Following on from last week’s four-run win against Bickley Park, the Vine aimed to continue a strong run of form. With the sun shining and not a cloud in the sky, the Vine elected to bat first on a pitch that favoured the batsman. John Bowden (32) and Christopher Vernon (22) steered the Vine’s ship through the first few overs before the introduction of leg-spinner Jan Gray (4-34) and Alex Smith (2-78) slowed the Vine’s promising start to 78-3 off 21 overs. Bringing the game very much into the balance, Sandwich looked to take command of the innings.
Nonetheless, a combination of Luke Schlemmer’s (73) anchoring innings, Adam Rouse’s quickfire 52 and Miles Richardson’s (36) continued form helped to expertly guide the Vine through the middle stage of the innings, providing a strong platform to enter the final ten overs with 185-4 on the board. Despite tight bowling from Van Poppel (1-53) and Gray’s hattrick ball – claiming Schlemmer and Price (0) before Banks nurdled the leg-spinners chance of a hattrick for a single – stylish hitting epitomised by Pearson’s reverse sweeps (16) saw the Vine finish on 261-8 off their 50 overs.
Unfazed by the favourable batting conditions, the opening pair of James Carslaw and Miles Richardson were incredibly unlucky not claim a Sandwich scalp. Richardson narrowly missing the outside edge on numerous occasions and Carslaw challenged the batsman’s knowledge of their off stump. After seeing off the Vine’s opening pair, captain Schlemmer turned to Christopher Vernon (0-22) and Karl Pearson (0-24) to tempt the Sandwich pair but to no avail. After celebrating their 100 partnership, Andrew Reid-Dick’s illustrious left-arm spin proved too tempting and Zach Fagg (52) departed providing John Bowden with a regulatory catch in the 25th over.
Notwithstanding, Sandwich began to increase the run rate by reaching 150 in the 31st over for the loss of only one wicket. Their plan of attack proved threatening until Adam Rouse’s, albeit surprising, introduction into the bowling attack. Pairing Rouse’s (0-36) right-arm off-spin with his own left arm orthodox action, Captain Schlemmer (2-40) took economical control of the game.
Thanks to strict and tenacious bowling from the two, only 39 runs were scored between the 31st and 40th over, causing the dangerous Tom Chapman to succumb to the pressure, whilst Jordan Cox (26) and opener Finley Beaman fell quickly behind the rate. Needing 85 to win from the final ten overs, the Vine had once again entered another thrilling game. With scoreboard pressure rising and 64 to win from the final six overs, Andrew Reid Dick (4-36) capitalised upon the desperation of the batsman by dismissing Cox and Cameron Fletcher (0) within three balls.
To the joy of the neutral spectator, the drama had not seized to exist. The 46th over witnessed twelve runs being scored, with opener Finlay Beaman’s (82) urge to complete a second run ended by Vernon’s steady aim from long on, running the young batsman out. An additional wicket fell in the 47th over yet Sandwich still compiled an extra ten runs and their determination prevailed, with twenty runs scored in the 48th.
With two overs left and 19 runs to win, the left-arm orthodox duo of Reid Dick and Schlemmer aimed to deprive the batsman of any boundary scoring option. The excellent spell of Reid Dick continued in the 49th over, conceding nine runs in his final over and leaving the opposition with 10 runs to win in the final over.
Having nullified Bickley Park’s attempts to win in the previous week, Schlemmer took charge of the final over. First ball, single. Followed by a dot. Another single. Eight runs to win, three balls to bowl. Déjà vu for the Vine boys. Ben Smith’s failure capitalise on his movement down the pitch was swiftly met by Ben Price’s quick hands to remove his bails and stump him. Wicket. Eight runs to win off two balls. Sandwich’s demand for two boundaries in the final two balls of the innings were not supplied, only two singles were hit whilst being met by the jubilant celebrations from the Vine team.
Two consecutive thrilling wins make it three from three for the Vine, who now face Premier League new boys Canterbury at home this Saturday.
Kent Cricket League Twenty20 Cup: Sevenoaks Vine (176/4) beat Leeds & Broomfield (126 all out)
Vine captain Luke Schlemmer (49*) steered his team into the quarter finals of the Kent Cricket League Twenty20 Cup on Monday evening at Orchard Field in Otford.
