Arriving at Tenterden on a nice sunny day hoping for a miracle, Broadstairs won the toss and elected to bat. The first job was to find Jayojit some equipment, his kitbag had been left back in Broadstairs. Thankfully cricket gear mad Brad, was able to supply boots, pads and gloves and although full of a cold JJ walked out to open with Alex.
A decent track with a little variable bounce and a lightening outfield made for a good start, last seasons top wicket taker in the premier league decided to take the aggressive approach, Alex toughed it out and the tucked into the full tosses and half volleys that were on offer. 65 without loss after 10 was looking good. Alex (33) fell in the 13th over, a shot that he's so good at just got a bit big on him and his pull hit the splice and a good over the shoulder catch was taken.
Elliot went in at 3 and ticked the scoring over with JJ, both taking the plenty of singles on offer and punishing the bad ball to the boundary. Jay was looking very comfortable. At drinks we were nicely set on 114-1 and the skipper's words of advice were to push on. Two overs later Elliot (30) was victim to the left arm spinners arm ball and Chris Flint joined JJ. The Tenterden fielding was some of the best we've seen this year, making it difficult to score.
JJ brought up his well crafted 100 from 99 deliveries and with 12 overs to go 2 wickets down and sitting on 195 we were hopeful of 280+.
However, Flint (12) was stumped in the 39th and when JJ was caught in the 40th for a brilliant 115 it meant we had two new bats at the crease.
Jamie (3) was caught in the 43rd trying to push on and the two Matts, Hardy & Frewin tried to kick on. Hardy (12) caught and George Kidd LBW the next delivery slowed us down. Frewin (22) was next to go, bowled and when Chris Kidd ((2) was caught we had 1 over to go, 1 wicket remaining and sitting on 251. Tom Marshall (16*) waited for the final 2 deliveries to guide a boundary past the keeper and despatching the final ball of the innings into the tress for a maximum. We ended on 265.
The thoughts at tea were it was a decent score, maybe 20-30 light from where we wanted to be but we had to bowl well.
Brad and Jamie opened up, a few decent shouts from Jamie were turned down, the odd boundary from each bowler and some half chances falling into space and just out of reach. After 10 overs we were happy with 39, a catch by Alex was sportingly denied by the fielder, saying it had bounced. Sportsmanship that wasn't repaid when we were convinced the same batsman edged behind!
However, there were plenty of fielding errors and after 20 overs and still no wickets the score had moved onto 109. It was on the stroke of drinks that we finally had the breakthrough, a stumping off the bowling of George Kidd to make it 149-1.
We needed wickets but we just couldn't find a way. Regular bowling changes mixed with some of the worst fielding we've produced this year made it extremely difficult. The scoring from 30 - 38 overs produced 70 runs, Stickells made his 100, an annoyingly brilliant ton it was too. He eventually fell for 138, with 2 runs required, caught by Jamie, bowled by George. We were put out of our misery in the 40th over.
It's been a tough season, relegation means we can find our level, rebuild and blood the youngsters. If we are to compete we must train as a club, not just the 1st team but the whole club.
We have 1 game remaining next week against Bromley Common, we will be hoping to end with a win, they have nothing to play for and hopefully won't travel well. Come along, have a beer or 2 and give us some verbal encouragement or abuse and lets enjoy the end of season as a club.