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Shepherd Neame Kent Cricket League – week 15 review

Sunday 16th August 2015

Hartley took another step in the right direction towards winning the title this year as they totally outplayed second placed Beckenham at Foxgrove Road, writes Errol Valentine.

This opens the gap to 30 points between them and with only three matches to play Hartley now only need pick up 24 points to mathematically guarantee the trophy.

This of course assumes Beckenham win all three of their remaining games. A slip up by them next week against Bexley and a win for Hartley at home to Tunbridge Wells would see the trophy head to Culvey Close.

At the other end of the table, after another defeat for Folkestone, whose relegation was confirmed and will return to Division One in 2016.

After being invited to bat first at Beckenham, Nick Hendrie hit 38 and Dan Stickels set Hartley off at a steady pace on a wicket offering some assistance to both seamers and spinners alike.

The openers took Hartley to 86 without loss when Hendrie departed. Stickels went on to a well-made 56. The tide then seemed to turn Beckenham's way as wicket began to fall at regular intervals.

Seamer Will MacVicar took 4-27 and left armed spinner Raza Ali Dar 3-32 as Hartley rather stuttered to 179-9 when their overs ended. There then followed a quite superb opening spell by Andy Tutt and Dan Redwood and Beckenham seemed to get caught like rabbits in the headlights.

They completely imploded and were dismissed for just 63 in the 26th over with only three players just reaching double figures. Dan Redwood ended with the excellent figures of 4-13 from his ten and Jack Laraman mesmerised the lower order with his left arm spin to take 3-13.

Perhaps the pressure of knowing it was a must win game that hit Beckenham but much of the outcome, despite a few indifferent shots, was down to an excellent overall bowling and fielding performance by Hartley. On this performance their position in the table is well justified.

Bromley improved their campaign to avoid relegation as they took the spoils against third-placed Blackheath at the Rectory Field. The home side elected to bat and seemed well placed to build a good total at 113-3, Michael Thornley with 39 and Tanweer Sikander 35 but then the innings totally collapsed.

Bromley's attack of Sean Griffin (4-24) and Nathan Hill (3-12) prospered as the home side lost their final seven wickets for just 34 runs to be bowled out for a disappointing 147 in the 40th over.

Bromley were then reduced to 28-4 but Freddie Wilson steadied the ship with 23. It was though the unbroken fifth wicket partnership of 67 between Miguel Barbosa 50 and Nick Bluett 38 that finally steered Bromley safely home.

With the win by eighth-placed Bromley, Sandwich Town, in ninth, much needed maximum points to stay in touch with them, as they entertained Tunbridge Wells at the Butts. They duly succeeded.

Tunbridge Wells, invited to bat, made a decent start with Nick Selman scoring 58 and Marcus O'Riordan hit 55 and looked set for a sizeable total at 154-3.

There then followed the third major batting collapse of the day as their last seven wickets fell for 40 runs, Matthew van Poppel 4-36 and Alex Smith 3-30 doing much of the damage and Tunbridge Wells were all out for 194.

Alex Smith opened up with 40 but it was to be the unbroken fifth wicket stand of 111 between Tom Chapman 57 and keeper Rory Smith 55 that would see Sandwich Town home. They sit 26 points behind Bromley and with 54 left to play for still have an outside chance of staying up.

Zak Crawley with 59 formed the backbone of the Sevenoaks Vine total of 202-9 as they entertained Lordswood with Amjad Khan 3-31 the pick of the bowlers.

In reply Chris Piesley made 71, Amjad Khan 41 and Matt Greenwood 24 as the visitors at 159-4 looked set for victory. There then followed yet another collapse as they slipped to 187 all out to hand Sevenoaks Vine a 15 run victory. Tom Parsons with 5-43 was the outstating bowler for the Vine.

To complete the full set of batting collapses, Folkestone duly obliged as they visited Bexley. Folkestone invited the home side to bat. Aiden Griggs 52 and George Wells 38 formed the platform for Bexley.

Their middle order all chipped in with twenties but Himanshu Waingankar kept them in check with fine figures of 7-39 as Bexley were bowled out in the final over for 214. In response Folkestone were routed for 127, Himanshu Waingankar top scorer with 49 followed by extras on 18.

SHEPHERD NEAME KENT CRICKET LEAGUE

PREMIER LEAGUE,WEEK 15 RESULTS – 15 AUGUST 2015

Beckenham 63-10 lost to Hartley 179-9 by 116 runs

Bexley 214-10 beat Folkestone 127-10 by 87 runs

Blackheath 147-10 lost to Bromley 151-5 by 5 wickets

Sandwich Town 197-5 beat Tunbridge Wells 194-10 by 5 wickets

Sevenoaks Vine 202-9 beat Lordswood 187-10 by 15 runs