BY PETER WISEMAN
A new fixture on Saturday and a trip to leafy Coulsdon to do battle with Chipstead, Coulsdon and Walcountians.
With the Chipstead players kindly erecting a gazebo for the scorers, the toss was lost by skipper Johan Malcolm with Beckenham being asked to bat first.
The opening salvoes from Bradley and Padfield were safely negotiated by Finn Bryan and Nick Rigg, both of whom looked in good form as they did last week.
Just as Bryan had settled in, he holed out to square leg off Bradley for 18.
Rigg, meanwhile, continued to impress and the arriving James Fear again looked as if he’d never had a bat out of his hand as the runs flowed.
With Padfield replaced by Oberoi’s off spin, the next breach came in his second over when he trapped Rigg in front.
A further stand developed with Calum Lennox before Oberoi struck again to dismiss Lennox for seven.
The arrival of Malcolm to join Fear provided the foundations of the major partnership of the innings. Both batsmen looked in tremendous form with Malcolm gradually building up until he was right back to his aggressive best.
Both notched excellent fifties, Fear’s from 55 balls and Malcolm’s also from 55.
This fine stand had just passed the hundred when the home side’s new signing, Paul Best, struck to bowl Fear for a superb 83.
Malcolm continued to dominate the bowling in partnership with Jason Bilimoria (17*) being last out for 77, the innings closing on 242-5.
The home innings got under way with both Woods and Thompson scoring steadily against the Beckenham opening attack of Alex Purwar and Kamron Takhar.
Purwar was replaced by Mudit Dayal’s leg-spin and young Fraser Whiteland came on for Takhar who had again bowled tidily for no reward.
Whiteland struck first to have Thompson edging behind to James Balmforth.
The arrival of Lister caused the run rate to increase with a fine stand of 71 ensuing until Dayal removed Woods for 40 thanks to a fine catch by Rigg.
The same bowler then struck again shortly afterwards to have Lister holing out to Bryan for 45 to make the score 128-3 from 21 overs.
Now Beckenham began to tighten the screws as Malcolm brought himself on and the run rate began to slow.
Oberoi and skipper Woolley both fell to the Beckenham skipper to leave the home side on 151-5 in the 28th over and Beckenham looking in control.
Best, however, had other ideas and after settling in quickly, began to attack the visiting attack and was given solid support by Edwards.
A fifty stand was rattled up quickly before Jason Bilimoria’s off-spin lured Edwards to his doom giving Balmforth a regulation stumping.
There was no stopping Best though who raced to a splendid 50 in 41 deliveries and, with a mighty blow from Padfield, passed the target in the final over to end what had been an excellent game of cricket.
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