Cricket: Tunbridge Wells’ mighty Karvelas feasts on Sandwich

A STUNNING all-round performance from Ari Karvelas propelled Tunbridge Wells to a comprehensive victory on the Kent coast.

The 25-year-old fast bowler, who has played four times for Kent Second XI over the past month, hit six sixes batting at No 8, then caused havoc in the home side’s top order.

Despite the overnight thunderstorms and heavy rainfall, The Butts was playable and Wells captain Chris Williams chose to bat first after winning the toss.

The skipper was once again in fine form, recording his third consecutive Kent League fifty at a very healthy pace, and adding half-century stands for the first two wickets.

But 154 for 2 became 164 for 5 as Williams was bowled for 91 off 94 balls with seven fours and two sixes, and Matthew Von Poppel (4 for 45) took three quick wickets.

Sam Stickler (47) steadied the ship with brother Will, but with four overs left the visitors had only reached an under-par 198 for 7.

At that point Karvelas produced a pyrotechnic display of hitting power, hitting an unbeaten 47 from 18 deliveries including that half-dozen sixes, and the total rocketed up to 254 for 7.

The fiery South African-born paceman Karvelas then grabbed two wickets in two balls in the first over of Sandwick Town’s reply and they were reduced to 0 for 2.

Home captain Cameron Fletcher (32) slowly put the innings back together in a half-century stand with Finley Beaman but Wells counterattacked with three quick wickets.

There was more resistance as Rory and Alex Smith (40) ground out 57 for the sixth wicket but once they were gone five wickets fell for 13 runs.

Sandwich Town were all out for 132 with 12 overs unused, losing by 122 runs. Alex Williams snapped up 2 for 29 and Ian Mclean took 2 for 18, while pride of place went to Karvelas (3 for 23).

Wells retained their fourth place in the Kent League Premier Division while Sandwich slipped to sixth as Lordswood swept past them with an impressive run-chase against third-placed Sevenoaks Vine.

League leaders Bexley now travel to Tunbridge Wells on Saturday (July 27), on Vice-Presidents’ Day at the Nevill.

Clean sweep for Wells

Tunbridge Wells Cricket Club set a record at the weekend when all four of its top teams won for the third time this season. The clean sweep was engineered by respective captains Chris Williams, Sam Watts, Amos Kemp and Charles Walker.

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