Saturday Second XI Results 2016

 

Date  Venue

Opponents Score

TWCC
Score

Opponents (Premier Game) Result
 07 May 2016
 The Belmont
 178 all out
180 for 3 wkts 
Whitstable CC I XI 
TWCC won by 7 wkts 

   New Captain Harry Florry had a fine start to the campaign as his team comfortably beat Whitstable at The Belmont, nevertheless the XI facing them showed some important changes had occurred during the Winter and thus several new faces may appear as the season develops. The new-look Wells attack had a positive bias towards youth yet put away the home side for 178 and avoided serious punishment against the small boundaries, although George O’Neill opened and managed a top-scoring fifty as the total moved to the relative safety of 85-1 after 23 overs.

   From this point in the proceedings, the visiting bowlers carried all before them, Josh Weller (3-35), and Tom Baxter (3-20), with support from Charlie Russell-Vick and Nathan Maskell, proving irresistible as the innings folded with nine wickets going down for just 93 runs. Brough Cooper took two nifty catches, the one off Maskell to remove O’Neill shortenening the work likely to be required, while Theo Burley relished the chance to excel behind the stumps; and Maskell further distinguished himself with two run outs, however, too many wides were given away as the radar went unheeded, and the target was accordingly set at 179 for the win.

   An immediate setback to the chase allowed the home attack to gain confidence, and soon they followed this up with a testing phase which was combatted gleefully by Maskell, who marked his KL debut with a sparkling 55 (6 fours and 3 sixes) which kept the target within range. Upon his dismissal, however, a third success at once fell to Whitstable, and so the contest stood on the crossroads; at this juncture, Cooper joined his new captain, and, after a careful reconnaissance, he took the view that the bowling needed to be dismissed from his presence, and proceeded to match the deed to the notion. While Florry gathered runs diligently, Cooper blootered eight fours and three sixes, racing to an undefeated 70* as the victory was achieved without further mishap; and so it was that the second string took the full 18 points from their first brush with Win-Lose cricket. Cooper and Maskell could reflect upon a job well done, and the youthful XI will now tackle the 2015 Champions at The Nevill on 14 May.

 

Date  Venue

Opponents Score

TWCC
Score

Opponents (Premier Game) Result
14 May 2016 
 The Nevill
195 for 4 wkts 
150 all out 
Bexley CC II XI 
TWCC lost by 45 runs 

   Bexley, the 2015 Champions, made their way to the County Ground where they lost the toss but were put in to bat on a decent track with perhaps a little too much grass left on; the surface played well enough, although at times there was a two-paced sense as the ball stopped from time to time, which was more noticeable in the second half of the game.

   Louie Terry led the way for the visitors, with Mohit Abbi taking his time, and the partnership steadily posted 67 from seventeen overs when Chris Lawrence finally broke through; the home catching was frightful, as many as seven chances being spilled in all, and the early order benefited conspicuously while the score mounted as a result. Abbi and Zeeshan Khan (72*) posted 76 for the second stand, which was broken shortly after Abbi had reached a workaday fifty, and by now the innings was nearing the end of the allocation, yet somehow did not push on but saw two further wickets fall while another 52 runs were gathered. Unluckiest bowler was Nigel Keess, who produced chance after chance, yet gained his sole wicket entirely unaided as Abbi missed a straight one; the attack stuck to their task well, nevertheless, and the target for victory was set at 196.

   The Bexley bowlers nagged away at the home batting order, and took their opportunities without fuss whenever they arose, and they were constantly looking to erode the line-up before anyone could establish themselves; in the event, the Wells skipper played a valiant solo effort, which, with a modicum of support, would have narrowed the margin and made the contest far more interesting. Harry Florry entered the fray at 37-2 and was last out for a dogged 57 (4 fours), spanning 114 deliveries, although the best partnership was produced belatedly for the seventh wicket with Theo Burley, yielding 41 runs. Earlier, Tim Luckhurst and James Madgwick had made starts, but were nipped in the bud, and the middle order was barely noticeable as five wickets were taken for just 61 runs. The end soon came as the last three batsmen were removed to leave the total 45 in arrears, and a forgettable match netted the home XI just two points. The victors thus took the spoils, with Shaun Evans (3-22) heading a solid showing from the Bexley bowlers, although both attacks gave away far too many wides.

