Cricket: Williams keeps up Tunbridge Wells’ title hopes at Blackheath

TUNBRIDGE WELLS travelled to the Rectory Field to take on last year’s Kent League Premier Division winners, who are currently enduring a summer to forget.

Wells won the toss and chose to bat, but this misfired when the skipper Chris Williams, who has been in top form, was removed with the third delivery of the innings.

Another wicket fell to Tanweer Sikandar to leave the visitors in trouble at 15 for 2.

But Michael Waller stood firm with a watchful innings of 42 from 84 balls.

The home attack was not denied for long, however, as Sikandar collected 4 for 39.

He was ably supported by Dipayan Paul (3 for 16) and Jahid Ahmed (2 for 34).

After 32 overs Wells had been reduced to 103-6 before Alex Williams found an ally in the resolute Ian McLean (31).

They combined to add a crucial partnership of 68 for the seventh wicket, taking their side to relative security during a year when runs have come at a premium in the champions’ home.

Williams struck two fours and two sixes in a highly responsible 57 from 75 balls, and the tail wagged to post a probable par total of 193.

The hosts’ reply also suffered early inroads as Dave Smith and Isaac Bepey took a wicket apiece.

Then Sikandar was joined by George Wells and the third wicket added 50 as the visitors offered a profligate number of extras – 37 in total.

Finally Sikandar was trapped in front of the wicket by Bepey after building a seemingly impregnable 47 from 71 deliveries.

From there on, Wells were in command. Smith repeated his home feat as he again removed Bangladesh Test star Mohammad Ashraful.

The score slid from 127 for 5 to 149 all out as Wells raced to a 44-run win, completing the double over the Londoners.

Smith returned 3 for 28 while Waller snapped up 2 for 5 and Bepey took 2 for 30, though the victory margin was compromised by the high number of wides and byes.

Wells thus consolidated their fourth place in the table, yet they can still give Bexley a run for the title if Sevenoaks and Beckenham slip up in their next two meetings.

The postponed Vice Presidents Day sees the Vine visit the Nevill on Saturday (August 10).


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