Cricket: Twin centuries as Tunbridge Wells thrash champions Blackheath
5th June 2019
Tunbridge Wells 281 for 5 beat Blackheath 155 by 126 runs
TUNBRIDGE WELLS made hay in the sunshine at the Nevill against last year’s Kent League Premier Division champions, with two centurions and a comprehensive victory.
It was the first time that Wells recorded two hundreds in the same innings since 2012 - in a fixture that was also against Blackheath. But they will hope that it is not a bad omen, since they were relegated later that season.
Home captain Chris Williams won the toss and elected to make first use of a fine batting track. Wells started steadily, but the skipper was the first wicket to fall.
That brought Christian Davis in to partner Marcus O’Riordan, and their superb partnership took the game away from Blackheath.
Davis continued his fine early-season form while O’Riordan was at his stylish best, and together they put on 197, a club record for the second wicket in the Kent League.
Davis compiled 105 from 118 balls with 11 fours, the same number that O’Riordan struck as before he was run out off the final ball of the innings for 113 off 133 deliveries.
Four quick wickets fell at the end as the hosts amassed 281 for 5, Bangladesh Test player Mohammad Ashraful proving to be the most expensive bowler.
The reply set off with an explosive assault from George Wells, who unleashed a series of savage blows, and Blackheath reached 50 in just 34 balls.
But the canny Dave Smith did not falter and had Dipayan Paul well caught, then produced a slower ball that removed Ashraful caught and bowled for a single.
Wells was superbly caught for 43 off just 24 balls, and the innings then lost its momentum as the score slid from 56 for 0 to 76 for 5 in a handful of overs.
Resistance from Charlie-Sid Speller (31) and Jahid Ahmed (38) brought 70 runs for the sixth wicket, but the timely introduction of O’Riordan’s quicker off-spin (2 for 25) ended any hopes of the chase succeeding.
Three wickets fell at 148 and the visitors were dismissed for 155 after 36.4 overs, with Smith picking up 3 for 41 and his opening partner Ari Karvelas taking 3 for 35.
The victory propelled Wells back to second place in the table. They now visit local rivals Sevenoaks Vine on Saturday (June 8).