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10 Jun 2012 - Mike Wright

Vine U13’s were looking forward to the return match against Cowdrey, having lost the first encounter at the beginning of the season. In that match the extras were the difference between the 2 teams with Vine actually scoring 2 runs more off the bat.

The weather forecast was not great, but the pitch (nearest Holly Bush Lane) was reasonably dry and well prepared. Spectators were warned not to park too close to cow corner, as this was a rather short boundary – but more about that later.

Vine Captain James Bevan-Thomas won the toss and decided to post a total. He strode in to open with Sam Brown. Runs quickly flowed off the bat with ones and twos easy to come by. Bevan-Thomas was the first to go, driving to a slower yorker that took out his off-stump. Brown cut a wide ball to the boundary for four and then waltzed down the pitch and was promptly stumped. At 36-2 it could have been a short innings.

Ben Devaney joined Christian Bryant at the crease and hit his first ball over square leg’s head for a well run 3. Bryant was a tad more watchful and kept the ball on the ground initially. Together they saw off the opening bowlers and then set about building a 50 run partnership. The short boundary was quickly peppered, with one four taking one bounce before cannoning into the side of the opposition coach’s X5 – leaving a neat dent that stopped the game for a minute while all the boys went to see it. The coach himself was only sitting 2 yards to the right – but didn’t make it off the bench in time to prevent the damage, such was the ferocity of the shot. Devaney was out shortly after that for a fine 28, trying to repeat the shot but only managing to sky it to mid-on where T Seal made a great catch in the deep.

Bryant pulled and cut with ease until he received a straight ball and was bowled for the highest score of 35.

By this time the stage was set for a competitive total and Sam Meakin slogged a quick 11 to push the total out to 128-7 in 22 overs. Wickets were evenly spread over the Cowdrey bowlers with T Seal showing fine pace and bounce for his 20-2.

The team talk in the interval was all about defending the short boundary and the bowling order was chosen with regards to pace on one side and discipline on the other.

Devaney opened from the northern end and bowled with typical spit and venom. Bryant followed from the Pavilion end and focused on keeping the ball outside off-stump. Initially the ball flew off the edge and third-man was called into play a couple times. In his third over Devaney bowled straight and fast and produced a well earned maiden. This seemed to galvanise the Cowdrey opening pair of Yates-Brown and Captain Bell who started playing their shots. Bevan-Thomas immediately brought on the spin of Andrew Reid-Dick, who produced a wicket with his first ball of a wicket maiden over.

From then on it was the Reid-Dick show: only one run off his second over and then 2 wickets in each of his subsequent overs – finishing on the formidable figures of 4 overs, 1 maiden, 5 for 5.

Noah Zuberi produced some good pace at the other end and was rewarded with the wicket of the Cowdrey top scorer J Stronnel (19).

In typical fashion, Bevan-Thomas cleaned up the tail with fine figures for 3 overs 6 for 3 and Bryant came back to take the last wicket off the last ball of the innings. Cowdrey were all out for 83.

A fine win for Vine and well done to man-of-the-match Andrew Reid-Dick.