Disappointing for Vine 1st, but 2nd XI march on against Blackheath

Kent Cricket League Premier 1st Division: Blackheath (271-6) beat Sevenoaks Vine (159 all out)

Sevenoaks Vine’s 1st XI travelled to Blackheath looking to make amends for last weekend’s nail biting defeat at home against Lordwood.

Having lost the toss, the Vine were made to field first. Blackheath openers George Wells and Dipayan Pauls took advantage of some wayward bowling from the Vine openers, before both falling to the left arm spin of Andrew Reid-Dick for 42 and 76 respectively. The runs however kept flowing with Tanweer Sikandar (70) and former Bangladeshi test and ODI captain, Mohammed Ashraful (47) who led Blackheath to a healthy total of 271-6 off their 50 overs.

The Vine response began in tame fashion, with Vernon being bowled by Jahid Ahmed for six, and John Bowden falling soon after to the spin of Ashraful. The in form Michael Barber and captain Luke Schlemmer set about rebuilding the Vine chase, with Barber bringing up his second fifty in as many games. It was however the runout of Schlemmer for 44 by some brilliant fielding by Tanweer Sikander that brought about a substantial collapse for the Vine, with the bottom seven batsman scoring only seven runs between them. The Vine were bowled out for 159, with Mohammed Asharful the star with the ball taking 5-31 off his ten overs.

In an extremely disappointing defeat, the 1st XI will look to bounce back against Beckenham next week at home.

Kent Cricket League Premier 2nd Division: Sevenoaks Vine 2nd (231 all out) beat Blackheath 2nd (199 all out)
Saturday saw another good week for the 2nd XI with a great team win against Blackheath. Winning the toss and electing to bat, the Vine started well, but after a superb spell from the Blackheath opening bowlers, the top order started to fall around the ever reliable Greg Adams (55).

At 90 for five wickets Sevenoaks were on the rocks. But then, in came Man of the Match Joe Banks. Starting with Banks (56), he was then joined by Douglas Ramchandran (on league debut – 30) and Piers Robinson (29). The lower order batted beautifully and allowed the 2nd XI to post a very respectable 231 in 50 overs.

With a total to defend the ball was then passed to the two seamers Piers Robinson and Henry Proctor. Unfortunately it wasn’t their day with the Blackheath openers looking solid, scoring comfortably with some luscious drives and powerful pull shots. But a change in bowling turned the game on its head.

Freddie Young and Joe Banks came on at either end and stemmed the flow of runs bowling tight and taking some crucial wickets. Banks finished his first spell of eight overs with impressive figures of one for eight (and finished his 10 with 2-22). Young however was the pick of the bowlers finishing with 4-18. Other wickets from Piers Robinson (2-56) and Douglas Ramchandran (1-34) helped to bowl Blackheath out for 199 in the 43rd over, despite some lower order resistance.

In another great week for the 2nd XI, the Vine stay firmly poised as joint top (with three other teams) in the Premier League. Next week, the 2nd XI travel to newly promoted Hayes, with a great opportunity to make it three wins on the bounce, and continue their fine start to the season.

Third XI in friendly success against Belvedere
A weekend off from the league for the Vine 3rd XI saw another good win in a friendly against Belvedere 1st XI. Having won the toss and electing to bat, the Vine got off to a good start before Andy Akerman missed a full delivery to be bowled for 12. Rory Easton (23) joined Dan Martin (49) in a good partnership before they each mistimed shots and were caught in the ring to leave the Vine on 117-3.

This rapidly became 119-6 as both Leo and Steve Bezuidenhout, and Mike Martin all failed to trouble the scorer. Matt Wilson and Carl Nightingale restored order with a partnership worth 80. Wilson and Nightingale finished on 49 not out and 37 not out respectively. The Vine concluded their innings with a highly respectable and challenging total of 198-6 from their 40 overs.

Youngsters Will Ansell and Will Gough-Cooper opened the attack and whilst bowling well failed to break Belvedere’s opening partnership. The break through arrived courtesy of Rory Easton’s first delivery leaving Belvedere on 40-1 after 9 overs. The combination of Mike Martin and Rory Easton then restricted the scoring as they each picked up further wickets and Belvedere entered the last 10 overs still needing over 100 runs. A wicket for Tudor, a run out by Leo Bezuidenhout and a tidy spell by Carl Nightingale left Belvedere 50 short at the end of their overs.

The 3rd XI return to league action next week against Kings Hill at home, who look a more challenging proposition with the opponents having won their first two games comfortably.