 

Date  Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents
Score

Opponents (Premier Game) Result
21 May 2016 
Hesketh Park 
187 all out 
 188 for 4 wkts
Dartford CC II XI 
TWCC lost by 6 wkts 

   Unexpectedly, the availability for this round of matches was reduced, and the Second XI suffered in turn from a sudden shortage; the journey to Hesketh Park initially brought a lost toss, and Dartford asked Wells to take first knock. Once again, The skipper ended up making the top score, this time assisted by Josh Weller in a timely ninth stand of 51, which approached the record from 2015, although the total was an improvement upon that of the previous week.

   Wells started erratically, but were in fair shape at 44-2 with a rare appearance from Richard Cutts looking to be working out, but the middle order was removed without real resistance, so that the score slid to 104-7 from 29 overs; starts were made by the top four, but the home bowlers curtailed their progress, and Harry Florry was left in sole control of the batting, reaching a second consecutive fifty out of 135-8 with just ten overs remaining to secure a respectable target total. In the event, Florry carried his bat for 86 (9 fours), taking the score on to 187 all out, although, with a little more assistance, the threshold for four batting points could have been reached. The total was ironically bolstered by as many as twenty wides, the second best contribution; Craig England (4-25) and Des Bailey (3-21) were the pick of the bowlers, giving Dartford an edge they did not relinquish.

   The home chase was rattled when Weller and Wes Bryce-Borthwick each dismissed an opener, and the scoreboard looked grim at 13-2; this promising start could not be built upon however, as Adam Ferris (77) added 66 for the third wicket with Lee Gray, to be followed by a fine effort from Sam Field (54*) which was enough to take Dartford over the line for the win. Weller removed Ferris, and Charlie Russell-Vick, another fine young all-rounder to watch, took out Gray, but it was too little too late, and the game was gone as Dartford resisted all further efforts to deter them. The cadre Wells possess will undoubtedly improve, because of the talent available, but their position already finds them in the dropzone, and will require special extrication, although there is as yet a long way to go. Their next game will be at The Nevill against Bromley II XI.

 

Date  Venue

Opponents Score

TWCC
Score

Opponents (Premier Game) Result
28 May 2016 
The Nevill 
170 all out 
172 for 8 wkts 
Bromley CC II XI 
TWCC won by 2 wkts 

   Bromley’s Second Team travelled to The Nevill where the toss went with the home team, who asked the visitors to take first knock on a grey, overcast day; after six overs, the rains came, and 98 minutes were lost before play could continue. In the event, a closely-fought match developed, which was a pleasure to watch, with each phase sharply contested throughout the afternoon. The two Bromley speedsters, Coetzee Muller and Luke Remice, threatened to take the game away with genuine pace, but also many extras, yet it was the spirited work from the several youthful Wells all-rounders which eventually turned the match and brought about the win.

   The Bromley innings started with an early dismissal, however Anil Mahey and skipper Stephen Bailes consolidated as each scored 59 in completely differing styles; a second stand of 78 from 27 overs set up a platform, after which the surviving Bailes tried, and almost succeeded, to bat through to the close. Josh Weller (3-23) and Rhys Joseph (2-43), neither out of their teens, now swept away the middle order, and leggies from Graham Barber, on IIs debut, picked up 2-46, all of which led to an all-out score of 170 in the 49th over. Nathan Maskell produced a pair of lightning run-outs, and James Madgwick added a third, although Bailes kept up an end until being ninth out at 168; the last seven wickets were snapped up for just 34 runs, leaving a comfortable chase in what had become warm sunshine.

   The reply was marked by steady contributions headed by Madgwick’s delightful 49, and a twenty-over tally of 81-3 looked reasonably sound and secure; nevertheless, the two visiting fast men required constant care before making way for the deceptive lines of Sunny Guram and Thavaranjith Palaraman, who rocked the innings with five wickets while the tally limped on to 146-8. Bromley were now strongly placed to snatch the game, led by Guram’s 3-33, when the contest took a final twist. Weller and Joseph came together and both showed a gritty resolution and no little skill to first defy the attack and then to peg away at the target, adding a nerveless, winning 26* to deny the visitors at the penultimate moment. The final stages were enthralling to watch, but the two youngsters stole the show with their batting, adding to their earlier inroads with the ball, and so it was Wells who pocketed the 18 points, to lift themselves out of the dropzone.

