On Saturday, Bexley Cricket Club maintained their position at the peak of the Kent League Premier Division with a last over one wicket victory over Sevenoaks Vine.

Having won the toss, Bexley captain Adam Riley invited the visitors to bat first. Teenager Harry Dowling continued his recent wicket taking form by taking the first three wickets, including captain Luke Schlemmer, with just 35 on the board. Jas Singh then claimed the bragging rights over Kent team-mate Ben Compton when he had him caught in the covers for 24.

After Chris Vernon was run out, Dowling claimed his fourth victim when sending Kent’s James Logan’s stumps flying, before finishing with 4 for 20 from ten excellent overs.

While carnage was taking place at one end, Evert Bekker batted superbly at the other but struggled to find partners. Ahmed Jamal sent Sahil Shah and Joe Banks back to the pavilion before Bekker was last out with nine balls unused, pulling Singh into the hands of Calum Basey on the leg-side boundary. His excellent 84, out of a total of 164, included eight fours and two sixes.

When it came to Bexley’s turn to bat, they didn’t find it any easier. Harry Robinson, playing his first league game for the first team for two seasons, removed Basey before Vernon had Aiden Griggs caught at cover. When overseas player Hugo Burden fell to Robinson, Bexley were 39 for 3.

Shah then stifled the middle order with tight bowling, claiming George Hayley for 20 and Ben Aldred two balls later, leaving Bexley in strife on 49 for 5. Shaun Evans fell to Chris Vernon shortly after the drinks break, and the game looked up for the hosts when Shah had Matt Stiddard caught in the outfield for 29 with 65 runs still required, albeit with nearly twenty overs to spare.

However, Riley then strode to the wicket and took control. Schlemmer countered by bringing back Robinson and he induced a mistimed pull by Jamal that was well caught by at long leg to leave Bexley on 112 for 8.

Singh joined Riley and as they inched closer to the total, Schlemmer gambled by bowling out his four main bowlers. Shah finished with 3 for 18 and Robinson with 3 for 27.

As the partnership had not been broken, Schlemmer had to turn to a sixth bowler, and out of sorts Kent spinner Logan was brought on. It was clear that Bexley had been aware of the situation and would target the sixth bowler as Singh crashed Logan’s first ball through the covers for four. Another twist came next ball when Singh tried to repeat the trick but hit it straight into the hands of Compton meaning meaning that last man Dowling had to come in with twenty still needed in under four overs.

Hiding nerves that he must have had, Dowling played out three balls before scoring two off the last ball of the over. Schlemmer then bowled an excellent over, conceding just one run, but allowing Riley the strike for the penultimate over with seventeen required. He struck two fours and a two off the first five balls before taking a single to keep him facing for the final over with six required. He made that count by hoisting Schlemmer’s first ball for a big leg-side six to win the game, finishing on 34 not out.


Results elsewhere meant that Bexley extended their lead at the top, slightly, while Sevenoaks dropped to the foot of the table.