12 Aug 2013 - Gavan Burden
The Vine second team got back to winning ways on Saturday after skipper Harkin won the toss and elected to bowl against a struggling Bickley Park. Immediately Tim Shaw snaffled the opening batsmen Potter in the first over, bowling with superb accuracy and swing. Ed Goodworth struggled to find his groove as Shaw picked up the big wicket of Italian international cricketer Hussain for 27. It was the introduction of Mike Thompson which proved to be the killer for Bickley as his gentle swinging of the ball each way, lead to two leg side catches for keeper Harkin and more wickets in the slips. Thompson destroyed the middle order and the tail. He was supported by youngster Zac Crawley, taking his first wicket on the Vine, but it was Mike Thompson who was the star of the show finishing off with figures of 6-28 and bowling Bickley out for 127, 7 less than the 134 they achieved earlier in the season.
Matthew Boardman (30) and Mike Thompson (45) got the Vine innings off to a great start against the pace of Hooper. For the first time in a while, the Vine didn’t lose an opener early and the foundations were set for an easy run chase. Crawley batted with intelligence and skill (33*) to help get the Vine over the line and take us to a 8 wicket victory and 4th in the league. A number of defeats in a row have almost certainly taken the Vine out of the running for back to back titles, but a top 3 finish is now the focus for the young side. They face Bromley away this coming weekend.
Sanlam Private Investments Man of the Match is Mike Thompson for a superb all-round performance.