 

Date  Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents
Score

Opponents
(Premier Game)

Result
4 June 2016 
 Culvey Close
175 for 5 wkts 
165 all out 
Hartley Country Club CC II XI 
TWCC won by 10 runs 

   The Second String visited Culvey Close for what became a closely-contested match on this pleasant ground, where, after being put in, Wells set up a target total which proved to be just enough for the eighteen points. The visitors were indebted to opener Tim Luckhurst’s pioneering 81, which was by some distance the best score of the game, for a final score which was defended through the doughty efforts of the mainly youthful attack, thus settling the XI into fifth spot in the Table.

   Veteran warhorse Andy Tutt quickly removed one of the Wells openers, whereupon Luckhurst was joined by Sam Stickler (40) as 85 runs came for the second wicket from 24 overs; this careful and cultured partnership proved to be the foundation of the innings, built upon when James Madgwick helped the opener put on fifty more for the third stand. The home bowlers now picked up three quick wickets, including the vital one of Luckhurst, although the captain now guided the tally to a second batting point as the overs ran out.

   The reply went in fits and starts, but the relative frequency of wickets falling kept Wells in the hunt, even though several batsmen made starts, they found survival a difficult matter. Andy Chapman and Ian McLean both made twenties, taking the score on to 96-5, but thereafter only Mr Extras made real progress as Rhys Joseph adjusted his radar whilst otherwise snapping up 4-31; the contribution of Tom Baxter (3-23) was important too, and he it was who rearranged the stumps of the number eleven to bring on the win. Josh Weller ran out the opposing skipper just when it looked likely that resistance would be protracted, and the team held their nerve to outplay Hartley in the crucial last phases of the encounter. Wells will take on Sandwich Town IIs at The Nevill on the upcoming Saturday.

 

Date  Venue

Opponents Score

TWCC
Score

Opponents
(Premier Game)
Result
18 June 2016
The Nevill 
 183 all out
93 all out 
Folkestone CC II XI 
TWCC lost by 90 runs 

   Wells welcomed lowly Folkestone II to The Nevill, where the visitors lost the toss and were asked to bat first. In fact, despite a week of rain, the track probably played best from the eventual start of one o’clock, delayed owing to the wet outfield; indeed, the game on the Upper Ground nearby was given up owing to the long wet spell, but play started below at the stated time in a forty-five over contest, the match being shortened to accomodate the drying process.

   Nathan Smith (58) comfortably top-scored in the match, and his second wicket partnership of forty-eight with glove-man Tafadzwa Tsiga set up the innings, but was materially assisted by two spurned chances; the home attack persevered, however, and later made short work of the lower order, but first a middle order rally built upon the platform, and sent the score to a healthy 143-4 on the back of Smith’s half-century. Suddenly, Charlie Russell-Vick came on and whipped out five men for 25 in 5.4 overs, his maiden KL five-wicket haul, and the Folkestone score slid to an early all-out 183; the last six wickets went down amid a cluster of excellent catches while just forty runs were added. On the debit side, Mr Extras contributed 41 runs, 30 from bowler excesses, which made the target total that much more awkward, while continuing an unwanted club trend.

   The chase was set to make 184, but the skipper, who opened, was first out, followed by an unexpected collapse which saw the visiting bowlers reduce the tally to 33-6; left-arm over Tim Smith (9-4-12-3) was instrumental in this carnage, with lively assistance from Nick Ward (3-11). Theo Burley (28) now found an ally in Tom Baxter and briefly these two thwarted the rampant attack while adding 44 for the seventh stand; Baxter smashed two sixes and a four en route to 22 when one of his gloves came apart, however he was dismissed before a replacement could reach him. The innings drifted to an all-out 93 once Burley was dismissed, and a defeat by 90 runs was delivered, with Wells moving to equal fifth in the Table, level with Bromley, while Folkestone failed to lift themselves from the bottom place despite their success. The lively surface provided home ‘keeper Burley with 3 catches and 2 stumpings, while his counterpart Tsiga held 4 behind the wicket on what was emphatically a bowlers’ day.

