Betteshanger move through
Betteshanger CC took the Kent Indoor Six-a-Side county title for the first time in the finals at the Kent Cricket Academy, and now progress to the regional play-offs.
The team from the Dover district gained revenge for their defeat by Canterbury in last year’s final in another close-fought game which again went down to the last over - and victory means Betteshanger represent Kent in the regional qualifying game against Sussex champions Crawley CC in Hove.
Choosing to bat Canterbury started steadily with John Rose and Ryan Minter running well between the wickets, Minter was run out in the fourth over with the score on 30. Simon Smith joined Rose at the crease and they both scored runs consistently allowing Rose to retire with 25 not out.
Ben Cooper did not hang around for long, caught by Andy McNicholas off the bowling of Mike McNicholas – and the score was 59 in the seventh over. Smith and new batsman Damien Minter upped the scoring rate allowing the former to retire on 26 not out.
With the total on 95 at the end of the 10th over and wickets in hand a score of over 120 looked on. Betteshanger then upped their game. Mike McNicholas’s next over went for only eight, but saw Minter dismissed for 25 and Rose run out after just adding one run on his return.
The final over bowled by Mike McNicholas conceded just three runs and the final two wickets fell as Smith was stumped for 26 and Rob Marsh run out leaving Betteshanger to chase down 107 to win. Mike McNicholas finished with 2-23 while Andy McNicholas 1-24 also bowled well.
Betteshanger’s reply started with Minter bowling a maiden, Martin Cheeseman and Liam Collins then got back on track and the runs started to flow; and after six overs the score was 59 and both openers were back in the hutch with 25 each.
Andy McNicholas and evergreen Derek Towe kept on top of the rate until the former was run out with the score on 71 half way through the eighth over. The Betteshanger batsmen were taking some tight runs and Towe was next victim, run out for 17 in the tenth with the score on 81.
With 20 runs required from the last two overs the result was too close to call. Cooper bowled the penultimate over conceding just nine but also taking the wicket of Joffie Towe in the process.
The last over started with a run out but Mike McNicholas and the returning Cheeseman held their nerve scampering the winning runs from the fifth ball, Cheeseman finishing on 28 not out.
For Canterbury, Minters spell of 0-14 was the best in that innings while Cooper returned 1-25.