Broadstairs won by 177 runs
Broadstairs 181-8 (50): Nathan Fox 97, Jake Benfield 57, Matthew Frewin 35, Tom Marshall 31
Gravesend 105 all ot (31.2): George Kidd 3-26, Chis Kidd 2-16, Bradley Ellison 2-24
Broadstairs travelled to Gravesend this weekend, a ground the first team haven’t visited for a few years and one that every time I’ve played at it’s been quite warm.
Jake Benfield and Matt Frewin made their return to club debuts this week, Andy Bailey also returned, whilst Alex Hogben still had a bad back. Matt Hardy lost the toss but was still asked to bat on an already used but in decent condition wicket. Nathan Fox and Bailey opened up to Gravesend bowlers who to start with bowled with vigour and got the ball to tennis ball bounce every so often. They struck early when Bailey (2) tried to whip Jan through the leg side only to see his off stump cartwheeling out the ground. Jake walked out at 3 with the score 7-1 and after an early let off set about compiling his innings along with Nathan. Gravesend were bowling to a plan, it wasn’t easy for our batsmen, but there seemed to be a boundary every over. After 10 overs we were 62/1, Nathan brought up his run a ball 50 in the 17th over with Jake just behind, hitting back to back sixes to get his half century in 49 deliveries after the Gravesend fielders let him off once again with what will most probably be drop of the season.
Jake was eventually dismissed LBW for a well made 57 and at the 20 over mark we were 126-2 and looking at a big score. Matt Frewin was in at 4, excited that West Ham had managed to get to a European cup final he was also the minibus driver for the day. Eager to aid us with a win he was off the mark first ball. The pair saw us through to drinks where skipper Hardy was very happy and eyeing up 300. We were able to get a few laps of the ground in whilst watching some decent batting and basking in the heat from the sun bouncing of the whitewash wall. After 30 overs we were still going along nicely 180-2 but with the final ball of the 32nd over, Frewin tried to run one too many down to third man and lost his off stump. The very next over, when returning for a second, slight hesitation from Nathan meant his dive was agonisingly short of his ground and he was run out for 97. Who will score our first century of the season?
Matt Hardy & George Kidd were in and all of a sudden Gravesend had a plan, pack the offside and give nothing away. This was working; the run rate slowed and both batsmen were hitting the cover fielder on a regular basis. Just 15 runs were scored in the next 7 overs, but we were still well set for 280+. George fell in the 41st, caught for 9 and Hardy (13) was found to be LBW 2 overs later and at the start of the 33rd over we were 221-6. Enter Tom Marshall & Chris Flint, the pair batted brilliantly, finding boundaries mixed with 1s and 2s, taking 52 runs in the next 6 overs until Flint (25) was eventually out of breath and out of his ground attempting a second, Harry Carter faced the next 4 deliveries before being run out from the final ball for 5 with Tom ending unbeaten on 31 from 24 deliveries and Broadstairs posting a total of 282.
Tea was supplied by Gravesend, a rarity in today’s game but it was well accepted.
Brad Ellison and Chris Flint shared the new ball, and carrying on from last week, Flint bowled superbly, picking up the first wicket in his second over; a brilliant slip catch by Andy Bailey and the very next over, Bailey took another catch, this time from Ellison. Two overs later, Brad, after being hit for a maximum, found the batsman’s edge and this time George Kidd took a brilliant catch, one handed and we had reduced the home team to 24-3. Chris was replaced by George Kidd after a fine spell of 6-2-16-1. It took George just 1 over to more or less end the match, firstly Khan who had dug in as opener, decided to try and take the youngster on, only succeeded in finding Harry Carter and 2 balls later ex Broadstairs player Usman Pervaiz was trapped in front. George then claimed his third in the 20th over when Sharma played on. Amongst all this, a dropped catch by his dad who then had to leave the field and almost went to hospital for a suspected broken finger, but having seen Matt Frewin warm up, Chris popped the blood blister that had appeared, tapped his fingers up and was straight back on the pitch. He could sense blood and it wasn’t just his own; Gravesend were 6 down for 61.
Chris bowled 2 overs before changing ends, and after Harry had located his radar he cleaned Haider up with a great delivery. Chris Kidd twirled away with the wind at his back now but he was still unable to find his first wicket of the season. Jake Benfield then produced some decent pace to hurry the Gravesend tail and when they set of for a hurried leg bye, Tom Marshall ran round, disarmed a glove and threw the stumps down claiming our 8th wicket. All that was left was for the elder Kidd to finish off and that he did, firstly bowling Jan and finally getting the last man LBW.
Victory by 177 runs and we’re up and running. The team spirit and atmosphere was fantastic, the fielding much improved with both Jake and Matt throwing themselves around as well as both batting well.
With no mention of a MoM last week because we were so poor, this week the award goes to Nathan Fox for his superb 97, Pedro even tried to find another 3 runs!
Two home games over the next 2 weeks, Harvel where due to availability we will have a much changed side but should have overseas star Jay Basu ready to get stuck into the Kent League bowlers and the following week we welcome New Beckenham to Park Avenue.