The 2nd XI maintained their position at the top of Division 1 with a show of strength in both batting and bowling that was too much for their opponents Bickley Park.
Losing the toss and being invited by the visitors to bat, the father-and-son opening combination of Lewis and Lee Hewitt got the innings off to an encouraging start with both players scoring freely and looking comfortable. However, their flow was interrupted in the 7th over when Lewis Hewitt’s fierce cut shot was smartly caught at point and he had to depart for 9 and the score on 29. He was followed quickly into the pavilion by Nathan Fox without scoring and it fell to teenager Tom Marshall and Lee Hewitt to build a substantive partnership. They both rose to the challenge, finding the boundary seemingly at will and offering nothing in the way of chances. When they had added a further 60 runs to the total, they were dismissed in quick succession after Hewitt (44) picked-up a hamstring injury and Marshall (31) was trapped LBW attempting a sweep. Enter another teenager, George Kidd, who took up the reins, first alongside Josh Marshall (6) and then Joe McCaffery (3). When skipper Andy Marshall replaced McCaffery, the score was 105-6 and there was still plenty of work to be done over the remaining 20 overs to post a defendable total. Their lively partnership of 61 off 13 overs shifted the momentum towards the Seasiders but had to come to an end when Kidd’s lofted drive was taken by the fielder at long on. This was the trigger for Marshall to unleash a series of heavy blows towards the short boundary. With the support of Callum McCormick (11), Oli Frewin (3) and Ashley Ellison (0), he made full use of the final overs and the innings finished on 224 with the swashbuckling Marshall unbeaten on 77 from 68 balls.
Fox and McCormick opened the bowling for Broadstairs and it was McCormick who would put on a star turn for this early part of the second innings. He removed Cooper with the score on 17 and then proceeded to frustrate the Bickley Park batsmen with unwavering control. Frewin (1-35) replaced Fox (0-30) and he and McCormick struck in quick succession reducing the visitors to 59-4. When McCormick’s immaculate spell ended, he had claimed three wickets for the cost of a mere nine runs off his ten overs including five maidens. His replacement, teenager McCaffery struck in his first over and three further wickets were to follow in an impressive masterclass in leg-spin bowling. Once his spell had completed (4-32), it fell to Ellison (1-11) and Kidd (1-44) to finish off the Bickley Park innings with Fox holding on to a high catch in the deep in the 46th over being the final action of the match. The highly effective Broadstairs bowling unit had restricted Bickley Park to 163, 61 runs short of the target.
Whilst recent matches had demonstrated that the Broadstairs batting line-up is able consistently to chase down targets of 230-plus, this week’s match showed that the bowling is equally capable of defending similar scores. They can look forward to next week’s encounter at home to Whitstable with some confidence.