BY PETER WISEMAN
With the awful virus seemingly on the retreat, Beckenham’s cricket season got underway on Saturday with a trip to Lordswood.
The hosts won the toss and made steady progress against young James Ronay and the bustling Alex Purwar.
With the bowlers showing signs of rustiness, the 50 was up in the seventh over and the first breach came on 59 with Joe Mitchell being run out for 22 to be quickly followed by Ed Taylor edging Purwar to Balmforth behind the stumps.
The new batsmen Linden Lockhart and Scottish international Calum MacLeod pushed the score along as acting skipper Johan Malcolm introduced newcomer Kamron Takhar in place of Ronay and who immediately showed good control at a brisk pace. The two Lordswood players brought up the 50 partnership before young Fraser Whiteland, who had produced some promising performances last season, found Lockhart’s edge to give Balmforth another catch. Skipper Jack Laraman then combined with MacLeod to compile another 50 partnership before young Archie Holman had the Scottish international caught at cover-point by another new boy, Nick Rigg, for a fine 47.
The Beckenham skipper struck by bowling Hugh Scott before Laraman was run out to leave the home side on 188-6. Taylor Chandler played a fine, aggressive innings of 45 in company with Hugh Scott before being stumped by Balmforth off Malcolm at which point, Laraman called a halt with one ball remaining.
Beckenham’s reply was initially in the hands of Finnan Bryan and newcomer Rigg from the Derbyshire Premier.
Bryan got the show on the road with some powerfully-struck boundaries while Rigg looked a very classy, left-handed batsman. They put on 50 by the 10th over before the off-spinner Hugh Scott trapped him in front for 28. Rigg continued to bat well and with the incoming James Fear looking in tremendous form, things looked rosy for the visitors. Sadly Rigg departed for 30 after being lured down the track by Scott to give Shaun Piesley an easy stumping. Johan Malcolm lent solid support to Fear, who was in full flow and batting beautifully, as a further 50 stand developed. Just when it looked as if Malcolm was about to open up, Laraman struck to remove him with the score on 128.
Fear forged on to a well-deserved 50 at a run-a-ball while the middle order slowly crumbled against good bowling from Laraman and MacLeod.
The remainder of the innings petered out with Beckenham closing on 183-6. It had been a most valuable practice for all the players given the lack of winter nets and early season outdoor practice which made the result an irrelevance.
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.