The 1st XI travelled to second placed Beckenham on Saturday, knowing a win would throw the title race wide open in the Premier League.
Captain Luke Schlemmer won the toss and elected to bat first. The opening attack of Indian Test International Stuart Binny and club talisman William MacVicar proved challenging, but the Vine managed to get up to 41 before Chris Vernon was bowled by the latter for 13. Mike Barber was bowled soon after by Binny, before Schlemmer was also bowled by MacVicar without troubling the scorers. With the score 53-3, the Vine were in a spot of bother. The Vine’s woes continued as Adam Rouse was also bowled by Stuart Binny for 2, making the score 62-4. Meanwhile, Evert Bekker look comfortable at the other end, and soon had a partner in Ben Price in which the Vine were able to score. The pair put on 85 together, before Price hauled out for 34. Stuart Binny would then return for his second spell, and took the wickets of Karl Pearson, Tom Coldman and James Carslaw in quick succession, finishing with figures of 5-27. Whilst the rest struggled, Bekker excelled and brought up his first league hundred in a Vine shirt before falling for 102. The Vine were bowled out for a below par 189 in just 42 overs.
Despite their batting performance, the Vine were confident that they could defend their total. The opening pair of Tom Parsons and James Carslaw bowled exceptionally well, with Parsons’ bowling a hapless eight over spell. The opening pair of Alex Senn and Daniel Hardy started well, before Andrew Reid Dick ran out Hardy for 8. Senn soon followed for 22, caught by Schlemmer off the bowling of Karl Pearson. Johan Malcolm would be the next to go, edging behind off the left arm off spin of Andrew Reid Dick. Reid Dick (4-27) would then go on to take three more in quick succession, including the prized wickets of Stuart Binny (6) and William MacVicar (33), both caught by Adam Rouse. The Vine then squeezed the Beckenham batsman, and despite some stubborn resistance from Mahi Mahfuzul (33 not out) and Rithik Hari (19), a mixture of smart bowling from Karl Pearson (3-33) and excellent Vine fielding allowed the Sevenoaks side to run out winners by 11 runs.
The 1st XI now sit joint top of the Kent Premier 1st XI League with Beckenham, closely followed by Bexley who are just a point behind. Travelling to Tunbridge Wells this weekend, every game from now until September is crucial if the Vine want to be crowned league champions again.
Kent Cricket League Premier 2nd Division: Sevenoaks Vine 2nd (358-5) beat Hayes 2nd (199 all out)
The 2nd XI managed to right a few wrongs from the Lordswood defeat two weeks ago, as they humbled Hayes.
Electing to bat having won the toss, the Vine innings began in less than ideal fashion as a loose shot from John Bowden found the Vine at 1-1. The youth of Vikas Kokkiligada and Henry Procter remained unfazed by the loss of the Vine legend and began to attack the Hayes bowling and took the score to 60-1 at the end of the powerplay. In the 11th over, Kokkiligada was bowled for 31 with the ball of the day from Joseph Cotton, and in the 12th, Michael Thompson was run out without facing a ball. At 68-3, the momentum had certainly shifted in favour of Hayes. Procter along with Harry Bevan-Thomas had other ideas. The pair put on a partnership worth 110 in just sixteen overs, with both batsmen bringing up their fifties. Bevan-Thomas would be caught for 60 looking to hit straight. In came Joe Banks, who with Procter took the game away from Hayes. The pair put on a partnership worth 178 in 20 overs, with Procter reaching a fine century. Procter was eventually run out in the final over for a scintillating 145, whilst Banks finished unbeaten on 87. The Vine posted a total over 300 for the second time this season, finishing on 358-5. The total is believed to be the fourth highest total in Kent Premier 2nd XI League history.
The Vine defence started off well, with opening bowlers Harry Robinson and Matt Dalton bowling good lines and lengths, that restricted the Hayes batsman. Robinson (1-30) would pick up the first wicket, bowling Joshua Pratt for 9, before Dalton (1-20) struck soon after trapping Martin Pratty for 1. A period of resistance entailed by the Hayes batsmen, led by Finlay Baker who proved comfortable against both seam and spin. Freddie Young (1-32) would make the next breakthrough, trapping Joseph Cotton for 22. The score was now 69-3 from 22 overs, and the Vine were very much on top. Whilst Michael Thompson bowled well from the bottom end and was perhaps unlucky not to pick a wicket up for his troubles, Joe Banks would be the star of the Vine bowling performance. Banks ripped through the middle order with a spell of 5-39 from seven overs. Despite an excellent century from Finlay Baker, Hayes would be bowled out for 199 in the last over, meaning the Vine would win by 159 runs.
Still sitting in second place, the Vine welcome A21 rivals Tunbridge Wells next weekend in a must win game if they want to keep their title hopes alive.
Kent Regional Cricket League 2A Central: Kings Hill 2nd (242-6) beat Sevenoaks Vine 3rd (222-7)
The 3rd XI’s winning ways came to a halt on Saturday as the Vine succumbed to Kings Hill by 20 runs.
The Vine lost the toss and were inserted into the field. Jon Coleman started off well bowling Neil Taylor for 5, but Kings Hill were able to rally from their early loss. Ayden Hurst and Ben Fewson hit 41 and 43 respectively, before losing their wickets to Chad Quinney (1-52) and James White (2-51). White would also pick up the wicket of Chris Bryant for 30, thanks to some smart glove work from Milo Denny. With the score at 140 at the 30th over, Kings Hill looked to accelerate, and they did just that. 100 runs were scored in the final ten overs, despite a wicket for Byron Cooper-Fogarty (1-50) and a second for Jon Coleman (2-55). Kings Hill raced to 242-6 from their 40 overs, a very difficult score to chase.
