1st XI v Lordswood | Cricket Report - 22/06/19

The sun shone on a perfect English summer’s day as Beckenham assembled at the newly-named Peter Edmonds Ground, home of early front-runners Lordswood, and a tribute to one of the ‘founding fathers’ of the club, the other being the late Colin Gardener, great friend of this scorer.  Welcoming back Adam Senn, on holiday from Australia, this was the strongest side Beckenham can field.

The pitch was firm but showed signs that it might turn at some point and home skipper Chris Piesley won the toss and elected to bat.  The two scorers settled down in the scorebox which resembled Mission Control (“Ground Control to Major Tom…”) and awaited the start of the action.  Kent’s Sean Dickson and the prolific Linden Lockhart encountered an unerring line and length from Stuart Binny and Will MacVicar and runs  needed to be earned.  With 12 on the board, Binny had Lockhart edging behind to James Balmforth for an important breakthrough.  Skipper Alex Senn then rested MacVicar from the football ground end and brought on Johan Malcolm’s off-spin.  New arrival Jack Laraman struggled to make headway against the visiting attack and, going for a suicidal single, was run out by Binny’s accurate return.  Dickson, meanwhile, was batting steadily but unable to dominate the bowling which was backed up by excellent fielding.  MacVicar returned from the pavilion end and, almost immediately, uprooted the stumps of Ed Taylor and Mike French in successive balls – 42-4.  Adam Senn then replaced Malcolm and struck gold with his first delivery as Dickson swung his first ball behind to leg and straight into the waiting hands of Stuart Binny.  The younger Senn then showed exactly why he has been so badly missed since 2016 with a faultless display of deadly accurate off-spin.  MacVicar then struck again to nail Lordswood captain Chris Piesley in front without scoring and the home side were in desperate trouble.  Keeper Shaun Piesley then combined with Brendan Conradie to try and shore up the innings until the latter was bowled by Senn and, on the last ball of the over, Hugh Scott was run out by Dan Hardy’s direct hit.  Taylor Chandler then helped Piesley add a crucial 21 runs before holing out to Mahi Mahfuzul and Senn completed the rout by having Murphy caught behind.  This had been a superb, clinical bowling performance with MacVicar (3-23) and Adam Senn (3-23) having the best returns.

The Beckenham reply began with new opener Dan Hardy joining skipper Alex Senn against the all spin attack of Hugh Scott and Chris Piesley.  Both batsmen were into their stride quickly and the runs accrued at a decent rate.  Piesley removed himself from the attack after three overs with the left-arm spin of Jack Laraman being introduced and he soon removed Hardy (15) and then Will MacVicar, both being trapped in front.  And so, at 41-2, in strode Alex Blake, fresh from his 139 against Yorkshire II at Scarborough the previous day.  Senn, meanwhile, was batting busily and well while his partner, no doubt, was waiting for his chance to finish the game which few do better than the Kent left-hander.  He was soon on his way with a six over mid-wicket which was almost caught but the fielder fell over the line.  Two more massive sixes from the hapless Laraman in the same over brought the target within touching distance and, with four to win, another six into the stratosphere brought a superb victory leaving Senn unbeaten on 33 and Blake 29 from 12 balls.  The one bright spot for Lordswood was the excellent off-spin bowling of Hugh Scott who looks a fine prospect.