There was a tense finale when Bickley Park hosted Bexley and won by one wicket with three balls remaining in the Kent Cricket League Premier Division.

Matt Stiddard, Bexley’s captain, won the toss and elected to bat. Ben Aldred showed intent with a quick 23 before his bright and breezy knock was ended and opening partner Aiden Griggs followed shortly after. Calum Basey was then disappointed to be given out caught behind when Bickley were appealing for leg before wicket with Ismail Baharami claiming his first victim of the afternoon.

Stiddard joined Shaun Evans and they batted together for thirteen overs for 39 runs before Evans miscued off Ranjit Singh and was out for 27. Stiddard carried on and completed his half century however he only survived one more delivery before being bowled by a Baharami jaffa with nine and a half overs remaining in Bexley’s innings.

Baharami then removed both Harry Turner for 28, and overseas pro Jack Sinfield to finish with 4 for 52 as Bexley finished on 190 for 9.

An opening stand of 55 in 13 overs between Singh and Elliot Hooper gave the hosts the perfect start with the only alarm coming when the latter escaped a confident caught behind shout off the bowling of Jas Singh. Sinfield then made the breakthrough dismissing Singh, but Bickley still looked in great shape at the half way stage of their innings on 112 for 2, needing just 79 from 25 overs.

Hooper, who has played first class cricket for Sussex and white ball cricket for Kent, then lofted Freddie Foster into the deep and Griggs took a fine catch to end his contribution on 70 which included two sixes and six fours. By this stage, Stiddard knew that wickets were needed and Kent bowler Singh was brought back on. He bowled with great control and was unfortunate to end his ten overs, including three maidens, with just the one victim for twenty-one runs.

Wickets then tumbled at regular intervals to Foster, who finished with 3 for 33 and Sinfield (3 for 35) and when Charlie Smith hoisted Evans into the safe hands of Basey, Bickley found themselves on 173 for 9, needing eighteen to win with twenty-five deliveries remaining.

Former Bexley captain Jason Benn joined Baharami and they stayed calm to bring the scores level in the final over. Benn then hit a boundary with the fielders up to see Bickley through to victory.

As a result, Bexley dropped down from second to fourth in the league table, one place and one point above Bickley.