 

Date  Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents
Score

Opponents
(Premier Game)
Result
16 July 2016 
Manor Way 
258 for 8 wkts 
260 for 9 wkts 
Bexley CC II XI 
TWCC lost by 1 wkt 

   Wells visited the 2015 League Champions at Manor Way, and a most absorbing match unfolded which went right through to the last over as the home tail-enders scraped past the target total with just four deliveries remaining. The visitors won a good toss on a fiercely warm day, and batted first, with Nathan Maskell leading off with a marvellous knock which richly merited the century which in fact he missed by a solitary run.

   Racing along at a run-a-ball for some 38 overs, Maskell played brilliant cricket, notching 9 fours and 4 sixes from 102 balls, which took the score on to 187-2 at the point when the prowling Daniel Haley intercepted a chance that ended his free-spirited effort. Sam Stickler (36) added 94 for the second stand, meanwhile the youthful Charlie Russell Vick (68) reached a IIs personal best with a maiden KL fifty during a flourishing third partnership of 75 from 81 deliveries. The home bowlers were changed many times before they came upon a winning formula, and suddenly five wickets were lost as the rush for quicker runs occurred, and the tally reached 258-8 when the allocation ended. Whilst all of the stroke play was taking the limelight, Fraser McWhinnie snapped up 5-47 as the lower order hit out.

   The reply was circumspect and steady but the Wells bowlers worked away, and their young spinners reduced the score to 117-4 from the opening 22 overs. James Meddings and Julian O’Riordan (2-21) looked likely to snatch the game, but the skipper Haley (45) and Murtaza Abbas (42) had other ideas, and the score moved on to 187 when veteran spinner Nigel Keess snared the former. Again the bowlers broke through as the total reached 218-8 before unexpected late resistance restored the balance; the lower order all contributed as they reduced the target to a mere handful of runs when the ninth wicket fell. Either side could take the spoils, and it was scarcely possible to bank on an outcome; the final over began with three required, but a boundary hit from the second ball decided the matter in favour of the home team.

   And so it was that a thrilling match was concluded in the tensest of circumstances by the closest of margins, and a finely-fought cricket game brought great credit to all participants; Wells are just above the relegation places with a game in hand until August BHM, but they will want to put distance between themselves and the bottom two sides, and this will mean winning a few games between now and then. For sure they have the means to achieve this.

 

Date  Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents
Score

Opponents
(Premier Game)
Result
23 July 2016 
The Nevill 
290 for 3 wkts 
237 for 9 wkts 
Dartford CC II XI 
TWCC won by 53 runs

   The Second XI welcomed the current Premier IIs Leaders to the Nevill on one of the hottest days of the year, and, fortunately for his fielders and bowlers, Harry Florry won the toss and chose to bat first. To do battle for the side were Nathan Maskell, about to have an unforgettable day, and Charlie Russell Vick, and both, like their team, knew that this was a game which had to be won. Maskell had been gradually improving his best League tally almost on a game by game basis, going from 55 to 83* and on to 99 in the match of the prior week, and his teammates cheered lustily when he opened his account with a single, not that this could make up for the angst of the recent dismissal so near to the cherished three figures.

    Maskell showed true spirit and no mean skill as he set about the Dartford attack, racing to 42 from sixteen overs despite losing two partners in that time; he was now joined by Sam Stickler in a match-turning third partnership, which raised a cavalier 184 from 181 deliveries and took the game into relative safety, as it had to do, in a welter of crisp boundaries, soaring sixes, and smart running, with Maskell unstoppable as the stand inexorably grew. Stickler stepped up through the gears to match his partner, whose trademark pulled or swept sixes cleared the boundary men by many yards until he again reached 99* and another drinks break. The wait was not for the faint-hearted but finally Maskell moved to a wonderful century from 98 balls and still there was time to build further upon his landmark. Quickening the tempo, these two batsmen took the total on to 247 when Stickler (77) holed out to the persevering Ben Sutton, although there the wicket-taking ceased; now Maskell batted on to eclipse the 160 set by Tom Elliott in 2011, finally coming in, having carried his bat throughout the entire innings, with a dreamy 176*, leaving Dartford to make 291 for the win. No praise could be too high for this marvellous individual effort, and there was no more popular achiever than Maskell to bask in this glory; he notched 21 fours and 4 sixes from 148 balls faced.

