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Kent League Premier Division week 1
Kent League Premier Division week 1

There were victories for Bickley Park, Blackheath, Hayes, Lordswood and Sandwich Town in the first Saturday of the Kent League Premier Division. 

Last season’s champions Bexley were stunned by newly promoted Hayes. Having lost the toss, they were asked to bat first and were soon in trouble with both openers out with just seven runs on the board. Shaun Evans scored 39 but he nobody else reached thirty as they were hustled out for 129. Alex Blake took 4 for 10 in 6 overs.

In response, William McVicar scored 68 not out as the visitors eased their way past their modest target with seven wickets and twenty-seven overs to spare.

Runners up Sandwich Town won the toss and asked hosts Sevenoaks Vine to bat first. Ben Smith was almost unplayable taking 5 for 15 in his ten overs with only Luke Schlemmer (39) and Christopher Vernon (33) resisting.

Chasing 145, Sandwich also lost wickets early on but Alex Smith’s 38 off 32 deliveries ensured that they were able to reach the target at five down with just under half of their overs remaining.

Fresh from their exploits in the European T10, Tunbridge Wells hosted Bickley Park and were set a target of 182 by the visitors who elected to bat first. Elliott Hooper scored 82, and wicket-keeper Safwaan Imitiaz scored 32. Matthew Barker took 3 for 30 and Ryan O’Beirne 3 for 40.

Xavier Darroch (3 for 42) put Wells on the back foot despite an injury to Jason Benn. Michael Waller’s half century kept them in touch, however, his efforts proved to be in vain as his team were dismissed for 165. 

Also promoted Minster (Sheppey) started their campaign at home to Lordswood and were well beaten. Having won the toss, the visitors chose to bat, and Linden Lockhart scored 111, supported by Scotland’s Calum MacLeod’s 85, as they amassed 265. Joseph Parry took 5 for 45 and Harry Mawson 3 for 43.

A 94 run opening partnership between Chris Piesley (62) and Edward Moore (50) put the hosts in a strong position but nobody else was able to back them up. Hugh Scott (3 for 36) and Tom Davis (3 for 43) took wickets regularly and the newcomers were dismissed for 167. 

In the remaining game, Blackheath were the only team to win after losing a toss when they entertained Beckenham. They were asked to bat first and Johan Malcolm’s 4 for 27 was instrumental in them being dismissed for 141. Tanweer Sikander top scored with 34.

Despite James Fear scoring 72, over half of the required total, he had no support and with Mahi Mahfuzul (3 for 14) and Arafat Bhuiyan (3 for 35) taking regular wickets, Blackheath won the tightest finish of the day by seven runs.