The weather was a far cry from the previous week with rain having fallen in the early hours and heavy showers forecast for the afternoon as Beckenham prepared to host promoted Canterbury. With the welcome to visiting scorer Chris Rawson back to Kent cricket done and dusted, the result of the toss was conveyed by the umpires that Canterbury had won it and would bat.
On a firm pitch, visiting captain Isaac Dilkes must have questioned the wisdom of his decision as Stuart Binny and Will MacVicar ripped out the top order to leave them groggy on 15-4. This was a welcome return to wickets for MacVicar after two barren matches. Skipper Dilkes and Burt battled away to repair the damage with the later batting with a maturity beyond his years. A rain break in the 16th over from 1.09 to 2.32 meant DLS had to be employed with the match being reduced to 48 overs per side. On the resumption, the Dilkes/Burt stand had reached 43 before Shojib Ali, who had replaced MacVicar removed Burt by courtesy of a Dan Hardy catch. The matters went from bad to worse as newcomer Mahi Mahfuzul got to work at the pavilion end. In an inspired spell of incisive seam bowling, he blew away the bottom order by taking three wickets at a personal cost of five runs. The visitors were now almost out for the count as Binny returned with the wicket of Rutherford and Mahfuzul the final wicket of Ben Cooper. For Beckenham, this was a truly clinical bowling display with Mahfuzul bagging the honours for his 4-23. Messrs. Duckworth, Lewis and Stern then reset the target as 89 to win.
Against the new ball pairing of Justin MacVicar and Ollie Hills, skipper Alex Senn settled down quickly and began to bat fluently. With partner Finnan Bryan getting a crisp four away on the leg side, the makings of a decent platform took place. Enter young South African speedster Tando Ntini (son of) who, after a wayward over, began to work up to impressive pace. This was tyoo much for the struggling Bryan who was castled for 7. Stuart Binny then gave some tantalising glimpses of his batting power before nicking Ntini behind to Burt for 14. Senn’s promising knock of 35 also came to an end as Ntini rearranged his stumps too and suddenly Beckenham were not having it all their own way on 68-3. Will MacVicar and Dan Hardy took the score up to 73 before the former went to Rutherford. Alex Blake strode to the wicket, played defensively to almost every ball while sizing up a tempting morsel to dispatch into the hereafter. Two duly disappeared many a mile with only a dot between them. And so Beckenham cruised to victory by 6 wickets with a blank Saturday to look forward to next week due to having played ‘early’. The two scorers had a most pleasant afternoon catching up on 10 years, discussing steam railways, big bands and watching a bit of cricket!