Derby decided in final over
DENLY HELPS STEER STRUGGLERS WHITSTABLE TO SEASON’S FIRST VICTORY WITH JUST THREE DELIVERIES REMAINING
Team manager Nick Denly hopes Whitstable’s stunning last-over win against rivals Canterbury will prove the turning point of their season.
After losing all five previous matches in Kent League, Division 1, the hosts secured a stunning five-wicket victory with just three balls to spare at the Belmont on Saturday.
Denly said: “Hopefully this is the game which turns our season around. We needed a boost and it’s certainly been a great one for us at an important time.
“We expect Canterbury to be up there pressing for promotion. We know they are a quality side, so for us to perform like that, for it all to come together on the day, is pleasing.”
The rock-bottom hosts raised their game and after winning the toss and opting to field, restricted their promotionchasing neighbours to 228-9 from 50 overs.
Stuart Drakeley’s breezy 67 provided the main resistance while opener Max Campbell hit 33 against his former club.
Opening bowler Ben Mills, just 15, was the pick of the attack with 3-44 from 10 overs while Scott Dale took 2-35.
The hosts were reeling after quickly losing both openers but Sam Denly top scored with a near run-a-ball 73 which featured four fours and as many sixes.
He shared an ultimately match-winning third-wicket stand with Dean Lewis – in his final game for the club – who cracked eight fours and cleared the rope once in his 63.
To add to his good day, Lewis caught brother Elliot off the bowling of Dale in Canterbury’s innings.
Denly and Lewis departed with the outcome in the balance but there was superb support from James Loader who hit an unbeaten 54 from just 41 balls with five fours and two sixes and Stuart Sinclair who needed just 19 balls to make 30 not out, which helped his side accelerate to reach their target in the final over.
Aadarsh Shah had the best Canterbury figures with 2-27 from nine overs for the visitors, whose third defeat saw them slip 13 points outside the promotion places.
James Widerstrom claimed five wickets as St Lawrence & Highland Court beat Gravesend by 172 runs to lead the way in Division 2.
Overseas Graeme Tryon hit 64 and skipper Will Hilton and Jamie Vant-harrison 44 each as Saints piled on the runs to close on 284-9.
Tryon (2-28) helped stifle the start of the reply and although the visitors reached 95-3, Widerstrom then took over to help dismiss Gravesend for just 112, claiming 5-28 in 8.4 overs.
The fifth win in six kept Saints top, although on the same points as Upchurch who won in the final over.
Josh Lock stole the show as third-placed Chestfield picked up their fourth win in the same division with a fivewicket success at home to Sibton Park.
Three wickets each from skipper Tim Collins and overseas Dylan Hunter and 2-15 off seven from Darrell Carter helped restrict the visitors to 210-9 from 50 overs, having been 134-2 at one stage.
The hosts were struggling at 16-2 in reply but Hunter made a run-a-ball 44 to steady the innings, sharing 79 for the third wicket with Josh Lock, who went on to compile a superb unbeaten 99 from just 89 deliveries.
Although his side slipped to 128-5, Lock shared an unbroken 84 for the sixth wicket with Joseph Mitchell (36 not out) to guide his side home with nearly 10 overs to spare.
Chestfield are 14 points adrift of the leaders and Upchurch in second.
Danny Haxton’s half-century was in vain for Faversham as they were swept away at Walmer in Division 5.
Haxton made 52 and Jack Goodenough an unbeaten 40 as the visitors made 196-9 but despite an early breakthrough by Chris Streatfield (2-62), the hosts eased home with seven wickets and as many overs to spare. Ben Line smashed an unbeaten 66 from just 22 balls to inspire Canterbury 2nds’ dramatic 2nd XI Division 1 win over leaders Lordswood.
Hugh Scott took 4-45 as the visitors were held to 267-9 from 50 overs and openers Bradley Goldsack and Joe Gordon each passed 50 to get the reply on track but it was Line’s superb knock, which saw him hit seven fours and three sixes, which got his side home with two overs remaining,
Stuart Clements took 3-21 and Julian Thompson hit an unbeaten 61 but Whitstable 2nds were beaten by 21 runs at Hartley in the Premier Division.
Robert Campbell’s unbeaten 97 and 54 from tailender Guy Hilton were in vain as St Lawrence & Highland Court 2nds were thwarted by hosts Old Elthamians in Division 3.
The visitors made 242 but the hosts clung on to reach 160-9 at the close.
Whitstable’s Sam Denly on his way to a top score of 73 against Canterbury at The Belmont Ground on Saturday