Cricket: Tunbridge Wells teenager wrecks Lordswood

Cricket: Tunbridge Wells teenager wrecks Lordswood

TUNBRIDGE WELLS got their season up and running with a hard-fought win at Lordswood – their first against these opponents since 2010 and only their second this century.

Teenage left-arm paceman Isaac Bepey was the driving force behind Wells’ first win of the season in the Kent League Premier Division after last week’s opening defeat to Beckenham.

It was third-place against last year’s runners-up as Wells travelled to Martin Grove, where the Medway club’s venue has been renamed the Peter Edmonds Ground in honor of a club stalwart and benefactor.

For the second week running the match was decided by the Duckworth-Lewis method after rainstorms and hail led to several delays.

The toss was won by Lordswood, who asked Wells to bat first with the surface and outfield still awkward after recent downpours.

Conditions were very testing for the batsmen with uneven bounce, and although the home attack was depleted Tunbridge Wells slid to 50 for 3 after 14 overs, with Taylor Chandler capturing 2 for 24.

Will Stickler joined his brother Sam and they began to rise above the difficulties with the fourth-wicket stand posting a hard-fought 49.

Sam Stickler then found another ally in Alex Williams in a partnership of 51  and the score slowly gained respectability.

The former reached a fine half-century but finally fell for 68 off 89 balls with eight fours and two sixes as Chris Piesley took the limelight, snapping up 5 for 34 to knock the innings apart.

Williams was able to reach a half-century of his own, scoring 54 off 56 balls including four fours and three sixes, and the visitors closed on 201 for 9 from their allocated 44 overs after the recalculations were made.

Lordswood’s reply was upset by a sensational start from 18-year-old left-arm pace bowler Bepey, who ripped out the top three for just seven runs, playing in just his fifth Kent League Premier match.

The fiery Ari Karvelas (2-11) backed him up and was highly economical, and the home innings sagged to 70 for 7 before a recovery took shape.

However, Michael French found a staunch ally in Hugh Scott (33) and they counter-attacked in a valiant eighth-wicket partnership which raised a vigorous 67.

DLS reset the target to pass at 209, and French gave hopes of a victory but he was left stranded on 69 not out with seven boundaries.

The return of Bepey put paid to any remaining home hopes as he grabbed 4 for 31 and Michael Waller chipped in with 2 for 37 to leave Lordswood 59 runs short on 149.

Tunbridge Wells now entertain Sandwich Town next at the Nevill on Saturday (May 18).

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