Blackheath riding high in Kent League as they flatten Sandwich

Mehdi Abbas struck a half-century for Blackheath as they beat Sandwich Town CC by 45 runs on Saturday.

The result leaves Club top of the Kent League Premier Division table with a perfect winning record.

Blackheath loss the toss and were put into bat – not ideal when midweek thunderstorms had left a rather damp surface intermingled with the odd dry patch.

The usually free-scoring George Wells (15) and Shahzaib Hassan (8) were clearly frustrated.

Two medium pacers moving it both ways and a two-paced pitch made scoring shots a rarity – 26-1 after 10 overs seemed to be a decent start.

Tanweer Sikander and Richard Fleming came and went without troubling the scorers too much and when Charlie Speller came to the crease, Wells soon followed the oth- ers back to the pavilion.

Partnerships were not forthcom- ing and the drinks break after 25 overs did for Speller (14) and Chris Willetts (4). A change of tack was needed and Abbas provided the remedy.

With some incredible hitting, he achieved what no one else had managed on the day and took ad- vantage of the spinners entering the game.

Using his feet well and lofting the ball over the in-field, he compiled a neat 50 from a similar number of balls. He was the last man out when attempting an unorthodox reverse sweep, but had dragged his side from the brink of defeat to having a total to bowl at, with 130 all out.

Lessons were to be learned from the first innings and Blackheath knew they needed early wickets.

Home-grown pro Ivan Thomas (3-26) and the ever-reliable Jahid Ahmed (3-15) did not disappoint.

Moving the ball both ways and with an extra couple of yards of pace than the Sandwich bowlers, none of the top order ever looked comfortable.

The top four were dismissed – two bowled and two LBW – before Dipayan Paul took a superlative slip catch, diving low down to his right, to make it 18-5.

The game had completely changed and after a partnership of three, Tanweer Sikander (2-28) came into the attack, not one to miss out on a wicket fest.

Paul spun his way around the lower order as Sandwich were bowled out for 86.

Blackheath are at home to Lordswood on Saturday.

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