The Vine chase however started off well, with Dan Martin and James White playing some classy shots against former Kent League bowler Hasham Khan and Danny Thomas. White would fall for 39, caught off the bowling of Khan before Martin was run out for 45. Adrian Spurling played another classic innings of his, striking 74 before retiring not out, and it was left to the middle order to take the game over the line. 60 runs were needed from the last 7 overs, and now with Chad Quinney and Charlie Williams at the crease, an umbrella field was set. Boundaries became near impossible for the Vine, as juniors Charlie Williams, Harry Spurling, Douglas Ramchandran and Milo Denny gave it their best shot. However, it proved too little too late for the 3rd XI as they fell 20 runs short of Kings Hill’s total.
The 3rd XI return to league action in two weeks’ time, and still sit top of 2A Central.
Sevenoaks Vine 4th (146/1) beat Snodland Community (145 all out)
On Saturday, the Vine 4th XI entertained Snodland, a battle-hardened League team from the same division as the 3rd XI, at Otford. On a flat pitch, Snodland got off to a good start but were pegged back by two outstanding 5 over spells by under-13s Milan Escarcega (1-8) and Kieran Daley (0-6 including 4 maidens). All 9 bowlers used were able to contain the batsmen and wickets fell regularly with Carl Nightingale, Ben Harvey, Harry House and Will House also claiming wickets. It was left to Vinny Kokkiligadda to clean up the innings with an outstanding spell of off spin (4-13) while a Kieran Daley / Nigel Taylor combination for a fine run-out showcased the 4th XI’s balance of youth and (evergreen) experience perfectly. A total of 145 all out, from 39.3 overs of the allocated 40 overs, was a great performance in the field.
Vinny Kokkiligada’s day was only to get better however as he anchored the Vine run chase with an excellent 76 not out. Batting judiciously initially, in company with Nigel who timed the ball sweetly for 28, he was then joined in an excellent unbeaten 106 run partnership with Ben Harvey. Both struck the ball cleanly and played classy drives as they made the Snodland attack toil in the sunshine. Victory was completed with 10 overs to spare, with 9 wickets in hand, and could be considered comprehensive. The 4th XI still remain unbeaten, in their first season since 2007.
Development Team v Grenfell
In an unprecedented weekend for the Development Team, excellent availability allowed the Vine to field two teams on a Sunday for the first time, as the Vine hosted Grenfell CC.
Losing the toss, the Vine were inserted into the field. Grenfell took advantage of some wayward early bowling from the openers. Piers Robinson (2-21) beat both openers for pace as he took their middle stumps out, and the Vine regained some early momentum. The pace of Robin Docherty down the hill also proved too much for the Grenfell batsman as he picked up an early wicket, and the score soon become 82-3. Whilst Grenfell played fluently early on, the introduction of young Harry House (0-18 from six overs) proved a good move for the Vine, as the batsman struggled to deal with his left arm in swing. The Vine then turned to the leg spin of Douglas Ramchandran and Ben Harvey. The batsman originally took a liking to their spin as the pair struggled to find their lines and lengths. Ramchandran (1-28) however would pick up the crucial wicket of Evans for 63, edging behind. This led to a quick flurry of wickets for the Vine, as Harvey took two in quick succession, including a one handed catch off his own bowling. Harvey (3-53) would pick up another the following over; the batsman attempted an audacious switch hit second ball, managing to get a small top edge to wicket keeper Harry Robinson who took a smart one-handed catch. James White (1-7) cleaned up the tail as the Vine bowled out Grenfell for 221 in the final over.
Openers Cyrus White and Charlie Williams looked to start the Vine chase well, with White looking particularly comfortable against the medium pace of the Grenfell attack. The pair put on 72 together by the fourteenth over, before Williams chipped to midwicket off the bowling of Vaghuela. James White continued from where Williams left off but fell for 37 with thanks to a glorious one-handed catch at short mid-wicket just after the drinks break. All the meanwhile, Cyrus White passed 50, with thanks to some classy shots through cover. White accelerated from here on, and soon reached his 100, the first ever in a Development Team game, finishing unbeaten on 123. Ben Harvey also made 21 before being trapped LBW and Douglas Ramchandran smashed a quick 19 not out as the Vine completed their chase in the 35th over.
Development Team v The Mote
Meanwhile, the Development Team also travelled to the Mote in their second fixture on Sunday.
After winning the toss, James Carslaw and Dan Martin opened the batting and began to score fluently, before being dismissed for 36 and 45 respectively. The middle order struggled to get going due to some tight bowling from the opposition. However, a quickfire 60* from Number Seven Henry Procter, and an aggressive 16 from Andrew Reid Dick, including an in-to-out drive over extra cover for four. The Vine concluded their innings on 220 for 6, from their 35 overs.
In response, The Mote were restricted early on, thanks to some consistent line and length bowling from the Smith brothers, who picked up a wicket each. Matt Luksich and Dambar Thapa then began to score quickly for the Mote, before Henry Gillespie (1-28) trapped Thapa for 42 LBW. Luksich continued his impressive striking, taking a liking against the medium pace of Henry Procter. He was eventually dismissed seven short off his 100, caught off the bowling of Josh Haworth. The Mote finished their 35 overs on 172, 48 short of their target that gave the Development another solid win.