The 1st XI took on table topping Beckenham on the Vine on Saturday, hoping to return to winning ways.
Captain Luke Schlemmer won the toss and elected to field first. His decision proved to pay dividends with opening bowlers Miles Richardson and Karl Pearson removing Beckenham’s openers early on, both edging behind to wicket keeper Ben Price. Beckenham talisman William MacVicar alongside Kent professional Alex Blake recovered well, before Blake edged behind to Ben Price off the bowling of Tom Coldman (1-26). Ex Indian International Stuart Binny fell soon after for one, and the Vine were very much on top with the score at 50-4. William MacVicar continued his excellent start to the season before being caught for 40 off the bowling of Andrew Reid-Dick (2-44). The score soon became 97-6 and the Vine were hopeful of rattling through the tail end. Johan Malcolm had other ideas however, smashing 80 not out, including five sixes to lead Beckenham to a respectable 205-8.
The Vine chase started in the worst possible way, losing opener John Bowden in the first over, caught off the bowling of Stuart Binny. Other opener Chris Vernon was soon trapped LBW by Binny, with the score 10-2. Luke Schlemmer was run out soon after for the second time in as many weeks, and with the score 26-3, the Vine were desperate for a partnership.
Enter Kent professional Adam Rouse, who alongside in form batsman Mike Barber changed the game. A mixture of good strike rotation and fluent strokeplay took the game away from Beckenham. Rouse’s innings was particularly impressive, and raced to his maiden Vine century in just 89 balls. Rouse was bowled for 106 with only nine runs left to win, but the damage has been done. The Vine completed the run chase with eight overs to spare, Mike Barber finishing 73 not out.
The Vine produced a complete and clinical performance and can take a lot of confidence in to next week’s fixture at home against A21 rivals Tunbridge Wells.
Kent Cricket League Premier 2nd Division: Hayes 2nd (177 all out) lost to Sevenoaks Vine 2nd (203 all out)
It was a third win on the trot for the Vine 2nd XI away at Hayes Cricket Club this weekend.
After winning the toss, the Vine elected to bat. Openers Evert Bekker (34) and Mike Thompson (26) both looked comfortable, scoring freely at over six an over before the first wicket fell. With the middle order coming to the crease the rate slowed as they tried to steady the ship. With starts from Cyrus White (21), Chad Quinney (13), Tom Harvey (21) and Ben Anderson (18) pressure was put on as none of the middle order pushed on to make a score. The lower middle order all feel cheaply and were victims of some difficult decisions before Matt Dalton came in at 10 and made a very important 27, supported by Freddie Young. The Vine finished on 204 all out. The work was then on the bowlers to do a job.
Chasing just 199 (after a 5 run penalty due to ‘excessive backing up’ at the non-strikers end) the psychological mile-stone of 200+ was taken away from the vine and handed back to Hayes.
It was not a day for the Vine’s opening seamers. But the game was won by the superb bowling performances by the spinners, with Mike Thompson taking 3/44, with two crafty deliveries caught at short fine leg; 2/26 for last week’s Man of the Match Joe Banks and a wicketless, but superb set of 10 overs by Freddie Young 0/19. The Vine’s talented spin attack brought the game back into contention, and were ably supported by excellent fielding. The combination of the two strangled the life out of the Hayes batsmen, who struggled when the run rate exceeded 6 an over. The Vine ultimately ran out winners by 22 runs.
With three wins on the bounce, the Vine remain joint top of the league alongside Bexley and Sandwich Town. Next week poses another challenging fixture away at Tunbridge Wells, but the 2nd XI remain hopeful of maintaining their undefeated record, and to make that top spot theirs.
Kent Regional Cricket League 2A Central: Sevenoaks Vine 3rd (144-1) beat Kings Hill 2nd (139 all out)
The Vine 3rd XI continued on their winning ways against Kings Hill. Bolstered by very strong availability, the 3rd XI had no fewer than five players down from the 2nd XI from the previous week.
Having lost the toss and fielding first, Piers Robinson (1-35) in combination with Jon Coleman (0-16) bowled a good opening spell. Robinson made the initial breakthrough, cleaning out the Kings Hill opener and was unlucky not to get a couple more. The early introduction of spin kept the pressure on and with runs hard to come by, regular wickets fell with Harry Bevan-Thomas (2-32) and Mike Martin (3-41) bowling well in tandem. Youngsters Vikas Kokkilligada and Charlie Williams took an excellent diving catch each, with the latter, bowling a fine spell towards the end of the Kings Hill innings taking 3-9 in 5 overs to restrict them to 139 all out.
After a rapid start to the Vine innings Andy Akerman (12) tried to make room to cut one that was too straight and was bowled when the score was 20. Dan Martin (22 not out) batted very well but was totally eclipsed by Harry Bevan-Thomas who was badly dropped on 0. After this let off and a sketchy start, his innings blossomed and the combination of some brutal driving and fierce pull shots destroyed the opposition bowling attack. Bevan-Thomas reached a magnificent 100, to win the game by 9 wickets with almost 20 overs left.
Next weekend, the 3rd XI face Egerton in a return fixture from only a few weeks back, hoping to continue their great form.
Friendly: Sevenoaks Vine 4th beat Matfield Green by one wicket
For the first time in twelve years, the Vine fielded a 4th XI, that was full of youth alongside a few experienced heads.
Having lost the toss the Vine 4th XI, bowled first at the picturesque ground of Matfield Green CC in a timed game, with murmurs around the ground doubting the youthful talent of the visiting side.
Openers Will Ansell and Will Gough-Cooper looked to bury these doubts, and bowled their six overs with good pace, beating the bat on numerous occasion with little luck. Will Gough-Cooper made the initial break through, in a spell that showed great promise and improvement. Leo Bezuidenhout and then Henry Smith both bowled with great consistency from one end whilst Ben Harvey bowled a long spell of leg spin from the other. Young Ben Harvey would be the pick of the bowlers, finishing with excellent figures of 5-36. As Matfield Green looked to bulk up their total at the end, Will Ansell and U13 Henry Lewis executed their death bowling skills well, to limit the home side to a score of 158 at tea.
Will Peters (68) and Josh Haworth opened up the batting and despite decent bowling from the Matfield Green openers, the pair negotiated the Vine nicely to 70 for 0 at drinks. With Haworth falling after drinks, soon followed by Peters, the Vine endured a collapse, as the Matfield Green attack looked to expose the 4th XI’s inexperience. The calm head of Steve Bezuidenhout expertly guided the Vine to needing only 10 off the final over, despite wickets tumbling around him. 10 from 6 balls, became 6 from 4. Only two runs were needed on the penultimate ball, and in unusual fashion, the final runs were scored with thanks to four byes. The Vine won by only one wicket.
In what was a history making day for the club, great thanks must be given to a very welcoming Matfield Green side. Hopefully, this won’t be the last time the Vine field a 4th XI this year, however, it is clearly evident that the future is in good hands.