   True to form, Dartford chased the enormous target meaningfully, with Harry Bell (50) and the skipper Mark Lewis-Ranwell (55) undaunted in the face of such a score, and the reply reached a healthy 181-3 from the best part of 42 overs, but, by then, the equation had widened beyond real pursuit, and the question remained as to whether the home bowlers could complete their part in the contest. Six wickets now tumbled for just 38 more runs, although the last pair held out as the match went full term despite the humid heat. Indeed, the home Umpire had felt unwell and was replaced for much of the visitors’ knock by Peter Ford, who happened to be available to deputise; fortunately, there were no lasting ill effects. And thus came Wells’ truly necessary win at the expense of the top side in the Table, and a resultant improvement in their position while the dropzone fell away below them, as was the intention; the young XI showed what it will take to ensure Premier status for another year, and the occasion was rendered special by Maskell’s great effort : he also bagged 2-56 with his deadly off spin.

 

Date  Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents
Score

Opponents
(Premier game)

Result
 30 July 2016
Plaistow Lane 
270 for 7 wkts 
221 all out 
Bromley CC II XI 
TWCC won by 49 runs

   The Second XI visited Plaistow Lane looking for another win as they secure their position in the Table, and, after Harry Florry had won the toss and chosen to take first knock, their batsmen seized an initiative which they did not lose for the rest of the day. Nathan Maskell had earned a rest from his exertions with the bat, yet Charlie Russell-Vick and Sam Stickler covered his absence with their own in-form run-scoring, which was mainly responsible for producing a more than challenging total by the time that the innings concluded.

   Russell-Vick showed his pedigree in a finely-judged 113-ball innings which gave the visitors a commanding position from the very start; skipper Florry helped to add 51 for the second stand before Stickler joined the opener in a defining third wicket partnership of 128, and the score passed 200 with just three wickets down and ten overs yet to be bowled. Russell-Vick reached his second KL fifty of the summer, and went on to surpass his previous best of 68, looking set for three figures when a run-out ended the fun on 88, meanwhile Stickler once again notched 77 (9 fours) as their dashing 21-over association flourished. With the platform safely established, the lower order crashed quick runs, although the weary attack now mopped up some welcome wickets, and a target of 271 was left for the home side to chase.

   Bromley gave a spirited reply, led by Liam Hill (41), and Jonty Logan had a good all-round game as he added 34 to his 3-49 from earlier in the day, but the run-a-ball chase was always going to be tough to maintain; by the halfway stage, the innings had reached 95-2, and more telling blows came from Satwinder Dhaliwal (38) as the runrate was increased. Josh Weller (3-30) was incisive and economical, however, while Wes Bryce-Borthwick and Nigel Keess together sent down twenty overs for just sixty runs, and the home charge faltered in the face of the visiting attack. Russell-Vick finally came on to administer the coup de grâce with 3-42 and a run-out, so that Wells pocketed the points as they emerged victors by 49 runs through a grand team effort; the XI now hold sixth place in the Table with a game in hand until BHM, but only a handful of points separate fourth from eighth, and thus a few more victories could actually be significant in the pursuit of honours.

 

Date  Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents
Score

Opponents
(Premier game)

Result
06 August 2016
The Nevill 
257 for 4 wkts 
 204 for 9 wkts
Hartley Country Club CC II XI 
TWCC won by 53 runs 

   Wells took on second-placed Hartley at the County Ground on a sun-drenched Saturday, where they won the toss and batted, with yet another new opening partnership, this time featuring the returning Richard Cutts who played alongside Aussie run-machine Nathan Maskell. A IIs debut was also given to youthful all rounder Joe Wheeler following a late unavailability, and he was to have a notable part to play in the second half of the game.

   The first wicket partnership rapidly settled down to a comfortable pace amid frequent boundaries, and at one point the score read 73-0 from 11 overs, with Maskell indulging in a bout of sixes pulled over midwicket off Ryan Carter, which enlivened the play. The stand continued to flourish, eventually reaching 115, when Maskell holed out to 15-year-old Mark McLean, who had already bowled very tidily for one so young, and ended up with 2-27 from his ten overs; the attack otherwise had looked innocuous if typically hard to get away, but now stepped up as two more wickets fell in quick succession, and the good start had to be rebuilt. Brough Cooper immediately set off at a fair clip, and was supported first by James Madgwick, as 64 came at a run-a-ball for the fourth partnership, and, to close the innings, 57* were struck up from 33 balls with Ed Harwood. Cooper ended up with a buccaneering, undefeated 75 (10 fours and a six), which effectively made the game safe, and capitalised upon the fine start; Hartley were left to make 258 for the win. There were three individual fifties scored during the innings, for the first time since 2013, with Maskell and Cutts joining Cooper in the feat.

