Vine Overcome Rivals Holmesdale in T20 Cup whilst 2nd and 3rd XI’s go Top in Rain Affected Weekend
10 Jun 2019 - Harry Robinson
T20 XI v. Holmesdale
Wednesday night saw T20 action as the Vine welcomed local rivals Holmesdale in the second round of the Kent T20 cup. Electing to bat first, the Vine innings started in less than ideal fashion, losing Ben Price in the second over off the bowling of Thomas Masding. Masding would also pick up the wicket of Ant Shales in his second over, and Miles Richardson in his third. With the score at 42-3 at the end of the powerplay, the ascendency was certainly with the visitors.
The next fourteen overs however would belong to the Vine as Oli Howick and Harry Houillon launched an assault on the Holmesdale attack. Sharing ten fours and ten sixes in a partnership worth 134, the pair sent the Holmesdale bowling attack to all parts of the Vine and beyond. Whilst Houillon’s innings of 54 was certainly exceptional, the power of Howick totally eclipsed it as he blasted his way to 92 before falling to the bowling of Ant Bissett in the final over. In a dominant batting display, the Vine surged their way to a score of 200-5 off their 20 overs.
Facing a daunting task, the Holmesdale innings began in similar fashion to the Vine, as Henry Procter took the wickets of both openers in his first and second overs. Holmesdale would finish their powerplay on 40-2, only two runs less than the Vine were and with an extra wicket in hand. However, the chase stumbled as wickets fell all too often for Holmesdale, as the spin of Joe Banks and Mike Barber proved all too tempting for the Holmesdale middle order, with only Rupert Harbig making it to double figures. As wickets tumbled, the class of former Vine 1stteam player and league winner Luke Blackaby shone. Blackaby played sensationally, finding the boundary almost at will whilst his team mates struggled. The lack of partnerships formed in the middle overs hampered the Holmesdale chase, who needed 53 to win in the final over. At this stage, the focus was on Luke Blackaby who was on 92 not out. After a glorious cover drive for four, Blackaby reached his century on the final ball of the innings in what concluded a sensational innings.
The Vine won the game by 44 runs, and move onto the third round.
1st XI v. Tunbridge Wells
Overnight rain and heavy showers on Saturday morning prevented any action on the Vine on Saturday as the 1st XI against Tunbridge Wells was abandoned. The Vine play away next week, travelling to Bickley Park who sit in front of the Vine in the table by three points.
2nd XI v. Tunbridge Wells
Saturday saw a rather strange weekend at the crease for the Vine 2nd XI, who nonetheless have finished the week top of the league after a bonus point bash down at The Nevill.
Knowing there was an afternoon of shower dodging ahead, the Vine were put into bat on a square that will host Kent in a few weeks time. For the sake of the reader’s eyes, we won’t discuss the number of times play was stopped.
After losing opener Mike Thompson for 2, other opener Oli Durell was joined by Anthony Shales at the crease. Both batsmen seemed to relish batting with one another and after the shakey start, solidified the Sevenoaks innings. Both played some beautiful shots all around the park before Durell fell for 38. Shales progressed and accumulated an impressive 82 on his return to wearing a Vine shirt after an injury plagued 2018. Both Evert Bekker (28), Cyrus White (39no) and Ben Anderson (10no) had really useful innings between dodging the showers before the Vine declared on 227-4 from 45 overs.
After the rain showers it seemed unlikely the game would have a result unless Tunbridge Wells were to be bowled out or successfully chase the total set. Knowing the challenge ahead – and that there would be only 16 overs from 7pm due to league regulations and no Duckworth Lewis, the Vine looked to cram as many overs in as possible before this 7pm mark.
Some good spells from all the bowlers, especially 2-18 off 10 from Freddie Young, made sure that Tunbridge Wells never looked likely to threaten the Vine total. Despite a more than gettable total needing around 5 an over, a complete game appeared of disinterest to the Tunbridge Wells batsmen, knowing that incompletion would reward them with six points and additional bonus points. Runs were subsequently scored slowly, much to the disapproval of home and away support, despite a number of missed chances by the Vine that may have altered the outcome of this encounter. Importantly, Piers Robinson picked up two wickets in the final few overs to gain an additional bonus point for the Vine, finishing with figures of 2-26. The home side ultimately concluded their innings on 151-4 off 43 overs, with opener James Madgwick finishing unbeaten on 74 from 124 balls, as the Nevill basked in glorious sunshine
Winning five bonus points, the Vine now sit top of the Kent Premier League, only one point ahead of Bexley in second and two ahead of Sandwich Town (who coincidentally experienced a similar fixture of their own). With some big games in the next few weeks, including Derby Day against Holmesdale on the Vine this Saturday, and the visiting of Sandwich Town the following, the Vine hope to continue their momentum and unbeaten start.
3rd XI v. Egerton
In another rain affected fixture, the Vine 3rd XI travelled to Egerton, in the hope to beat their opponent for the second time this season, as well as the weather. After winning the toss, the Vine elected to bat first, confident in the strength of their batting line up that had been bolstered by the additions of usual 2nd XI players. The Vine would lose Andy Akerman early for 6, and Adrian Spurling joined Greg Adams in rebuilding the innings. In the ninth over, with Adams set on 23 and Spurling on 11, play would be abandoned for the afternoon due to persistent rainfall. The 3rd XI now sit top of the Kent Regional Cricket League 2A Central, and visit struggling Lenham CC next weekend.