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Shepherd Neame Kent Cricket League, week one review

Monday 11th May 2015

It was excellent to see the Premier League commence with only little weather intervention experienced on the first weekend over the last few seasons,writes Errol Valentine.

Title holdersSevenoaks Vinewere given a severe test byBeckenhamat Foxgrove Road. Invited to bat on a surprisingly straw coloured wicket for early May, Beckenham set off a brisk pace, skipper Chris Isles scoring 64, Alex Blake 46 and Will MacVicar 40, but none capitalised on their starts.

The Vine clawed back the scoring rate in the latter stages but with a few lusty blows towards the end Beckenham were bowled out for a respectable 258 in the final over. The Vine innings never really got going and despite 38 from Anthony Shales and Thomas Hardy 35, they slipped to 75-5 and then appeared determined to hold out for a draw.

Beckenham rang the changes and set attacking fields but on a docile pitch only two further wickets fell and the Vine ended on a slightly mediocre score of 168-7 thus securing 5 points to Beckenham’s 13.

Blackheathbegan the season with a strong performance by defeatingLordswoodby 58 runs. Blackheath skipper Chris Willets elected to bat first and after the loss of an early wicket Tanweer Sikander joined Michael Thornley who moved the score forward.

Thornley departed for 44 but Sikander continued to thrive and was finally dismissed for a run a ball 106. Dipyan Paul chipped in with 37 and Blackheath closed on 249-8 from their 55 overs. Daljeet Singh was perhaps the pick of the Lordswood bowling with 3-65. The Lordswood innings began poorly against a decent Blackheath attack and at 67-5 were floundering.

Chris Piesley with 58 added some respectability to the total but wickets fell steadily as their host bowled them out for 185 in the 50th over. To add to his century, Tanveer Sikander took 3-33 with the other wickets shared around, to earn Blackheath 20 points.

BromleyentertainedHartleyat Plaistow Lane and were asked to bat by their visitors. Richard Selvey-Clinton with 80 and Miguel Barbosa 50 apart, the Bromley batting was disappointing against a steady Hartley attack, in particular James Hockley 3-53 and Jack Laraman 3-41.

Bromley ended on what was to prove a below par total of 197-9. Hockley and his opening partner Dan Stickels both found some early season form, Stickels making 71 and Hockley 41 as they put on 92 for the first wicket. Nick Hendrie made an unbeaten 41 and James Thompson 33 as Hartley romped home to win by 7 wickets with a ball and nine overs to spare.

Bexleyhad an exciting win overSandwichat Manor Way. Sandwich invited their hosts to bat on what appears to have perhaps to have been a bowler friendly wicket. Craig Spanton took 3-53, Liam Evans 3-24 and Daniel Evans 2-20 as Bexley struggled to 156 all out with only Jasdef Bassan 38 and Matt Stiddard 37 making any significant contribution.

However Bexley’s bowlers were able to come to their rescue. Sandwich also had only two batsmen to offer hope for them, Robert Goatham 40 and Jacobus Maritz 37 as the others perished to the attack of Jason Benn 4-24 and Adeel Malik 4-35 as Sandwich declined to 129 all out to lose by 27 runs.

Unfortunately the bad weather did arrive for a short while at the final game atFolkestoneas they hosted fellow newcomers to the Premier League,Tunbridge Wells.

Tunbridge Wells were invited to bat and thanks to a fine unbeaten century by Michael Waller, 102, and 49 by James Meddings, Tunbridge Wells posted 218-6 in their rain interrupted 55 overs.

In reply Himanshu Waingankar scored 64, Sam Ireland 45 and Jon Smith 34 as Folkestone chased their target. As rain had intervened there were 23 over remaining to be bowled in the final hour. For reasons unknown, Tunbridge Wells only managed 20 of these so the match ended incomplete with Folkestone closing on 170-8, and thus an incomplete game.

Beckenham 258-10 winning draw against Sevenoaks Vine 168-7

Bexley 156 beat Sandwich Town 129 by 27 runs

Blackheath 249-8 beat Lordswood 185-10 by 58 runs

Bromley 197-9 lost to Hartley 198-3 by 7 wickets

Folkestone 170-8 (52) against Tunbridge Wells 218-6 match incomplete