Broadstairs win by 2 wickets with 4 balls remaining
Bradley Ellison 4-25, Matt Frewin 2-45
Jay Basu 82, Matt Hardy 27, Harry Carter 25, Chris Kidd 16*
This week Broadstairs welcomed Old Wilsonians to Park Avenue on an overcast but extremely humid day. Captain Matt Hardy lost the toss and Broadstairs were asked to bowl, conditions that certainly favoured our attack. Bradley Ellison and Chris Flint shared the new ball and the visitors’ overseas player came out swinging, two boundaries in the first couple of overs but also plenty beating the outside edge. The fifth over saw Ellison dispatched into the trees for a maximum but Broadstairs set the trap and Adeesha fell into it when he found Matt Frewin at deep mid-on for Ellison to get his first wicket.
The eleventh over then saw our third opportunity this season of a hattrick, firstly Devarajulu played forward to a ball pitching middle and leg, swinging past the outside edge and hitting the top of off stump and almost a repeat the next ball, Bettridge going back and also losing his off stump. Rodda faced the hattrick ball and smothered it with a forward defensive.
The very next over, opener Nichols decided to take advantage of Jake Benfield’s leisurely chase after the ball, turning for a third the batsman realised he was in trouble when the ball rocketed in from Jake’s arm and Chris Flint removed the bails. The next over Brad picked up his fourth, a standard swing bowlers wicket finding the outside edge of Merchant’s bat and Jay Basu taking the catch at first slip.
Old Wills were struggling at 49-5 but they had 2 experienced first team players at the crease in Rodda and Mitchell. The introduction of 2 left arm spinners ensured the batting side were watchful but neither batter took any risks. At the halfway stage they had moved onto 83-5, but straight after drinks Frewin accepted a return catch from Mitchell. The stubborn Rodda was joined by Willis and the pair set about building a competitive score. Despite the introduction of pace from Fox, spin from Jay and more pace from Jake we were still unable to find a breakthrough and with 10 overs to go 152 was on the board. Frewin returned and removed Rodda for a well-made 90, caught by Chris Kidd and it was damage-limitation for the final 3 overs.
There was a great deal of disappointment walking off the field for tea after having the opposition 46-5 and 93-6 and then seeing 231 on the board. But the wicket played well, the outfield was quick and we had the batting to chase it down.
Jay and Nathan opened up as did Adeesha with the new ball bowling plenty of heat that we hadn’t faced for a while. He struck in his second over, a high bouncer to Nathan (7) who attempted to hook but could only glove through to the keeper. Harry Carter came in at 3 and was watchful along with Jay. Adeesha’s pace meant he was able to drop short and hurry the batters, but when he did pitch it up, Carter leant into an exquisite cover drive for 4 and was showing that he can make the number 3 position his. The pair batted sensibly and waited for the bad ball came along to put it away. Jay brought up his fourth half-century of the season in the 18th over however, a superb bit of fielding on the boundary and through in saw Harry Carter (25) run out attempting a second. Following this, Jake Benfield (12) hit a monster cover drive for 6 into the housing estate but then fell 2 balls later caught at deep mid-wicket.
At the halfway stage we were well-set at 132-3. Matt Frewin (19) joined Jay but fell to the spin of Mitchell in the 31st over and when Jay then offered a catch in the 33rd over for a classy 82 we required 70 runs from 17 overs with 5 wickets remaining.
There was no need to panic, we had plenty of time, but the visitors were also keeping the pace of Adeesha up their sleeve. At 183 it was Flint (6) who was next to go, the Sri Lankan bowler striking with his first delivery as Chris tried to run it down but ended up playing onto his stumps and in the 41st over Hardy (27) was adjudged LBW and we required 32 more runs. Ben Allinson was also adjudged LBW giving the paceman his fourth wicket and Chris Kidd, lover of all things pace bowling strode out to join Callum Morgan. 203-8 with just 4 deliveries remaining could Kidd see them off? He did and along with Callum chipped away edging us closer and closer.
Mitchell returned to finish his spell but Morgan kept him out and we knew that the rest of the bowling was average. Rodda, who earlier in the day had batter superbly but had since had 2 warnings from the umpires came on in the 48th over with us requiring 20 runs still. He was met with a boundary first ball from Chris, followed by a wide and a single and then another boundary from Callum. 10 from the over meaning we required 10 from 12 deliveries. Leg spin from the bottom end did enough to ensure scoring was difficult, with just 3 coming from the over. With a good crowd watching it had come down to us needing 7 from the final over.
Now I’ve seen a lot of things in my Broadstairs career but one thing I had never seen was about to happen. Rodda stood at the end of his run up, cantered in and bowled to Chris Kidd who greatly accepted the half volley and hit it straight back over the bowler’s head and into the trees at mid-off. The cheers and celebrations were fantastic but that just levelled the scores. Rodda came in again and Kidd ran it down to the fine leg boundary, but the batters had completed the required single. What a game of cricket!!
Safe to say a few drinks were enjoyed as part of our mid-season celebrations. This week’ MoM was Jay for his superb 82 but overall a real team performance in a game that we could easily have lost.
Next week we travel to Nonington hoping to exact revenge for our early season defeat and close the gap between ourselves and the top 4