   The chase went off at a very strong tempo, although, as is the habit nowadays, a great many extras assisted in this generous velocity; Rahul Fonseka (43) and Richard Nicol (40) headed the reply, with lively cameos coming from Shanon Fattore and Ian McLean, and the scoreline reached a high point of 183-4 after 43 overs. Most of the attack went for more than four per over, but the batsmen were cowed by the stint from Wheeler which saw just 15 runs come from six overs, and the runrate was crucially held back. Maskell was also relatively miserly, but the four wicket hauls from Nigel Keess and Rhys Joseph ultimately undid the visitors’ tilt at the target. Five wickets tumbled for a mere twenty runs in the final forty-five deliveries, and Wells thereby ensured the win and the lion’s share of the points. The side moved up to fourth place in the Table, and they still have a game in hand; further success must be maintained, however, and then the chances of honours can only be improved under such an impetus.

 

Date  Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents
Score

Opponents
(Premier game)
Result
13 August 2016
The Butts 
238 for 8 wkts 
241 for 2 wkts 
Sandwich Town CC II XI 
TWCC lost by 8 wkts 

   The Second Team journeyed down to the cinque port town of Sandwich, now a mile or so inland, where they won the toss and elected to bat first on a sound track which promised plenty of runs. Recent results indicated that more than two hundred would certainly be required, and the visitors set off to achieve that.

   The home attack was based around ten overs from five bowlers, all but one of whom kept the cost down to under a run-a-ball, while, importantly, each had some measure of success against the batsmen; extras were only an issue really for one of the strike bowlers. Wickets fell, then, at times more suited to the purpose of the home side, although two Wells batsmen made very fine half-centuries, around which the innings was built. Sam Stickler notched a fluent 54, his third consecutive League fifty, cracking 8 fours and a six from just 59 deliveries, and a key partnership developed for the third wicket with skipper Harry Florry of 58; at halfway, the score stood at 110-2, although Oliver Collins (2-36) was to remove both within a few minutes of each other, and the build had to start again. James Madgwick took up the Stickler role, going on to carry his bat to the very end for a crucial and worthy 64*, which included 7 fours and a six and took up just 67 deliveries; there were three stands of around thirty odd, and, when the allocation was over, Sandwich were left to make 239 for the win. Of the eight wickets to fall, Jake Smith and Lewis Thornby each bagged a brace.

   The chase featured a rampaging century from opener Craig Snell, who was there, undefeated, at the end, after a knock which occupied only ninety balls and included as many as 16 fours. Somehow the chemistry of the attack was lacking, but there were few breakthroughs or incisive economies to waylay the home line-up; six bowlers, in all, were tried, four of whom had directional problems, a result of which was that thirty wides accrued. Charlie Russell-Vick put in a tidy stint, grabbing a wicket from eight overs for 58 runs, and a wicket fell to the persevering Wes Bryce-Borthwick, yet here the visitors’ successes ended. Snell (109*) put on at least fifty for all three partnerships of the reply, the second stand of 132 with ‘keeper Ari Smith being a match-winner; the target was exceeded after 32.1 overs, leaving seventeen unused. Wells slipped behind Sandwich into seventh place, but have yet some reserves in the tank and are not in immediate danger of a drop; the next week sees them tackle Folkestone CC on their south coast tour.

 

Date  Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents
Score

Opponents
(Premier game)

Result
20 August 2016
Cheriton Road 
229 for 6 wkts 
193 all out 
Folkestone CC II XI 
TWCC won by 36 runs 

   The Second XI made the journey down to the imposing, new facility at Folkestone, where the home skipper won the toss and invited his visitors to bat first; whether matters then followed his plan is unclear, however Charlie Russell-Vick took this opportunity to reach his maiden KL century, in only his twelfth such appearance, following two recent efforts which had already accustomed him to half-centuries.

