Kent League Round-Up: Tunbridge Wells win National T20 title

Friday 24th September 2021

Kent League Round-Up: Tunbridge Wells win National T20 title

Tunbridge Wells Cricket Club are the ECB National Club T20 champions, after beating Barnard Castle Cricket Club by five wickets in the final of the competition, played at the County Ground, Northampton on Sunday.

The North East side made 125 for 5, with Karl Carver unbeaten on 55 not out, and Kent Second XI player, Bailey Wightman, taking 2 for 21. The match was in the balance, as Wells slumped to 84 for 5, but a match winning partnership of 44, between Alex Williams, and Matt Barker, saw them to victory, 128 for 5, with nine deliveries to spare. Williams was 53 not out, and Barker 35 not out. Williams, had a remarkable sequence of not out innings in the competition, scoring 94 in the quarter final, 56 in the semi, and 53 in the final.

It was a highly successful weekend of T20 glory, for the whole of Kent cricket, following the county sides brilliant Vitality Blast trophy win against Somerset, and Bexley made it a hat trick of T20 victories for Kent clubs when they were victorious in the Kent League T20 final, beating Sandwich by a convincing 64 runs, at Polo Farm, Canterbury, to complete their most successful season ever, having also been crowned Premier Division Champions.

Bexley scored 155 for 5 from their 20 overs, thanks largely to an opening partnership of 106 between Calum Basey 58, off 40 deliveries, and George Haley, 53 from 48 balls. Former Kent Second XI player Jan Gray took 2 for 24, and Matt Frewin 3 for 26, for Sandwich, who then crashed to 91 all out in 17.1 overs in their reply. Kent Academy student, Jas Singh, who played for Kent’s first team in the recent County Championship victory over Derbyshire, took 2 for 28. Former Kent spinner, and Bexley captain, Adam Riley 2 for 19, and Shaun Evans, 3 for 5, his wickets coming in one over.

It was a very disappointing weekend for the Sandwich Club, as they were also beaten in the Conference Cup, losing by 10 runs, at Brentwood to East Molesey.

Having already been promoted from Division One to the Premier Division, Minster (Sheppey) played their final match of the season, a re-arranged fixture, at home to Bromley Common which was previously cancelled because of Covid issues. The visitors ran out seven wicket winners, but Minster still finished top of the table with 258 points, 15 ahead of runners-up Hayes.

Minster were bowled out for 131 in 32 overs, James Thompson, 59 not out, Aditya Anoop 4 for 26, Hayden Burke, 3 for 39. Leigh Walker, was 45 not out, as the visitors coasted to victory, 132 for 3, in 25.1 overs.

Two players from Old Wilsonians, whose ground is in Hayes, and who were promoted from Division Two as champions, were top of the Leagues batting and bowling charts. Matt Golding, scored 946 runs, including a top score of 153, and Dave Ellicott-White, took 45 wickets, with best figures of 4 for 17.

Former Kent Second XI player, Will MacVicar, a member of the promoted Hayes team, was the outstanding all-rounder, scoring 721 runs, with a top score of 140, and 41 wickets, 5 for 19, his best bowling.

Kent Second team, and Bickley Park player, Elliott Hooper, finished the season with 500 runs and 34 wickets, and four players from champions, Bexley, made major contributions throughout the season. Opening batsman, Calum Basey, scored 734 runs, former Kent all-rounder, Adam Ball, 519 runs, and Jas Singh, took 26 wickets, with a best of 5 for 28, whilst Kent Second team wicket-keeper Ben Aldred, took 36 catches, the most in the League.

It was a credit to everyone involved in Kent League cricket this season, that the full fixture programme got completely finished.

League Administrator, Brian Smith, said it had been the most challenging and difficult season he had ever encountered as a result of the Covid pandemic, and they came very close to having to cancel the season altogether, after around 30 or more matches had to be postponed and re-arranged because clubs could not field teams, through losing players.

“It has been tough, and a very long and unpredictable season”, he said “but I am thankful and delighted that we have got through it, thanks to everyone involved”.

By Peter Burrowes