Neale holds nerve in vic­tory quest

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Cricket -

Ali Neale proved Ten­ter­den’s match­win­ner as the Shep­herd Neame Kent League Pre­mier Di­vi­sion new­com­ers ended Beck­en­ham’s un­beaten start to the sea­son with an ex­cit­ing two-wicket vic­tory at Morghew Park on Satur­day.

Need­ing 202 to win, Ten­ter­den looked well placed at 173-5, only to lose three wick­ets for six runs, with 27 still re­quired when No.10 Tim Curteis walked to the crease.

How­ever, Neale took charge hit­ting four fours in his 24 not out off 29 balls to see his side home to their third win in four starts.

Ear­lier, Will MacVicar’s 98 helped res­cue the vis­i­tors from 82-7 to 201 all out, adding 86 in an eighth-wicket stand with Peter Wal­ters (32).

Ten­ter­den cap­tain Te­vis Knight said: “Ali played a cru­cial role, hit­ting the bad ball for four and tak­ing sin­gles off the good ones, while Tim’s five not out was also valu­able.”

Wick­et­keeper Ben Price’s 60 off 52 balls with 10 fours and two sixes had spear­headed Ten­ter­den’s re­ply, with An­drew Craw­ford and Knight both mak­ing 27.

The skip­per added: “We were cruis­ing when Ben and I were to­gether.

“He then mis­judged one and I was leg be­fore to a ball that nipped back into me, al­though I thought the de­ci­sion was ques­tion­able be­cause it seemed to be slant­ing down the leg-side.

“It was a good wicket but hav­ing them 90-7 didn’t re­flect that, which was down to poor shot se­lec­tion by them but we were good in the field and bowled with great dis­ci­pline.

“Will MacVicar bat­ted well, he is a class player and good to watch.”

Knight in­sists Ten­ter­den’s first ob­jec­tive is to pre­serve their hard-won Pre­mier Di­vi­sion sta­tus.

He said: “It is our one goal for the sea­son and we want to do it as soon as pos­si­ble. Once we are safe, we can look at other pos­si­bil­i­ties in the league.”

Knight also be­lieves in­tro­duc­ing win-lose cricket for the whole sea­son has had a pos­i­tive ef­fect, hav­ing been brought in half­way through the sea­son in pre­vi­ous years.

He said: “Ev­ery­one is en­joy­ing it, rather than play­ing 100 overs only for games to end in draws.”

Knight’s brother Ryan took 4-21 in his first game back af­ter knee surgery as Di­vi­sion 1 lead­ers Ten­ter­den 2nds made it four wins out of four with a six-wicket suc­cess at Beck­en­ham.

JamieBris­tow-Di­a­mond, a new re­cruit from Bex­hill this sea­son, fin­ished with the same fig­ures in Beck­en­ham’s to­tal of 128.

Skip­per Tim Rus­sell made 49 be­fore Jimmy Collins (33 not out) and Reuben Colling­wood (32 not out) added 76 for the third wicket to com­plete the vic­tory.

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