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Blackheath make 4th successive T20 Finals Day

After a shock defeat to the Premier League's basement club Dartford on the weekend, Blackheath's 1st XI banished their blues with a T20 quarter final victory at Beckenham CC.

Chris Willetts elected to bat first and the opening partnership of Jahid Ahmed and Dipayan Paul gave the innings its usual impetus.

The home attach fought back though and at 51-3 with both openers and George Wells back in the pavilion, and with key players missing, the Club's depth would be examined.

Mehdi Abbas (27) and Richard Fleming (41) came through the examination with flying colours as they added 60 for the 4th wicket to push Blackheath up to a competitive total on a slow pitch. Duncan Willetts and Tom Mees added a few final flourishes to end the innings on 128-6.

The Beckenham reply began steadily enough but Dipayan Paul and Tom Mees began totting up dot balls which saw the required rate creep upwards. The pressure finally told when Paul had a mistimed slog sweep well held by George Wells on the deep mid wicket boundary.

As the innings progressed, regular wickets fell and the introduction of Jahid Ahmed and precocious slow left-armer Jahed Miah continued this trend.

The home side then established a 5th wicket partnership of exactly 50 but boundaries had been at a premium as now Chris Willetts and Mehdi Abbas were controlling the rate.

The Beckenham captain stood firm though and whilst he was at the crease, the Blackheath total remained within reach.

Tom Mees was brought back for the penultimate over of the innings and what a devastating set it was as he knocked over 3 wickets, including the home side's captain, to all but seal the tie.

Dipayan Paul completed the final over without fuss to seal and 8 run victory that propelled the Club to its 4th T20 Finals Day in 4 years.

This year's finals day will take place at Beckenham CC (Foxgrove Road) on Sunday 24th July. Blackheath will play Tunbridge Wells CC in the first semi-final at 10am.

Blackheath Cricket Club is one of the leading cricket clubs in London. Formed over one hundred and fifty years ago and sporting a colourful history, Blackheath fields 7 league teams every Saturday, up to 3 teams on a Sunday and also operates an extensive youth section.

The 1st XI play in the Premier Division of the Kent League, one of the strongest amateur cricket leagues in the UK. The Club’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th XIs also play in to the Kent Premier League structure making the number of opportunities available for high level cricket at one club relatively unique. As such the Club has recently opened a new second ground at the Academy in Woolwich.

The Club’s other XIs, Sunday teams, midweek programme and vibrant social scene mean there is a place for everyone from current internationals to complete beginners.

Blackheath also has one of the leading youth sections in the UK, regularly progressing to the latter stages of the ECB National U13 and U15 Cup competitions. An ECB Focus Club with Clubmark accreditation and a wealth of experienced coaches, Blackheath provides an environment where young people can enjoy the game recreationally but also supports a steady stream of young people to access county age-group squads.

Blackheath Cricket Club is situated in the London Borough of Greenwich but serves much of central south and east London. As such the Club prides itself on a diverse membership with players from around the UK and around the world currently calling the Club’s Rectory Field ground home.

Picture courtesy of AndysShots
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