Bexley and Tunbridge Wells win
Bexley and Tunbridge Wells win

Another week of inactivity for Sandwich Town meant that the teams in second and third place in the Kent League Premier Division had the opportunity to leap-frog them.

Neither passed up the chance in the only two of the scheduled five matches that were able to take place on a hot sunny Saturday afternoon.

Second placed Bexley won the toss and elected to bat against Holmesdale. They welcomed Jas Singh who returned to the side after making his County Championship debut for Kent during the previous week.

Once again, Bexley went with opening the batting with Ryan Cartwright along with Calum Basey and this time it paid dividends. The two of them put on 198 before Cartwright, whose previous best score for Bexley was 24, holed out for 112 in the 41st over. Basey then anchored the innings with others wickets falling at the other end in the search for quick runs. Basey was finally dismissed for 109 in the 49th over and Bexley finished on 281 for 6. 

In response, Will Dowell came out all guns blazing and was severe on Cartwright but the South African had the last laugh when he had the batsman caught in the deep. Luke Budden tried to hold the innings together but wickets fell regularly at the other end. Budden perished for 35 to Adam Ball whose 6 for 29 led to the visitors being dismissed for 135 in 34 overs.

Tunbridge Wells, in third place, were also at home with Bailey Wightman in their team, another player back after his Kent first class cricket debut. They also won the toss and elected to bat against in form Bickley Park who were without Elliot Hooper following his heroics for Kent in the T20 on the previous evening.  

Chris Williams (77) and Alex Williams (74) led the way and a quick-fire 49 from David Smith plus Michael Waller’s 45 not out ensured there was no let up for the Bickley bowlers. Jason Benn was the most successful bowler with 3 for 58 as the hosts finished on 311 for 7 from their fifty overs.

Bickley put on 69 for the first wicket before Jotty Singh was dismissed for 33. Accurate bowling and scoreboard pressure made it difficult for the visitors to trouble their opponents and after Alex Fullerton fell for 44, wickets fell regularly. Alex Moen scored 44 not out but couldn’t find anyone to stay with him to form a partnership.

They were eventually bowled out for 183 in the 46th over with Christian Davis, 3 for 30, and Sam Huggett, 3 for 47, in the wickets.

Bexley now head the table with 168 points from eleven games, Tunbridge Wells are seven points behind on the same number of games whilst Sandwich Town have dropped to third place on 154 points having played two games fewer.

The Kent League are still considering how to resolve the disparity with the possibility that the games that have not been played could be rearranged for Sundays in August.