Last Sunday's games, played on Wandsworth Common, brought mixed results, with the Hammers beating Ealing by 27 runs, but losing to Barking and Dagenham's crack team by 63 runs.

Here's Ben's report on the day:

Following two forfeits the previous week due to a serious bout of illness in the team, the Hammers needed a win to stay in contention for the quarter final. But it was never going to be easy against joint tournament leaders Barking and Dagenham.

Barking won the toss and elected to bat, with their top three scoring runs to all corners of Wandsworth Common. The pick of the Hammers bowlers was Kamran who took two crucial wickets to well held catches in the deep, and finished with 2 wickets for 22 runs from his three overs.

A middle order collapse by Barking left five of their batsmen failing to trouble the scorers too much before a cameo performance from the number 9 saw Barking set a very respectable target of 182. Requiring 9 runs per over from the get-go the Hammers set about their task, but wickets fell early leaving the Hammers' Captain running out of partners before himself succumbing to a short pitched delivery for 28 runs from 22 balls.

Some resistance from the Hammers' tail-enders Bilau and Mohammed Altaf Khan got the team closer, but the steep run rate was too much to ask and the Hammers found themselves a good way short at the close of their 20 overs.

Following the 20 minute break between games, the Hammers' batsmen were padded up and eager to let loose on the unsuspecting Ealing bowling attack. It was this eagerness that proved the undoing of the Hammers top three and it fell to the Captain and Mohammad Altaf Khan to steady the ship.

The two batsmen gave no quarter to the Ealing bowlers, both finishing not out, with Mohammed top-scoring on 71 and Ben reaching a respectable 59.

Chasing 176 for the win, Ealing started efficiently with their opener Farhan batting extremely well before being caught at mid on for 72. Once the considerable threat of Farhan was removed, the Hammers coasted to victory following a stirring team talk that helped them hold their nerve in the field, and achieve key catches and run-outs that effectively hammered the nail in to Ealing’s coffin.

25th July 2009