Dar damages Canterbury debut
CANTERBURY'S long awaited debut in Kent top-flight cricket did not go according to the script.
Things started well enough at a sunny Polo Farm as the city side won the toss and opted to field.
Thanks to excellent spells from Ben Cooper (4-51) and Stuart Phazey (3-46) they were able to restrict Beckenham to 177-9 from their 55 overs.
Phazey had only joined the club the Wednesday before and found himself in the starting XI for the injured Stuart Drakeley.
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The home side made a steady start to their reply, putting on 36 before Dominic Chambers (20) was caught off the bowling of Raza Ali Dar.
That was a sign of things to come, Dar (4-22) leading the way as Beckenham bowled out the home side for just 119.
Canterbury skipper Paul Steer wasn't too downhearted in defeat, however.
He said: "We played pretty well. Stuart Phazey had never played for us before, which was a gamble.
"We went in a bowler light, which is why we decided to bat first.
"At this time of year the pitches are paradise for bowlers and in Dar we were up against one of the best in the business.
"Together with William MacVicar he took care of our top order, and by the time the support bowlers were on we were already too many wickets down and the damage had been done."
This Saturday Canterbury face another tough test when they travel to take on Tunbridge Wells.
Steers, about to become a father for the second time, is unlikely to travel.
"The lads will obviously be aiming to bounce back," he said. "We didn't do too much wrong against Beckenham."
Club stalwart Matt Jenkinson looks likely to replace Steer in the starting XI.