Broadstairs advanced to second place in Division 2 after a comprehensive victory over Tenterden. The win featured a century apiece for brothers Nathan and Elliot Fox in a 4th wicket partnership worth 194 runs. The match couldn’t have got off to a worse start when skipper Alex Hogben, having won the toss and electing to bat first, was out bowled, first ball of the match. This brought Andrew Bailey to the crease who together with Nathan Fox, set a scoring rate of around 6 runs per over that set the tone for the rest the innings. When Bailey (24) was caught at mid-on, Jamie Dewell carried on from where he had left off with an explosive display of boundary hitting. He was eventually caught after top-edging the ball skyward but his 36 runs off just 26 balls had helped to set a strong foundation for others to build-upon. With the score on 97 and still two thirds of the allotted overs available, Broadstairs looked well-set to post a big total. Elliot Fox, playing his first match of the season after returning from university, joined his brother in the middle and together, they batted with an ease and understanding that has been honed over many years in the back garden. For the next 90 minutes, they would see each other through half-centuries and closing in on tons, with Nathan Fox being first to complete his in the 37th over. He was eventually dismissed for 121, falling just short of accompanying his brother over the century line with Elliot Fox reaching his milestone in the 44th over and then being dismissed shortly after for 103. The remainder of the innings was orchestrated largely by Matt Hardy who notched-up a sprightly and unbeaten 65 off forty balls, including six fours, three sixes and a series of dropped catches by the visitors. For the first time this season, Broadstairs had batted their full allocation of 50 overs and in the process, posted a total of 390 that was always going to be well beyond Tenterden’s reach.
While the visitors had shown a great deal of generosity with their catching and general fielding, the same could not be said for Broadstairs. During the course of the Tenterden innings, the Seasiders managed to take all seven of the chances that came their way, none of which were simple catches. Particular highlights were the grab down the leg side by Andrew Bailey off the bowling of Harry Carter, an equally sharp slip catch by Chris Kidd off the bowling of Bradley Ellison and an acrobatic catch in the deep by Elliot Fox once again off the bowling of Carter. Carter’s fiery opening spell of six overs combined with Ellison’s characteristic guile and control from the opposite end proved too much for the Tenterden top order, the opening bowling pair sharing the first six wickets between them. Against some dogged resistance at the end of the innings, it was eventually Chris Kidd who worked through the remaining four batsman, aided by the safe hands of Matt Hardy and Jamie Dewell and Tenterden finished all out for 135 in the 39th over.
The victory demonstrates the extent to which Broadstairs might have underperformed during the early part of the season and has served to strengthen the expectation that they should be in the running for promotion by the end of the season. They will hope to continue their recent good form next week when they travel to Harvel CC.