Sevenoaks opened a sixteen point lead at the top of the Shepherd Neame Kent Premier League after a resounding victory over Beckenham while former co-leaders Blackheath suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of defending champions Hartley who move into second place.
Three teams suffered dreadful batting collapses, one of whom were Beckenham who struggled with the disruption caused by a delayed start due to heavy rain on Friday, which reduced the match to 30 overs a side. The visitors invited the Vine to bat first and appeared to be well on top with the Vine slipping to 69 for seven.
A fine unbeaten 43 by Lorne Burns supported well by his lower order enable the Sevenoaks side to recover and reach 144 for eight at the half way stage. The Beckenham side plummeted to 30 for five and despite a fighting 32 from skipper Chris Isles, never recovered to be bowled out for just 78 with the Vine bowlers all sharing the wickets.
Blackheath travelled to Hartley and were invited to bat first. It seems it was an important toss for Hartley to win as they ripped through the Blackheath batting line up, to bowl them out for just 84 in the 25th over. Only Tanweer Sikandar and Warren Lee with 23 each made any contribution of note as the Hartley bowlers all shared the wickets between them. James Hockley then blasted 62 from just 26 balls as Hartley romped home by ten wickets in just the 9th over of their reply.
At Bickley the home side’s relegation worries were compounded as they too faced a batting collapse and were heavily defeated by Bromley. Bromley elected to bat and were perhaps ruing this decision when they found themselves at 46 for five when Nick Bluett joined Dan Christian.
The two batted with great composure and began to repair the damage. Bluett departed for a useful 39 and Christian then found good support from Qasim Akbar, 23, as he notched up his century, ending unbeaten on 104 and Bromley a total of 219 for eight. Xavier Darroch was the pick of the Bickley bowling taking 4-26.
Robert McNeill bowled with good pace down the hill and ripped through the Bickley top four taking leaving Bickley on 14 for four. Gordon Darroch with 34 was the only batman to show much resistance as wicket clattered at the other end. Bickley ended on 81 and now find themselves 27 points away from the safety of relegation.
Bexley found some form down at Sandwich and picked up a valuable 18 points to close the gap on Sandwich now in 8th place to just six points. At last some of the Bexley batsmen found some form, and led by a useful 81 by Adeel Malik 81 and contributions of 36 by Matthew Stiddard 36 and Robert Sehmi, 30, at the half way stage Bexley had reached 251 for eight.
At 115 for one with the dangerous Marnus Labuschagne and Robert Gotham going well, Sandwich looked on course to threaten the Bexley total. Goatham departed for a useful 59 with the total becoming 115 for two on 115 and Labuschange for 66 to make it 153 for three. Despite 32 from Zack Gag, the remainder of the Sandwich batting disappointed as they sutured to 215 all out to give Bexley the win.
Lordswood piled on the runs at Martin Grove as the entertained Canterbury. Lyndon Lockhart scored 64, Matt Greenwood 60, Chris Piesley 50 and Amjad Khan an unbeaten 50 as they posted a formidable 318 for their visitors to chase.
James Lilley carried his bat for an excellent 127 but received little support, and with wickets falling regularly at the other end, Canterbury looked unlikely to recover from 115 for seven. Lilley battled on and Piers Richardson chipped in with 36, Canterbury closing on 255 for eight and thus a win by 63 runs for Lordswood.
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