Cricket: Tunbridge Wells' McLean secures thrilling win over Sandwich
22nd May 2019
Sandwich Town 237-9 lost to Tunbridge Wells 238-6 by 6 wkts
TUNBRIDGE WELLS are in a three-way tie at the head of the Kent League Premier Division alongside Beckenham and Lordswood after an impressive win at the Nevill.
Chris Williams won the toss and inserted the visitors but his opening attack of Ari Karvelas and 18-year-old Isaac Bepey could make no inroads.
Zak Fagg (35) and Tom Chapman shared a vibrant opening partnership of 84 in 16 overs.
It was left to second-change bowler Ian McLean (3 for 20) to make a double breakthrough, bowling both openers. Chapman departed for a brisk 45, which included five fours and a six.
There followed a subdued period where ten overs brought just 18 runs with Mark McLean helping to keep the run-rate down.
Michael Waller then stepped up to grab his first five-wicket-haul in the Kent League, returning 5 for 55. The score edged along to 139 for 3 with 13 remaining in the allocation.
Kent players Jordan Cox and Grant Stewart (31) added 63 for the fourth wicket, but Waller and the home catchers steadily broke down the advance.
Cox went on to make 67 from 89 balls with five fours, holding the innings together, and a late flourish brought the visitors’ total up to 237 for 9.
The reply was delayed by a short shower of rain, and after an early setback Chris Williams and Christian Davis added a masterly 74 for the second wicket.
They were both in imperious touch as Williams made 42 with six fours and a six, while Davis’s 31 featured four fours and a six.
Their stand was cut short when Rory Smith (3 for 48) broke through in a key spell.
The reply then slid to a troubled 119 for 5 with 18 overs left to get another 119 to win. Now Alex Williams was joined by Ian McLean in a rescue mission where they had to maintain a rising tempo as well as play safely.
The pair then put on 80 for the sixth wicket in 13 overs with Williams scoring his third consecutive league half-century.
He struck 64 from 61 balls with six fours and a six, but his dismissal in the 45th over left Wells needing 39 from 32 balls as the tension mounted.
McLean was joined by Karvelas (22 not out) to take up the chase at 199 for 6, and the daring duo improvised brilliantly – with just three dot balls as they ran for everything.
The crowd cheered them in as the fine win was completed with four balls to spare, McLean Snr remaining unbeaten on 46 with four boundaries.
Tunbridge Wells now travel to Bexley on Saturday (May 25).