Sevenoaks Vine 1st XI welcomed Minster 1st XI to Orchard Field on Saturday, the last game the 1st XI will play at the ground prior to the reopening of the Vine.
Sevenoaks Vine 1st XI (241-5) lost to Minster (242-9)
Winning the toss and electing to bat first, Ben Price and Chris Vernon looked to continue their fine run of form. Vernon would be the main aggressor in the partnership playing plenty of fluid cover drives, meanwhile Price was happy to take his time on a sticky wicket. The pair navigated the challenge of opening bowler David Masters, who previously has played for Kent, Leicestershire and Essex. The pair made it through to the drinks break unscathed with the Vine on a solid 82-0 from 20 overs.
After the drinks break, The Vine took fancy to some wayward Minster bowling and the ball seemed to fly to the boundary at will. Vernon brought up his 50 and would push on to hit 74 from 67 balls, before chipping a loose shot to mid off. At this point the score was 141-1 and the Vine were in the ascendency. Evert Bekker played some nice shots before being stumped off the bowling of Amir Raza whilst Price continued to chug along at the other end. He would finish with a well made 77 from 124 balls before a smart piece of work in the field led to the wicket keeper batsman being run out. The evergreen John Bowden (30 from 18 balls), the flamboyant Michael Cowdrey (15 from 10 balls) and the powerful Ben Anderson (13* from 6 balls) ensured the Vine made a healthy total of 241-5 from their allowed 40 overs.
In response, Minster made a solid start with Noah McLennan putting away any bad balls from opening bowlers Chris Vernon and Harry Robinson. Vernon would make the breakthrough trapping Riccardo Di Cicco LBW for just 9, and then McLennan would soon follow as he edged behind off the bowling of Robinson. With the score 34-2, the Vine had made a great start to their defence. However, some lusty blows from James Thompson and Kai Appleby increased the run rate quickly. Ben Price then turned to Matt Dalton who would first remove Appleby for nine with Amir Raza departing just three balls later.
The away team found themselves in trouble at 58-4 but enter the experienced Chris Piesley, who along with James Thompson, swung the game back into the balance with some fantastic stroke play including a number of reverse sweeps and big shots down the ground. The reverse sweep would be Piesley’s undoing as he top edged to Tom Harvey off the bowling of John Bowden. Cameos from both Dan and David Masters, Harry Mawson and Oliver Dewey would bring the away side within touching distance needing 14 to win from the final two overs and with one wicket in hand. Number 11 batsman James White proved the difference as he smashed consecutive sixes into the fields to take Minster to a one wicket victory.
The Vine will take a lot of positives from a much better performance than the week before, but will no doubt question how they didn’t come away with the win. Next up is a trip to Mayfield before welcoming Bickley Park to The Vine for the first league game on May 8th.