Broadstairs travelled to Harvel. Captain Alex Hogben won the toss and decided to bat on a hot, sunny but blustery day. Hogben and Nathan Fox opened up and were both very watchful early doors. The ball not quite coming on made it difficult to time, however both batsmen pounced on the regular bad deliveries and after 15 overs were 76 on the scoreboard and had seen off the opening bowlers.
Both batsmen had settled in and were pushing the ball around nicely, rotating the strike and frustrating the Harvel bowlers. The skipper reached his half century via a boundary but departed shortly after for 52. Fox followed the next over, bowled for 40 to a delivery he could have put anywhere and 98 without loss had become 108-3 when Andrew Bailey mistimed a drive and was caught for 10.
Jayojit Basu & Noah McLennan steadied the ship for the next ten overs, ticking the scoreboard over, Jay hitting a shot of the day cover drive for 4 of the left arm spin of McSweeney. Noah fell LBW in the 33rd over for 14 bringing Matt Hardy to the crease, hitting a maximum early doors. Hardy and Basu picked off the singles and punished the bad balls. With 12 overs to go Jay played on for 44 and then in quick succession Tom Marshall was LBW for 4, Chris Flint was caught & bowled 0. Hardy & Harry Carter took the score up to 220 before Hardy was also caught for 29, Chris Kidd fell in the same style as Flint but Carter stuck around and finished the innings with a maximum.
Broadstairs had posted 243 and were itching to get stuck into the Harvel line-up. Bradley Ellison opened up on his return to the team and had the dangerous Dom Saunders LBW with the final ball of his first over. Chris Flint shared the new ball and was beating the bat regularly, but both bowlers were unable to build pressure with runs coming from each over. But then Flint struck in his third over, Bailey taking the catch and Broadstairs had the first maiden of the innings. The visitors then tightened their grip on the game, the next 7 overs were maidens with Ellison picking up another LBW as well as the Harvel skipper caught by Fox and picking up his 400th league wicket in the process. Flint also picked up his second, nicely caught by Carter and when the Harvel number 4 attempted a suicidal run, the home side had been reduced to 25-6.
Ellison finished his spell (10-5-19-3), Flint (9-4-31-2) was they were replaced by Chris Kidd & Harry Carter respectively. Kidd struck in his second over after a partnership of 39 and then got 2 in 2, Fermer LBW for 40 and McSweeny bowled first ball. The experienced left armer had the opportunity of a hattrick after having his first ever one the night before in a T20 match against Canterbury. It wasn’t to be this time but he only had to wait until his next over when he had the number 11 LBW to claim his fourth victim and Broadstairs had bowled Harvel out for 107 inside 33 overs. Kidd finished with 4-19 from 6.5.
There were many positives to take out of the game, but also it moved us joint second in the league with OD CUACO and behind Whitstable. With another away day next week at Ashford, Broadstairs will be hoping to maintain the winning streak and keep the pressure on Whitstable.
I played away to Harvel for Meopham in the mid to late 60’s. Lovely ground with an orchard (then) to one side. The Amazon and Tiger public house was near by. The village of Harvel was one of the very few in Kent not to have a church. It was said to have a stone circle, I don’t remember ever seeing it. Although not that many miles away at the Vigo there still is a circle.