Returning Bartlett keeps Polegate in promotion hunt

Tunbridge Wells II 98

Polegate & Stone Cross II 101-3

A dream debut for swing bowler Dan Bartlett helped Polegate and Stone Cross Seconds to a crushing away win against Tunbridge Wells Borderers Seconds.

Put in to bat, the home team found scoring difficult from the start.

Once Nathan Hover had claimed his customary early wicket, Tunbridge Wells edged along at around two runs an over.

In the 20th over, with 42 on the board, Emmett Johnson took his only wicket in an impressively economical spell, and there were tight but wicketless spells too from Baba Saracouli and Matt Loe.

The match changed with the introduction into the Polegate attack of Barlett, a former Dicker stalwart who had been out of league cricket for two-and-a-seasons. 

It was as though he had never been away, TWB were on 58-2 when he took his first wicket, and collapsed to 98 all out in the face of his rapid in-swingers.

Bartlett finished with 5-9 off 10 overs, Geoff Morley chipped in with 2-21, and Nathan Hover added a second wicket to his early success, to finish with 2-16.

Polegate’s response was untypically assured. Opener Andy Johnson continued in confident mood, until he was caught behind for 32 in the 10th over, with 40 on the board.

Number three Geoff Hover responded to an early bouncer with an often belligerent 24, eventually being bowled with the total on 85.

And, though a third wicket fell cheaply, a Polegate victory was never in doubt, as skipper Alan Williams steered his side home with an unbeaten 28, assisted at the close by Keefe Hughes (5*).

The winning runs came in the 20th over, giving Polegate the maximum 30 points and moved them to within a single point of TWB in the ESCL Division nine league table.

PSCCC remain in sixth position, but are now fewer than 30 points from the promotion places.