This week Broadstairs travelled to Kings Hill, newly promoted last season and a new ground for majority of the XI to play at. The hottest day of the year so far meant the toss was vital, Matt Hardy called correctly, and the bowlers could find some shade and put their feet up.
Jay Basu & Nathan Fox opened up, the overseas star fresh from his day at the oval watching India battle Australia was hungry for runs. A watchful first 10 overs, a few boundaries and plenty of wides helped us to 54 and when Jay launched the first maximum of the innings in the twelfth over it looked like we could be in for a big score on a decent track.
The spinners struggled to slow the run rate until Fox (35) somehow managed to hit the ball onto his thigh pad and then watched as the ball slowly rolled into the leg stump and having just enough force to remove the bail.
Andrew Bailey (2) followed soon after and at 17 overs we were 87/2. Jake Benfield had joined Jay and both JB’s were happy to knock the ball around while the spinners tightened their grip, but there was still a boundary ball every other over. Jay reached his half century in the 20th over and at the halfway stage we were 125/2 and the pair brought up the 50 partnership in the 27th over.
After 30 overs we were nicely placed with wickets in hand to push on and double the current score of 160/2. Jake decided he’d had enough and launched a huge maximum, whilst Jay was nearing his century, his appetite for runs on this red-hot day was clear to see and in the 33rd over he took the single on offer to reach 3 figures. A classy innings from 104 deliveries with 12 fours and 2 maximums.
The following over the 100 partnership was reached, we were well set!
However, Jay’s innings ended a few overs later, after hitting the first 2 deliveries of Richardson’s over for boundaries, he was caught attempting a third, but he brilliant 117 had set us up to reach 300 for the first time this season. Matt Frewin joined Benfield and immediately worked singles, Jake reaching his half century from 58 deliveries, the pair got us up to 232/3 from 40 overs.
Frewin (14) was then caught trying to go over the top and when Jake followed the next over for a well made 63, caught on the boundary. Two new batsmen at the crease, this can slow an innings down but George Kidd & Matt Hardy kept the rate up until Kidd (5) was adjudged LBW and with 5 overs remaining we were 259/6. The rest of the innings was scampered singles, 2’s and a few boundaries, Hardy (33) was eventually caught but Tom Marshall (14)) & Chris Flint (6) saw us past 300, ending the innings on 306.
After a tea supplied by the home side it was our turn to go onto into the cauldron of fire.
Brad Ellison & Chris Flint as usual shared the new ball, a chance created in the first over with an edge behind wasn’t taken, and after both started with maidens, the following overs all produced boundaries, some edges both inside & out but also some bad deliveries and some good batting. We knew we were in a game, at the 10 over mark the home side were 43/0.
Although still behind the run rate, Hardy wanted more control over the game and quickly changed it, the left arm spin of Chris Kidd and Matt Frewin slowed things down and in Kidd’s third over he got the breakthrough, bowling Rose (27) and then with his fifth delivery almost a replica for Nicol (35)
72/2 at drinks but we knew Richardson was a threat. The two spinners worked away in tandem with the run rate hovering around the 4 mark. Richardson latched onto a short delivery from Frewin but Ellison was unable to hold onto the chance at midwicket and after 25 overs Kings Hill required another 192 for victory.
Both spinners were replaced by George Kidd and Jay Basu and it was the formers third over where things started to happen, an edge behind, nicely caught by Marshall and overseas player Crump (41) was gone. In his next over the same dismissal to remove Richardson (42) also departed and the very next ball Marshall and Kidd teamed up again and George was on a hattrick. He filled the slip cordon, got a short midwicket in, the most attacking field of the day, we all waited, could he do it. As George strode in energetically, he unleashed a nice length delivery but way down the leg side! WIDE BALL!!!! But he had reduced the home side to 155/5.
Two overs later George claimed his fourth wicket, nicely caught by Nathan Fox. Fox then replaced Kidd who was looking tired and he picked up a nice caught & bowled with just his second delivery. Chris Flint returned at the other end and used his experience, setting the trap with George out at deep mid-wicket and the batter fell into the trap, two balls later he picked up his second, Fox with another catch. George Kidd then replaced Fox after an over to see if he could get his 5th and the first 5fer of the 1st XI season, it took him just 3 deliveries to find the edge with Jay taking the catch and we had bowled the home side out for 177.
A great victory by 129 runs, next week we travel to bottom of the league Ashford but shouldn’t be underestimated!
This weeks Man of the match is Jay Basu for his brilliant hungry hundred, but George’s spell was superb.