Cricket: Sandwich’s strength in depth leaves Tunbridge Wells with heat stroke

Cricket: Sandwich's strength in depth leaves Tunbridge Wells with heat stroke

TUNBRIDGE WELLS rued to absence through injury of opening bowler Paddy Sadler as they were put to the sword by Kent Premier League leaders Sandwich at The Butts in sweltering heat.

Dave Smith shared the new ball with Nick Sale, and Zack Fagg, who is noted for his partiality to any Wells attack, blasted a 57 off 48 balls with three towering sixes.

He put on 78 in an opening stand with Tom Chapman, who then took over the aggressive role. When he fell a boundary hit short of his half-century on 47 off 54 balls, the visiting attack managed to take a grip,.

The hosts’ powerhouse middle order was swept aside as four wickets fell for 49 runs. But Sandwich bat deep, and Grant Stewart and Rory Smith posting 57 for the sixth wicket. 

Stewart notched a crucial fifty off 64 balls and then Ashleigh Cox unleashed a boundary blitz which saw the No 8 score 33 off 19 deliveries as Sandwich closed on 261 for 8.

Wells’ chase prospects were harmed by two cheap -dismissals but Charlie Russell-Vick (26) stood firm and supported his captain Alex Williams (23) as the visitors passed the 50-mark. 

But Russell-Vick offered a return catch to Jan Gray, and then a match-turning spell of 3 for 34 from Alex Smith saw the reply the score drifted to an undistinguished 118 for 8. 

The ninth-wicket pair of Nigel Keess (20), and wicketkeeper Ed Hyde (21 not out) gained some respectablity and earned an important batting point to keep Wells above local rivals -Sevenoaks Vine in the table, but Wells subsided to 161 for 9, losing by 100 runs.

In Division One, Linden Park’s in-form Freddie Hulbert (3 for 27)  wreaked havoc among The Mote’s top order after the visitors were inserted.

But a match-saving stand for the sixth wicket between Chris Back (52 not out) and Richard Coles (38) enabled The Mote to post 205 for 8 off their 50 overs. 

Driaan Brewer stood firm with 50 but received little support as the hosts’ reply fell away to 143 all out, losing by 62 runs.

In Division Four, Cowdrey lost by one wicket in a thriller at Addington. The Tonbridge side made 153 thanks to late heroics by Jason Carver (42). Ross Pilkington (3 for 23) and Glen Warner (3 for 26) kept the reply in check but Addington sneaked it on 154 for 9 despite suffering two run-outs at the death.

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