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Picture courtesy of Keith Gillard

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Quality tells as all-rounders continue winning streak

Blackheath CC's 1st XI hosted a plucky Tenterden CC, buoyed by 2 wins from 2 in their first ever Premier League season, but the quality of all-rounders Dipayan Paul, Warren Lee and Jahid Ahmed proved too much for them as the Club came away with a 25 run victory. 

Chris Willetts won the toss when he would probably have preferred to lose it, and he decided to bat as the Club had done in the previous two games where they had also claimed maximum points. 

After George Wells was well held at second slip, Tanweer Sikandar had his leg stump clipped by the ball of the day, and Willetts chased a wide one trying to relieve the pressure, the Club were 8 for 3 and that decision to bat looked a poor one.  

Alex Roberts and Richard Fleming set about abating the Tenterden momentum as the away side moved beyond their opening attack, and Blackheath suffered no further losses before the drinks break although runs had also been at a premium with the score on 58-3. 

Blackheath were dealt a setback when Roberts suffered a thigh strain as the Club looked to move up a gear and although the rate had increased, by the 37th over both Roberts (47) and Fleming (31) were back in the pavilion with the score on 89. 

Warren Lee and Dipayan Paul began their 6th wicket partnership with ominous confidence. Lee's powerful display produced the most runs but Paul's masterful stroke-play was of a level that Tenterden were clearly unused to. Even against an attack that included two current professional cricketers, both batsman scored at will and their unbroken 136 run stand came in just 13 overs to give the Club a challenging total of 225-5 in conditions that had barely changed throughout the day. 

Tenterden began their chase cautiously as Tanweer Sikandar, Warren Lee and then Jahid Ahmed forced the batsman to play and miss time and time again. A difficult chance went down at short mid wicket and this, along with a now wet ball from the drizzle that was coating the outfield, took the wind out of Blackheath's sails. 

A short rain break took the teams from the field and Blackheath returned with a decidedly more defensive approach. The accuracy of Tom Mees and Mehdi Abbas soon paid dividends as Tenterden's left-handed opener played all around one from Abbas. 

Despite the damp ball, the introduction of Dipayan Paul was also continuing the containment job but it was a rare loose ball that accounted for the Tenterden overseas player, well held by Warren Lee and square leg. 

The remaining Tenterden opener had his stumps rearranged by the returning Sikander, attempting a mid-wicket hoik which had served him well up until that point and the home side sensed that victory would be in sight if they could dislodge the Ashford club's Kent all-rounder.

The continuing Paul was varying his pace beautifully despite the unhelpful conditions and he forced a leading edge which produced that all important wicket, taking a decent return catch.

Jahid Ahmed then returned from the tennis court end and he overwhelmed the Tenterden middle and lower order to end up with a 5 wicket haul (all bowled) that wrapped up a good game with 2.2 overs remaining.  


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BACKGROUND
   


Blackheath Cricket Club is one of the leading cricket clubs in London. Formed over one hundred and fifty years ago and sporting a colourful history, Blackheath fields 7 league teams every Saturday, up to 3 teams on a Sunday and also operates an extensive youth section as well as a growing women’s section.

The 1st XI play in the Premier Division of the Kent League, one of the strongest amateur cricket leagues in the UK. The Club’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th XIs also play in to the Kent Premier League structure making the number of opportunities available for high level cricket at one club relatively unique. As such the Club has recently opened a new second ground at the Academy in Woolwich.

The Club’s other XIs, Sunday teams, midweek programme and vibrant social scene mean there is a place for everyone from current internationals to complete beginners.

Blackheath also has one of the leading youth sections in the UK, regularly progressing to the latter stages of the ECB National U13 and U15 Cup competitions. An ECB Focus Club with Clubmark accreditation and a wealth of experienced coaches, Blackheath provides an environment where young people can enjoy the game recreationally but also supports a steady stream of young people to access county age-group squads.

Blackheath Cricket Club is situated in the London Borough of Greenwich but serves much of central south and east London. As such the Club prides itself on a diverse membership with players from around the UK and around the world currently calling the Club’s Rectory Field ground home.

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