The Broadstairs tail-enders needed to keep their nerve to secure a 1 wicket victory in a tightly-contested match against fellow promotion hopefuls and hosts Chestfield. After winning the toss and electing to bat, Chestfield were on target for a large total despite the loss of Patching and Hunter before the drinks break, both falling victim to Chris Flint’s opening spell.
A series of missed chances and dropped catches by the visitors allowed Chestfield to advance their score to 120-2 in the 29th over with Chambers and Pearson looking comfortable. It was Swaroop Dasari who broke through, dismissing Pearson for 65 however it took another 10 overs before the next wicket was to fall when Chambers was caught by Isaac Dilkes off the bowling of Elliot Fox.
This was to be the first of 5 wickets in a short spell for the seventeen year-old, bowling in partnership with Dasari who himself picked-up a further 2 wickets. Eventually, the Fox/Dasari combination brought the Chestfield innings to an end in the 49th over with the total standing at 220.
A change to the usual opening batting partnership brought Fox and Scott Narraway to the crease to begin Broadstairs’ reply. However, both were dismissed within the first 10 overs by the lively bowling of Bennett and it was down to Flint and Dilkes to re-build the innings.
When Dilkes (15) was removed in the 17th over and the score was at 53, Dasari continued where Dilkes had left off, batting positively and building a very productive partnership of 87 with Flint. Flint was finally removed for an invaluable 40 and the incoming Jack Wheeler (30) wasted no time in continuing his excellent form in the middle order.
When Dasari was caught off the bowling of Patching, Broadstairs were looking favourites to win, with 41 runs required from a possible 14 overs and 5 wickets still in hand. However, the tension was to build through to the finale as the visitors lost a couple of wickets in quick succession – Dewell (2) and Wheeler (30).
Matthew Frewin, batting alongside Chris Kidd, settled the nerves and although Kidd was removed for just 6, it still looked like Frewin and Callum Morgan would see the team over the line. Morgan’s dismissal with the scores level and 1 wicket remaining set the scene for a dramatic conclusion with Alfie Huntley managing to hit a four to complete the victory.
The win puts Broadstairs in joint 3rd position with 6 games left. Next week, they host St Lawrence and Highland Court in what promises to be another compelling encounter.
Report David Parker