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Cricket bat maker Ben Bowles hits 150 for High Halstow

By Luke Cawdell

Ben Bowles should know what he’s doing with a cricket bat - he makes them for a living.

And on Saturday he smashed a personal-best 150 for High Halstow 1sts with a bat made to measure.

Bowles is back at High Halstow after a brief spell with The Mote and believes he has returned to a club back on the up.

He said: “I had good fun at the weekend and it’s great to be back.

“I wanted to try my chances at a higher level but things didn’t work out for me at The Mote and I’ve come back to my home club.

“David (Sibley, first team captain) begged me to come back and told me to just try and bat the whole innings and let the rest bat around me. That’s what I do best as I am more of an accumulator whereas others in the team are more keen to get on with it."

It certainly worked on Saturday as Bowles - in his second league game back - hit 150 to help High Halstow post an impressive 313-7 off 50 overs against RACS.

Bowles plays with a bat made at the Salix Cricket Bat company that he works for in Langley.
“I’ve been there for three years but I’m still a bit of an apprentice,” said the 23-year-old from Medway.

“There is a lot to learn but I can make a bat from start to finish and a do a lot of shaping and sanding. My boss Andrew does the final tweaking and I’m using one he prepared.

“I was a little nervous on 149 at the weekend but it was a great feeling to have reached 150. Unfortunately RACS weren’t interested in trying to win.”

RACS closed on 200-6 meaning High Halstow had to be satisfied with a winning draw.

“That was frustrating but the cloud has definitely lifted,” said Bowley, having rejoined a team that were relegated from Kent League Division 4 last season.

“The club is on the up, everyone is pulling in the right direction and we have some good young players coming through.

“I am sure we will avoid relegation this season quite comfortably and then start pushing again next season for promotion.”

Bowles completed a great weekend with a half century on Sunday in a 17-run victory over Herne.

Tomorrow (Saturday) they face a crunch meeting with Bromley Town - the team who sit a place below them at the bottom of the Division 5 table.

“It’s ‘must-win’ this one and the biggest game of our season so far,” said the opening batsman.

“We will be disappointed if we don’t get a result.”

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