Broadstairs welcomed New Beckenham this week, eager for a first home win of the season after 2 home losses already.
The visitors won the toss and decided to bat first on the sunny but blustery day. Bradley Ellison returned to the team after a week drinking plenty of EFES in the sunny heat of Turkey, whilst Matt Hardy & Matt Frewin also returned after the captain’s wedding the previous week.
Ellison & Flint shared the new ball and it didn't take long for the pair to rip out the top order. Firstly Awan, after hitting a boundary earlier in the over, tried to hit Ellison over the top and only found Harry Carter at mid-off. 7-1 soon became 14-2 when Carter took another catch at mid-off from Ellison and then 21-3 when Flint trapped West LBW.
Ellison then took his third when Nathan Fox at short cover took a brilliant one-handed diving catch and Sidhu was on his way back to the pavilion. Then Flint claimed his second wicket; Perks hitting straight to George Kidd at cover and after 10 overs the visitors were 25-5!
The opening pair had the ball moving around, making life difficult for the batsmen, the only blemish so far had been a dropped caught and bowled effort from Ellison. Brad then got his fourth when Shanks played at one and lost his off stump and at 28-6 maybe Broadstairs were guilty of taking their foot off the gas.
George Kidd replaced Flint (6-1-14-2), but couldn't find any rhythm and was quickly replaced by Kidd Senior. Then once Ellison finished his spell (10-2-18-4) both the Kidds were on at each end.
Visiting captain Alan Slater batted sensibly and just needed someone to stay with him. Chris Kidd was keeping it tight from the top end, George was replaced at the bottom end by Matt Frewin, the 2 left armers now bowling in tandem and it was Frewin who struck in his second over, Joseph adjudged LBW and after 26 overs the score was 74-7.
The annoying partnership had been broken and now we would look to be chasing no more than 100. The blonde curly haired greenkeeper then picked up his second wicket, taking a return catch (82-8) Harry Carter then picked up a wicket, caught by Chris Flint and then Slater finally played a risky shot off Frewin (9.2-2-15-3), Harry Carter taking his third catch of the innings, this time at long off and we had bowled New Beckenham out for 113.
After tea and being able to watch the quickest ever goal to be scored in an FA cup final Jay & Nathan walked out to the middle. Our hopes of cruising to a nice comfortable victory didn't last long. Firstly Jay (7) edged to slip, 11-1. Matt Frewin at 3 was dropped first ball and again when trying to be aggressive against the spinners but settled in and started building with Nathan. With the score on 39, Fox (19) departed and the next over, Frewin (11) was also caught at mid-off and we were 39-3 with 2 new bats the the crease; Jake Benfield and Matt Hardy. It was the former who stamped his authority on the game, finding boundaries with considerable ease.
Spinner Whenddon had made life difficult, lack of pace meant it was down to the batsmen to be patient, exactly what Hardy (12) was trying to do when he succumbed to the penultimate ball of Wheddon's final over, a brilliant catch at slip.
George Kidd came in to face the final delivery and hit one of the shots of the day, a beautiful cover drive for 4. The next over Jake (29), trying to finish the game quickly, only found the long on fielder and when Tom Marshall (2) also found a fielder there was a bit of panic. Surely at 95-6 we couldn't mess this up!
Chris Flint (8*) and George Kidd (26*) saw us home in the 33rd over. A few more wickets lost than we'd like but nonetheless a victory and 18 points in the bag.
This week’s man of the match goes to Bradley Ellison for his 4-18
Next week we travel to Kingshill, newly promoted last year, with some experienced premier league players. We'll need to be fully focused!