Broadstairs restrict Whitstable to 205 and reach the target in the 47th over
Broadstairs CC 1st XI made it three wins out of four with a victory over local rivals Whitstable in an enthralling encounter at the Belmont. Having won the toss, the hosts elected to bat first and got off to a stuttering start with the opening seam attack of Elliot Fox and Masoud Rangin striking early with the dismissal by Rangin of Lewis, caught behind by Jack Wheeler. The bowlers continued to hit the spot and Whitstable continued at a rate of 3 per over for the first 10 overs. The second wicket partnership of Loader and Appleby resisted the combination of seam and spin from Farjad Yasir, Swaroop Dasari, Jamie Dewell and Chris Kidd for the next 14 overs. They advanced the score to 89 when the breakthrough finally came just before drinks with Dewell bowling Loader for 33. Whitstable’s skipper Appleby was also eventually dismissed by Dewell, spectacularly caught behind by replacement wicket-keeper Chris Flint but not before Appleby had amassed 60 runs and established a good platform for the middle order. However, what followed was a dramatic collapse with 4 further wickets being lost for the addition of just 21 runs, Dasari (2 wickets), Kidd (1 wicket) and Alfie Huntley with a run out doing the damage. Whitstable now found themselves at 129-7 with a possible 14 overs still remaining and a strong likelihood that they would be defending a low target. The tail-enders had other ideas however and although 1 further wicket was to fall when Sinclair was caught by Callum Morgan off the bowling of Fox, Jordan and Smith conducted an unbeaten and productive 9th wicket stand, completing the host’s innings with 205 on the board.
Whilst this total represented a tougher challenge for the visitors than they had expected, Broadstairs began their innings with some confidence that if the top order could reproduce the form of recent weeks, they should be able to win the match. The opening partnership of Chris Flint and Fox started cautiously against the pace of Mills and Jordan and when Flint was caught off the bowling of Jordan in the 8th over, the score had crept up to just 22. In at number 3 was 14 year-old George Kidd, a new-comer this season to the 1st XI. He and fellow teenager Fox established a highly effective partnership with Kidd providing stability and steady scoring alongside the more aggressive hitting of Fox. Together Fox and Kidd put on 104 runs with Fox achieving his 4th half-century in as many weeks, eventually being caught for 78 at deep-midwicket off the bowling of Dale. With things still very much in the balance, the match looked like it could fall back into the hands of the hosts when Dasari (8) was trapped LBW. However, Kidd displayed maturity beyond his years and continued to provide an anchor role, now for the incoming Jack Wheeler who treated the Belmont spectators to a show of electrifying shot-making. He and Kidd saw the batting side home with 3.5 overs to spare, Kidd finishing on 52 and Wheeler reaching 54 off just 35 balls.
This was an important victory for Broadstairs; it consolidated their position at the top end of Division 2 and also demonstrated that there is strength in depth in batting to complement the highly effective bowling unit. On Saturday, Broadstairs host bottom of the table Ashford and will be hoping to build on their early season success.