Harrow’s young cricketers have booked a return trip to Lord’s, but only after an early scare at the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games Indoor Cricket male qualifiers at the weekend.

The defending champions lost their opening group game to Havering at Harrow Leisure Centre on Saturday.

But they fought back with thumping victories over Merton and Lambeth where they bludgeoned an impressive 102 and 126 runs respectively in their ten over innings.

They were then thrown a lifeline when Havering slipped up in their last game when chasing Merton’s imposing total of 112 and were bowled out for 77.

It meant a fourth successive trip to Lord’s for Harrow and for team manager Raj Kanagaraj the possibility of a fifth title in just nine years.

Kanagaraj said: “Because we are reigning champions, it’s added pressure to retain the title.

“We had 50 turning out for the trials and we have 12 in the squad. I wanted the boys to focus on the day, to go and enjoy it and to play the basics. The first match we didn’t bat the full overs, we were all out for 59.

“But we really put pressure on them fielding and bowling. We needed Merton to beat Havering and that’s what happened.

“This is my ninth year and this is the sixth year we have qualified. It’s a great achievement considering the talent of the boys and the standard of the Borough teams participate in the competition. The boys are looking forward to Lord’s and we are going to enjoy the atmosphere.

“I would like to thank all the parents, players and Aruna Jayawardene for helping with the training and scoring on the match day for all their help, support and commitment and finally thank Harvi Singh from the Harrow Sports Development Team for all his help and support and commitment.”

To find out more about the competing or volunteering at London Youth Games, log on to londonyouthgames.org.