Cricket: Tough start for Wells after Bexley come out with all guns blazing

    LINDEN PARK Whitstable were skittled for a paltry 55

    TUNBRIDGE WELLS 1st XI endured a difficult start to the Kent Premier League season away to Bexley at Manor Way.

    Having been put in to bat, they were rapidly reduced to 2 for 2 with both openers dismissed after 13 deliveries.

    The captain, Alex Williams, played remarkably freely in company with Michael Waller, who as usual proved difficult to dislodge.

    Their third-wicket partnership provided 75 runs before Jasdev Bassan had Waller caught.

    That brought new signing Nick Sale to the crease. The Australian dug in to support his captain, who soon reached a delightful half-century with five fours and a six from 65 balls.

    Together they added a further 72 for the fourth wicket before the home bowlers turned the game around. Bexley rang the changes with great effect, and five wickets tumbled for 39 runs in little more than 11 overs.

    Skipper Williams top-scored with 80 off 89 balls before he was stumped off Harry Furze. 

    Sale fell for 36, and only Marcus O’Riordan thereafter made any real progress. He remained unbeaten on 26, ensuring the third batting point with a late flourish, and the visitors closed on 213 for 8 off their 50 overs.

    Calum Basey came out firing and he stormed to fifty out of 65 from just 12 overs, wreaking havoc as the opening bowlers were hit out of the attack. 

    Basey reached his half-century off just 41 balls but he fell for 67 with 10 boundaries after an opening stand of 94.

    His partner Chris Laas had given steady support, and was now motoring along. He moved serenely to his own fifty, taking the lead in a stand of 82 with Matt Cross for the third wicket.

    The opener missed out on three figures when he offered a catch six runs short of a century. But Cross (23 not out) saw his side home on 214 for 3 with 44 balls to spare. 

    Wells will be looking for improvement in their next encounter, a local derby against Sevenoaks Vine at the Nevill on Saturday (May 13).

    The Vine bowled out visiting Lordswood for 114 with Tom Coldman taking 3 for 11. 

    The home side were reduced to 58 for 4 but Miles Richardson provided some momentum to see them home on 117 for 4 after 27.5 overs. 

    He remained unbeaten on 39 while Harrison Smyth chipped in with 25 not out in a stand of 59

    Linden Park demolished Whitstable in their pipe opener in Division One, dismissing the visitors for just 55 in 31.4 overs after putting them in to bat.

    Only opener Sean French reached double figures as Dave Booth grabbed 4 for 27, Usman Sahar took 3 for 16 and Freddie Hulbert returned 2 for 7 from his 10 overs. 

    Scott Newman hit nine boundaries at the top of the innings and had reached 41 not out when Linden Park won by nine wickets. They overhauled the paltry target in less than eight overs.