   The Wells opening partnership between Russell-Vick and Jamie Baldwin (41) posted a comfortable 93 in 23 overs before the latter was bowled by the indefatigable Sam Ireland, who would go on to net 2-31 in a valuably economical spell; some fine work behind the wicket by Tafadzwa Tsiga brought him three smart stumpings, but squeezed between two of these efforts was a critically useful third partnership between Russell-Vick and skipper Harry Florry which produced 69 runs from fifteen overs. This partnership heralded an acceleration from the 41st over on, which brought a further 62 runs from 54 balls for the loss of four further wickets, and the home batsmen were soon able to contemplate the task of chasing down 230 for the win. Nick Ward (2-23) joined Ireland in taking two wickets, but, for the remainder of the attack, it had been rather hard work.

   The reply was at first attacked successfully by the young Wells bowlers, and, after twenty overs, the tally had slipped to 60-4 before a counter-attack was, of necessity, fashioned by Tsiga (45) and Jamie Dawes. The fifth wicket partnership between these two players produced a fluent 79 from 95 deliveries, and the target had definitely come within range; Dawes was not out 44 at this stage, and he went on to reach his fifty out of 108 with 6 fours and a six before Josh Weller returned to castle him at 168, and so tilt the game back to the fielding side. Ward (32) carried on the fight, but veteran offie Nigel Keess joined in the breakdown, and the home effort ran out of steam finally some thirty runs adrift. Wes Bryce-Borthwick (3-31) emerged with the best figures in a fine team effort, while the skipper ran out the last man to clinch the win four balls early. The points gained sent the team back to fifth place in the Table, and the upcoming weekend sees the game-in-hand played off on the Bank Holiday Monday, which means that double points can be taken with two victories; the young side is poised nicely for such an achievement.

 

Date  Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents
Score

Opponents
(Premier game)

Result
27 August 2016
The Nevill 
179 all out 
114 all out 
Sevenoaks Vine CC II XI 
TWCC won by 65 runs 

   Wells welcomed a Vine XI to the County Ground whose average age was just nineteen, and, upon gaining the choice of innings, the home captain at once elected to bat first; another sweltering afternoon caused the sessions to be split by two drinks breaks apiece, and a contest which rather favoured the respective attacks was soon underway.

   Jamie Baldwin (35) graced the occasion with a series of scything boundaries on either side of the wicket, although some sharp movement and life from the deck was quickly found by the bowlers from either end, with the result that, after a covering burst of hitting from Brough Cooper, three quick wickets suddenly reduced the score to 89-4 as the halfway stage approached. Theo Burley now played a game-changing innings which took the tally on to 175-9, striking the ball at times with great power whilst riding the occasional slice of luck; Burley made the best score of the game as he reached exactly fifty from 84 deliveries with three fours and a six, and his effort guided the side through a testing period so that the Vine were ultimately set to make 180 for the win. Harry Johnson, with 4-29, used the conditions cleverly, being the pick of the attack, but mention should be made of James Carslaw (2-39) and 14-y-o ‘keeper Harry Houillon, who had the effrontery to stump the home skipper off a wide ball.

   The chase was quickly in disarray as Josh Weller, capping a fantastic maiden summer at his new Club, carried all before him as he snapped up 6-23 from ten overs of unrelenting accuracy and hostility; the swerving delivery to beat and remove Johnson was worth several replays. It was not foreseeable that the visiting top order would disintegrate as rapidly as they did, and some good catches were held, however one ball did misbehave, shooting along the floor to bowl the Vine number two, yet a total after nine overs of 27-5 was unrepresentative. The later batsmen gave it the long handle, led by Adam Prescott, with the consequence that the score soon reached three figures, a last wicket partnership from Carslaw and Jamie Richardson posting a merry 26 before the end came.

   Wells were indebted to Burley and Weller, whose first 5-wicket haul is unlikely to be his last, and a win by 65 runs sent the side up to fourth in the Table; the BHM game against Whitstable provides an opportunity to improve upon even that. Three players made their debut in the XI, although it was the regular contingent who secured the win, as Wes Bryce-Borthwick, with 2-27, assisted in the toppling of the visiting line-up; Nigel Keess and James Gray gave the spin department a good outing too.

