Cricket: Bexley’s Callum MacLeod too strong for Tunbridge Wells

Cricket: Bexley's Callum MacLeod too strong for Tunbridge Wells

TUNBRIDGE WELLS arrived at Manor Way jointly holding the lead in the Kent League Premier Division but were undone by a cohesive all-round effort from hosts Bexley.

Callum MacLeod, the Scottish batsman who inflicted a historic defeat on England last year, amassed a century before Jason Benn dismantled the Wells top order.

Visiting captain Chris Williams won the toss and inserted the home side. Early inroads were made by returning all-rounder Dave Smith, who captured two wickets in two balls to leave Bexley struggling at 29 for 2 after ten overs.

But MacLeod then joined Matt Cross to lay down a strong foundation, withstanding the fiery Wells attack, then consolidating in a dominant stand worth 118 from 27 overs.

The Scot scored 106 from 125 balls with 11 boundaries and Cross, with 46 from 99 balls, proved a staunch ally.

Alex Williams (2 for 35) stepped in with two scalps but then the fifth wicket raised a further 50 runs as MacLeod was joined by Adam Ball (28).

Smith returned to dismiss both and return figures of 4 for 40, and the innings was brought to an abrupt end as five wickets fell for four runs.

Marcus O’Riordan (3 for 43) picked up three victims in the final over with his spin as Bexley were all out for 232.

The reply quickly faltered with Benn grabbing three wickets to leave Wells on 31 for 4.

Sam Stickler remained resolute and found some assistance from Alex Williams (20) and Ian McLean (42) but when the sixth wicket fell at 96, he had only the tail for company.

Ari Karvelas (31) struck three sixes to offer some hope but the bowlers cleverly rang the changes, and the innings closed on 163 with 33 balls remaining, 69 runs short.

Benn was the pick of the Bexley attack with superb figures of 4-14, abetted by Freddie Foster’s 4 for 43 in a trademark gutsy team display.

Tunbridge Wells play host to 2018 champions Blackheath on Saturday (June 1).

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