By David Fox
Broadstairs 1st XI pulled-off a dramatic win at home to Ashford to further strengthen their case for promotion to Division 1. Heavy showers and lightning during the second innings meant the result was always in doubt, despite the hosts’ dominance with bat and ball. The day began with Broadstairs being invited to field after losing the toss and the visitors got off to a productive start, making the most of a fast outfield.
However, a succession of wickets for Bradley Ellison (2-32) and Chris Kidd (2-8) left Ashford struggling at 74-4 at the halfway stage in their innings. They came close to doubling this tally after the drinks break and finished on 143 all out with wickets for Callum Morgan (2-18), George Kidd (1-25) and Elliot Fox (1-25) coupled with run outs by Morgan and Jamie Dewell bringing the Ashford innings to a premature end.
This modest target set the scene for a batting onslaught to ensure the match was completed, despite the threats offered by the weather. In the event, Nathan Fox and Alex Hogben led the way after the early dismissal of Dewell but when lightning was seen at the start of the 6th over with 35 on the board, the safety directives demanded that play should be suspended for at least thirty minutes. As it turned out, a series of heavy showers bombarded the square and outfield during this period and beyond, making further play impossible for over two hours.
The action eventually resumed at 7pm with Broadstairs set the formidable task of adding a further 109 runs from just 15.1 overs. Hogben and Fox carried on from where they left off and with the light fading and pressure mounting, errors started to creep into the Ashford fielding. By the 12th over, the pair had advanced the score to 103 and the odds were shifting firmly to the home side.
However, an error in judgement by Hogben (31) led to a comfortable run out going for a second run and this brought Andrew Bailey to the crease, still with a job of work to be done. By this stage, Fox had reached his sixth half-century of the season and was continuing to score rapidly with a series of lofted boundary shots around the ground. When Bailey (16) hit a six to finish the match, Fox had reached 91 off 48 balls and Broadstairs had achieved the win quite comfortably in the end, with 5 overs to spare.
The victory brings their run of wins to four in a row and with the top teams still to play one other, Broadstairs should secure promotion if they manage to win all of their remaining five matches. The first of these next weekend is perhaps the toughest of all – away to table-topping Dartford CC.