In the week that Harry Kane left Spurs in the search of a trophy, we welcomed Kings Hill, close rivals in the league. Both teams needed to win to push for any sort of promotion hopes.
Matt Frewin skippering in the absence of Matt Hardy who had brought Delhi belly back home from honeymoon, won the toss and decided to bat. The pitch was a little damp after an overnight shower but the aim was to get runs on the board and pressurise the visitors.
However, with ex prem and leading run scorer Miles Richardson charging in from the top end, the first ball to Jay nipped back and clipped the off stump first ball of the match with Jay offering no shot. This did however mean that Harry Carter wouldn’t be getting run out by Jay this week!
They opened with spin at the bottom end, which we assumed meant they had little bowling so was vital to keep wickets in hand. Harry managed a couple of early boundaries to settle the nerves but Richardson was jagging the ball around and bowling great lines. Nathan (5) was next to go, adjudged caught behind and when Tom Marshall (0) followed 2 overs later from an unplayable delivery we were 14-3 from 6 overs.
But there was no panic, Matt Frewin joined Harry and the two set about building an innings and trying to see Richardson off. The change of bowling came after 12 overs and Harry hit a couple of lovely straight drives to the boundary, Matt was also getting into his stride and hitting over the top, taking the spinner on. After 20 overs we were better placed at 72/3.
Harry brought up his half century in the 23rd over but a lapse of concentration the following over saw him caught without adding any more to his superb 50.
George (5) joined the skipper and hit a boundary first ball. He was looking good but 5 overs later he cut a delivery that was superbly caught diving one handed by the point fielder. Chris Flint (5) joined Matt and we were trying to eat up deliveries whilst picking up 3 or 4 runs an over. Their overseas had a bad back but was bowling off a few paces and making it tricky with a lack of pace. Chris fell in the 37th over, playing on.
Chris Kidd joined Matt who brough up his half century the following over and going into the final 10 overs we were 138/6. The 150 came up in the 42nd over and then the returning Richardson had Kidd (11) caught, Ben Allinson (1) was bowled by Mclean and Frewin (71) fell caught behind after a brilliantly constructed innings to give Richardson his 5th.
Oli Frewin (4) was last man out in the 48th over. A bit of a crime not completing our allotted overs but after being 14-3 we’d have taken that score.
We knew that Richardson and overseas Crump were the ones to get if we wanted to give ourselves the best chance of winning. And so Ellison & Flint opened up, arguably the best opening attack in the division as well as possibly the best all-round bowling attack (stats don’t lie).
Kings Hill started with a boundary first ball but Ellison trapped Hickford LBW 5th delivery and we were up and running. Flint was bowling right on the money as he has done all season and kept runs to a minimum from the top end. The 5th over saw the fall of Richardson, the ball from Brad jagging back and trapping him on the back foot, an easy decision for the umpire.
The Broad and Anderson of Broadstairs kept chipping away, not giving a great deal of deliveries to hit. The Aussie overseas was unable to find any momentum and when Brad got his third with a regulation catch at first slip by Chris (my season’s over) Kidd we had the visitors 33-3 after 15. Then crump decided to take on Brad in his final over, the ball swinging past the edge of the bat and Tom Marshall whipping the bails off, 42-4 and we had the 2 best bats out!
Brad finished with yet another 4fer and Flint went for only 18 from his 10 overs!
Over to the Kidds, George steaming in up the hill and Chris springing in from the top end. Kings Hill managed to get to drinks without losing any more wickets. This gave us time to regroup and gee ourselves up again. Too often we’ve had opposition teams in this position and thought it was just going to happen.
Resuming at 59-4 after drinks, Chris was turning the screw. Meaning they decided to try and take George on. He responded in his first over after drinks by bowling Burns, 2 overs later Chris claimed his first victim LBW, 66-6 from 30 overs. George then claimed his second, caught behind by Tom and then the writing was on the wall.
The 34th over saw a rarity in the game of cricket, a dot ball first up from Chris, second delivery he trapped Mclean LBW, third delivery Ambanpola left the arm ball that clipped off stump. 78-9 and Chris was on a hattrick. Could he succeed where George and Brad had failed already this season?
We surrounded the number 11, slips, 2 leg slips, silly mid-off and Harry hanging back on the edge of the circle just in case there was a big swing, in fact it was a wafty push at the delivery that clipped the inside edge and cannoned into the stumps! Cue the celebrations!!
What a way to finish the game and what a brilliant all-round performance from us.
Plenty of choices for MoM this week, Harry for his classy innings, Matt for his dig in well compiled knock, Brad for his top order destruction and Chris for his superb 4-4 from 6.3 including the hattrick. But I think the skipper just edges it over Chris because of the moment in the game, not letting us roll over as we have so many times in the past. This is a new Broadstairs squad of players, one I’m immensely proud to represent and play with each week.
Next week we welcome bottom of the table Ashford, we won’t be taking the lightly and will be looking to continue winning ways and our push for promotion to the championship.