 

Date  Venue

Opponents Score

TWCC
Score

Opponents
(Premier game)
Result
29 August 2016
The Nevill 
170 for 7 wkts 
85 all out 
Whitstable CC II XI 
TWCC lost by 85 runs

   The home side entertained Whitstable in a match unexpectedly moved to the Bank Holiday Monday after the June deluge prevented proper work to be completed for the 2016 County Week; local availability was also poor on a long, hot weekend, and the eventual XI had some enterprising selections, most notably the youthful leggie Gus Freeman. Now a U14 player, Gus bowled a tremendous ten over spell, taking 2-26 against an adult second XI, plus he held a deep-field skyer at long-off from the offies of Nigel Keess; brother Will Freeman, also making his second team debut, ran out the second of the Whitstable openers, and made one of Gus’s wickets a family affair when he took the catch to remove the visiting number three.

   Whitstable faced a provisional Wells attack which showed remarkable aptitude, few of whom had bowled together before. Anna O’Donnell was promoted from the third string, and she it was who castled the opening number one before the run out was taken. The score inched along to 107-6 from 33 overs, but then the magic ceased, and the game had reached a turning point; skipper James Loader and ‘keeper Josh Smith batted out the remaining overs to add a face-saving 37, and Wells were left with 171 to reach for the win. The stopgap side had exceeded their expectations, meanwhile Stuart Clements emerged with a top score for the day of 32.

    The reply was heavily dependent upon the core cadre of old hands, intermingled with rising stars appearing almost before their time; tragically for their prospects, the Whitstable speedster Todd Jordan clean-bowled two in two before Hugo Williams, another making his KL debut, joined Jamie Baldwin to move the score steadily into the thirties two down. Stuart Clements now intervened with two key wickets after Williams was undone by the slowies of Duncan Hardy, and this was followed by the removal of the boundary-slugging Tom Baxter and Saturday fifty man Theo Burley. Suddenly the score was 64-7 in spite of four counter-attacking fours from Baxter, and just the tail was left to fashion something out of the innings. A semblance of order was restored by the eighth pair until there came the thoroughly unnecessary run-out of Josh Weller, where a no-hope call was nobly answered, with the requirement still some ninety runs away; number eleven O’Donnell had time to stroke a sweet cover four and a similar stroke for two before the Whitstable attack wrapped things up exactly half way to the target, and defeat by 85 runs was the outcome. Wells slipped a singular place to fifth in the Table and will visit Orpington at Goddington Dene on Saturday 3 September to cap an up-and-down yet happy campaign that had resulted in safety for another year.

 

Date  Venue

TWCC Score

Opponents
Score

Opponents
(Premier game)

Result
03 September 2016
Goddington Dene 
192 for 8 wkts 
193 for 6 wkts 
Orpington CC II XI 
TWCC lost by 4 wkts 

   Wells travelled over to Goddington Dene with another somewhat experimental XI, where they won the toss and batted, although the local forecast suggested a potentially early finish as a result of the rain belt crossing the County. Harry Florry had given a IIs debut to Isaac Bepey and recalled Febin Jose, and had bolstered the bowling by including Michael Churchill, whose batting skills, ironically, would soon be strongly in evidence.

   The opening sixteen overs saw Orpington take three good wickets, including Richard Cutts (23), who had been joined by Skipper Florry (45) before holing out at 74-3, and it was the latter with Churchill who consolidated the steady if uneven progress. Partnerships of 38, 35 and 41 had briefly suggested permanence, but the fifth wicket stand of 47 was to remain the most notable of the innings; Churchill contributed a vital half-century with 8 fours, however the loss of four quick wickets and an uncertain weather outlook brought about a declaration after 38 overs which asked the home batsmen to chase 193 for the win.

   The Orpington reply was equally indefinite at the outset, as the visitors grabbed the top three for 77, also from sixteen overs, but the relegated home XI differed from their opponents in posting fifty for the fourth wicket before the match turned again to Wells. Matt Lane (38) and Mike Reade showed determination and care as they took the tally on to 159-6, but hereafter Reade alone featured as he guided his side home without further loss. Josh Weller, with 3-57, stood out for the visitors, and Nigel Keess picked up 2-24, but it was not really a spinners’ wicket, while the medium pacers were also kept at bay. Reade and Adam Page took just 25 deliveries to knock up the final 34 runs, the former coming in two light of a merited fifty. Wells gave away 13 wides to Orpington’s 11, and in several respects it was a similar effort from the two sides, separated by little more than the rub of the green and the greater number of overs available to the home batsmen. The rain came shortly afterwards, but the fate of both XIs had already been decided, and Wells finished in the sanctuary of fifth place in the Table, having had eight wins and seven defeats in a cheery and imaginative campaign.

 

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