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17 Jun 2012 - Mike Wright

Vine U 13 travelled to Flimwell for our return match. For all those that are interested – the playing fields are nowhere near the postcode in my SatNav.

Captain James Bevan-Thomas lost the toss and donned the keeping gloves to lead his team into the field – with all our regular keepers not available.

Charlie Oster opened and set the tone with a maiden. Ben Devaney took the new ball from the other side and removed the opposition captain with his second ball on a pitch that was keeping really low. Oster kept up the pressure with only 2 runs off his second and then dug the ball in and took the second wicket when the batsmen fended it off and was caught by Bevan-Thomas.

Noah Zuberi produced a maiden for his first over with Ben Kibblewhite nearly running the next batsman out with a direct hit and then took the third wicket to have the Flimwell team 17-3.

Enter Alistair Newson, who decided that attack was the best form of defence and hit 4 fours and 2 mighty sixes for the top score of 31. The most impressive shot of the game was a half volley that went back of the bowler’s head for 6 over a long boundary.

In the next over he crunched a similar ball flat towards the long off boundary and a brave Ben Foss ran in to make the stop – only to have the ball hit him on the kneecap and we had a man down saving the four. A bit of ice, encouraging words from dad and coach and Ben was back on his feet.

Zuberi took another when Andrew Reid-Dick hung onto a skied ball even though he crashed into Oli Seth who was also trying to get underneath it.

Enter Robert Andrews and top spin bowling. Newson tried to repeat the same shot for 6 but got under the ball and Andrew Reid-Dick took another handsome catch on the run in the deep.

Flimwell were 50 for 5 and the Vine cleaned up the tail for the addition of only 5 runs. Reid-Dick straightened one to claim his first wicket , Andrews enticed a batsmen out of his crease to be stumped by stand in keeper Bevan-Thomas and then induced another drive straight to the midriff of Zuberi – who pouched the catch. Oli Seth joined the action with the last 2 wickets for only 3 runs after going for 11 in his first over.

By unanimous consent the Vine team changed the batting order to give some of the up and coming players some time in the middle.

Andrews opened with Zuberi and together they put on 30 for the first wicket when Andrews played on whilst going down the pitch. Arthur Sackville-West strode in and took the total to 45 before Zuberi was caught forcing the pace. Ben Kibblewhite came and went to a direct hit, being sent back wanting a quick single. Joe Mylod got a straight ball and played across it to find himself LBW and Sackville-West followed shortly afterwards not quite clearing the inner ring of fielders.

This meant Oli Seth and Andrew Reid-Dick were tasked with finding the last 5 runs – with Seth pleading with Reid-Dick to allow him to hit the winning runs. Unfortunately it was not to be, as Reid-Dick hit 4 fours in quick succession and the game was won.

Joint man-of-the-match awards to Noah Zuberi (22 runs and 2-12) and Robert Andrews (9 runs and 3-1).

A convincing win by a vocal and energetic team and a game played in good spirit by all.