Three More Wins for the Vine as Cricket Week Ends
15 Jul 2019 - Harry Robinson
1st XI v. Bexley
A top of the table clash took place at the Vine on Saturday in front of a lively crowd, fuelled by Beer on the Vine, between the Vine 1st XI and Bexley.
Winning the toss, the visitors elected to bat on a classic looking Vine wicket, hoping to post a sizeable total. The Vine however started well, with Luke Schlemmer taking the early wicket of Calum Basey for just 6 in the second over. Runs were hard to come by as Schlemmer, accompanied by Tom Parsons, bowled tight and made it difficult for the Bexley batsman to score. Karl Pearson would pick up the valuable wicket of Matt Stiddard for 43, before injuring his calf muscle. Scottish International Matt Cross would fall soon after for 32, once again off the bowling of Schlemmer. Schlemmer would then also take the prized wicket of Calum MacLeod, who scored 140* for Scotland against England just last summer, for 10 and the score became 93-4. Chris Vernon would then pick up the wicket of Shaun Evans for just 2, and with the score 109-5, the Vine were very much on top. Despite the flurry of quick wickets, batsman George Haley remained unfazed, scoring freely to race. Wickets continued to tumble around Haley as Andrew Reid Dick continued the Vine’s left arm spin assault on the Bexley batsman, before Haley hauled out off the bowling of Joe Banks for a well-made 62. Miles Richardson, and Luke Schlemmer who finished with figures of 4-23, cleaned up the tail as Bexley slumped to 199 all out.
The Vine were confident of chasing down the reasonably small total set by Bexley, and started in good fashion with Harry Houillon finding the boundary with ease. Chris Vernon would however fall with the score at 28, and Houillon only a few runs later as he edged behind to Matt Cross for 20. Cyrus White also lost his wicket early on, and with the score 49-3, the Vine entered a rebuilding phase led by Luke Schlemmer and Adam Rouse. The pair batted patiently and got the score near to 100 before Rouse was bowled by Bexley talisman Jason Benn for 26. Miles Richardson also fell off the bowling of Benn (3-24), and the game was left well poised at 104-5. Schlemmer continued his fine innings as he reached his 50, before being caught by Adam Riley off the bowling of Calum MacLeod for 55. The score was now 148-6 and Bexley had a sniff of victory. However, the composure of the experienced Evert Bekker shone, as he expertly guided the Vine towards 200, ably assisted by Joe Banks. Bekker produced a match winning innings of 43*; Banks however ensured he kept some of the limelight on him as he launched Adam Riley into the trees for six to secure victory for the Vine.
Still sitting in third place, a win has taken the Vine within 10 points of Bexley who remain top of the table by a point. The Vine must now turn their attention to Lordswood, one of two teams that have beaten the 1st XI so far this season.
2nd XI v. Bexley
In similar fashion to the 1st XI fixture, a top of the table clash also took place at Manor Way as the 2ndXI faced an unbeaten Bexley team.
Losing the toss, the Vine were made to field first and made early inroads despite this with James Carslaw bowling Sam Barton for 14 with the score on 25. The dangerous Murtaza Abbas would follow soon after, edging behind Matt Dalton to Guy Bevan-Thomas for 4. Dalton would also pick up the wicket of opener Louie Terry for 14, and Jack Bell for 12 as the seamer stormed through the Bexley top order. With the score 61-4, the Vine were very much on top. A partnership with 100 between the experienced Sandeep Bains and Harry Furze threatened to take the game away from the Vine, as their spinners proved not to be as effective as first anticipated. That said, Harry Bevan-Thomas would pick up the valuable wicket of Furze for 43, before John Bowden bowled Seb Naylor for 22 with the score 202-6. The reintroduction of Dalton into the attack proved effective, as he cleaned up Archie Hobbs-Moore for 8, Dalton would take his fifth wicket in the concluding overs as he removed Bains for a well made 90. Bexley finished their innings on 232-8.
In the knowledge that the chase was doable, yet would be make difficult by an experienced Bexley team, openers John Bowden and Vikas Kokkiligada emerged from the changing rooms hoping to give the Vine the best possible start. However, Kokkiligada would fall in the first over for 6, and Bowden soon after for 5, with the score at 20-2. Harry Bevan-Thomas would then fall victim to a miscommunication, being run out for 9 and the Vine nearly found themselves in deep trouble with the score 33-3. Henry Procter and Michael Thompson would come together to steady the ship, taking the score to 119 before Procter was trapped LBW by Anish Patel for 42. Chad Quinney joined Thompson, with both batsman looking comfortable and set before Quinney missed a straight delivery from David Crawley on 20. Thompson at the other end continued his mature innings as he brought up yet another 50 and wiith Guy Bevan-Thomas at the crease, the Vine looked set to chase down the total comfortably. Yet, Thompson chipped back to Patel to be caught for 62, with still 60 runs needed. A partnership was needed for the Vine, and it would come from Bevan-Thomas and Tom Harvey (36*) who would take the game away from Bexley, as the pair put on 40 together. Bevan-Thomas was eventually dismissed for a patient 15, with just 18 runs needed. Enter James Carslaw, who struck 12 from 4 balls, including a six to win the game for the Vine which was met with jubilant celebrations from the visitors.
Incredibly, the Vine now sit just one point behind first placed Bexley in the table, with Sandwich Town breathing down their necks only two points behind in third. The Vine welcome Lordswood next week, knowing each game is crucial if they are to continue to challenge for the title
3rd XI v. Gravesend RF
Sevenoaks Vine 3rdXI, extended their winning run with another big victory, this time over Gravesend RF.
Batting first, Ben Anderson and Dan Martin shared a 151 run opening partnership. Early on the two batsman enjoyed their share of good fortune as one of the Gravesend openers bowled a fine opening spell passing the outside edge on many occasions. However, slowly but surely the Vine openers started to dominate. Both Martin and Anderson drove powerfully until Martin was bowled for 68 as he tried to up the run rate further. Adrian Spurling joined Anderson and the runs continue to flow. Aware of the passing overs and his own score, Anderson unfortunately ran himself out in the penultimate over for a very well made 90 whilst Spurling finished on 41 not out as the Vine innings closed at 243-2.
Chasing 244 to win in 40 overs was always going to be a tough ask and so it proved. An excellent opening burst from Harry Robinson and Johnny Coleman left Gravesend on 48-3 after 15 overs. Robinson’s pace especially proved too much for the Gravesend opening batsman who edged behind to keeper Will Peters, whilst Coleman (2-27) at the end other end would remove the other opener and number three. The youthful pairing of Douglas Ramchandran’s leg spin, with the pace of Robin Docherty proved a fruitful bowling partnership for the Vine. Ramchandran would finish with figures of 3-37, and Docherty with 1-16, thanks to a stunning slip catch by Adrian Spurling just after drinks. Both Vinnie Kokkilligada and Hugo Tudor picked up a wicket with their off spin before Robinson returned to wrap up the innings with the second ball of the penultimate over. Gravesend RF were all out for 153.
Another comprehensive victory for the 3rd XI takes them 50 points clear of second place in the Kent Regional 2A Central, and travel to Rainham this weekend hoping to continue their undefeated streak.