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8 Jul 2013 - David Harkin

Stand in skipper Ed Goodworth won the toss on Saturday and had no hesitation in choosing to bat first on a sweltering day on the Vine. On a good track the Vine made slow progress in the face of some good bowling from Dartford. At 100 for 3 off 35 overs the Vine looked to be well short particularly given the pace of the outfield. However, veteran Shami Iqbal had other ideas. The last 15 overs of the Vine innings were sensational as Shami obliterated the opposition attack. They really had no answer to Iqbal as he mixed clean striking with some deft shots of the highest quality manoeuvring the ball into the gaps. A truly magnificent innings from Iqbal was finished with a glorious 6 straight back over the bowlers head as he finished on 144 not out taking the Vine to 229 for 6 off their 50 overs. A competitive total, but it remained to be seen whether or not it was a good total.

Sadly the Vine came up short in return with only Ed Goodworth 0-54 off 15 maintaining a consistent line and length. The rest of the attack bowled well in periods, but lacked a little bit in their usual consistency. Certainly the lack of a spinner was key. At 119 for 5 with 15 overs to go the Vine seemed to have the game if not won certainly not lost. However the young Dartford duo of Stent and Scarth had other ideas. Chancing their arms and at times riding their luck the young pair put the Vine bowlers to the sword and eventually got home with 10 balls to spare to seal victor by 4 wickets. Sadly the Vine paid for their lack of runs in the early overs and were probably 15 runs short of par. A great game in front of a fantastic crowd. It should prove a good learning process for the Vine bowlers particularly when it comes to bowling at the death.