We arrived at the Upper Nevill in plenty of time, where the opposition were already performing fielding drills obviously expecting a tough encounter.
Captain Harman won the toss and elected to bowl first, hoping a repeat of the previous weeks performance, although knowing Tunbridge Wells were to be stiffer opposition.
Simon Harman and Kevin Cullern
opened the bowling, with some very tight lines being bowled making scoring difficult for the opening pair. Simon bowling 4 maidens in his first 5 over's. 10 over's in and Tunbridge Wells had reach 24 without loss. Bowling changes were made and Will Barker
bowled excellently with figures of 1 wicket for 22 runs, although he deserved more wickets than he ended up with. Ward, Ball and Hathrill also bowled well against the ever aggressive Tunbridge Wells batsmen who still had wickets in hand. With the run rate increasing, Kevin and then Simon were introduced back in to the attack. Wickets began to fall and eventually Tunbridge Wells finished their innings on 163 for 7 wickets from their 46 over's. Harman ending with 3-41 and Cullern 3-45.
Tunbridge Wells had to work hard for all their runs with only 3 extras being given by the accurate Dartfordians bowling attack. This is one area where you can win matches!
163 looked easily achievable, especially seeing how easy it was to beat the infield and watch the ball run away to the boundary.
The usual pairing of Dan Bygrave
and Jon Kellett
strode to the middle, and Bygrave walked back 4 balls later having been bowled. Not the start we had hoped for, but with batting in depth we remained confident, but we found the team in serious trouble. Soon to follow was Jon Kellett
, Simon Harman and Tom Franklin
. With only around 15 runs on the board and 4 wickets down, we needed to regroup.
Daniel Frankliin and Steve Barden
saw off the opening pair and started to move the score along steadily until Daniel was bowled by the 1st change bowler. Kevin Cullern
joined Steve at the crease, and immediately spin was introduced to the attack. The boundary started being hit, and the running between the wicket was going well until Steve did a dance down the track to the extremely slow spin bowler, missed and was bowled for a well played 27. Darts were in trouble, big trouble. Kevin now finding his rhythm and timing took the attack to the Tunbridge Wells bowlers, hitting boundaries all round the park, including a big 6 from the excellent bowling of Peter Ford. Hathrill, Ward and Ball departed leaving number 11 Will Barker
to join Kevin at the crease. The opening bowlers where introduced back in the attack, but immediately got despatched to the boundary as Kevin reached his half century. Still needing around 35 runs Will played with great control, hitting a cut shot off the back foot that an opening batsman would be proud of.
Now within 20 runs of the target and the opening bowler getting frustrated, short pitch bowling was the order of the day. Will Barker
swung hard at the head high bouncer, but hit his glove and sailed through to the keeper with Kevin ended the innings 60 not out.
This leaves the Premier table wide open and with the Dartfordians 1st XI sitting in 3rd place, our promotion ambitions remain.