Schlemmer and opening partner Ben Price (36), put on a partnership of 59 in a slow start to the game before Price was caught and with Oliver Howick only managing four it looked like the Vine might struggle against the Division Three side. Miles Richardson (27) added to the total before Harry Houillon (31) and Michael Barber (10) finished off the innings. Edward Scrivens was the pick of the bowlers for Leeds & Broomfield with 2-29.
Sevenoaks then set out their stall with bowlers Henry Procter (1-24) and Karl Pearson (4-17) taking the first five wickets for just 41 runs. However, Scrivens wasn’t happy to just bowl well, as he hit 76 runs from 44 balls including 4 fours and 7 sixes.
Once Sevenoaks had dispatched Scrivens thanks to Barber (1-34), the rest fell for just 19 runs, with Richardson (1-8) displaying his agility as he caught and bowled Andrew Turner. Price (1-2) and Joe Banks (1-38) mopped up the remaining wickets.
The win will see Sevenoaks travel to face either Upchurch or Minster (Sheppey) in the last eight.
Kent Cricket League Premier 2nd Division: Sevenoaks Vine 2nd (223-9) lost to Sandwich Town 2nd (225-6)
A tough weekend for the Sevenoaks 2nd XI as they lost their first game of the season to top of the table rivals Sandwich Town.
It was always going to be a tough match for the Vine after being put into bat and losing two wickets in the first over, Greg Adams and Evert Bekker falling without troubling the scorer. At 0-2 in came Oli Durell, who illustrated his class and excelled against a strong Sandwich attack. Durell took the innings by the horns and proceeded to assert his dominance as the middle order fell around him, eventually finishing on a superb 115. With runs added from the tail, including 30* from Piers Robinson and 14* from Freddie Young, the Vine managed to finish their 50 overs with a score of 223-9, a more than respectable and defendable total.
After tea it was Sandwich Town’s turn. With a nice opening partnership spell from Tom Parsons and Piers Robinson, with Parsons trapping both opening batsman LBW. In came Sandwich’s number three batsman, Ben Chapman, who made the crease his own. In similarity to Durell’s innings for the Vine, Chapman expertly anchored the Sandwich innings. Despite a flurry of wickets for Vine bowlers Evert Bekker (2-45), Mike Thompson (1-41) and Matt Dalton (1-32) in the middle overs, it was not quite enough as Sandwich completed their chase with just 5 balls remaining, and Chapman finishing unbeaten on 105.
With a few missed opportunities in the field, and not quite enough runs on the board, it was a tough day at the office for the 2nd XI and certainly not the one they hoped for. Now sitting in third place, the 2nd XI must now re-focus with Tenterden away this weekend if they hope to challenge for the title this season.
Kent Regional Cricket League 2A Central: Minster (Sheppey) 3rd (107-7) lost to Sevenoaks Vine 3rd (108-2)
The Sevenoaks Vine 3rd XI continued their winning run and extended their lead at the top of the league by defeating second placed Minster 3rd XI by eight wickets.
Having won the toss skipper Hugo Tudor put Minster in to bat. The Vine’s bowling was very disciplined and made scoring very difficult for the opposition. Will Ansell and Johnny Coleman bowled the first 12 overs conceding only 23 runs between them but failed to make the breakthrough. A double change brought Byron Cooper-Fogarty and Mike Martin into the attack and yielded instant results with Cooper-Fogarty producing another devastating spell and taking 4-4 off 8 overs; Cooper-Fogarty has now taken 15 wickets for 32 runs from just 23 overs this season. Martin also bowled very tightly and removed one of the openers. With the score at 61-5 after 30 overs, an attempt at hitting out finally came and Minster managed to get to 107-7 after their 40 overs with Hugo Tudor picking up a couple of late wickets.
Given the nature of the wicket the Vine were taking nothing for granted but after Tony Ansell and Andy Akerman had fallen early on, there followed a very assured partnership between Adrian Spurling (43 not out) and Will Peters (45 not out). Anything loose was dispatched to the boundary and the target was reached in only 15 overs.
The Vine now play host to the Mote 3rd XI at Orchard Field and will look to continue this excellent start to the season.
Vine Development (139 all out) lost to Bexley (239-3)
The Vine Development side travelled to Bexley for their first game of the summer. With a few senior players and an abundance of youth, the Vine lost the toss and were sent into the field.
Henry Smith and Rohan de Silva opened up, bowling some lovely deliveries with little luck on a pitch with not much for the seamers. Spinners Charlie Williams and Dan Martin all bowled with immense control and were all unfortunate to not be rewarded for their efforts, whilst Mike Martin took the prized wicket of Anish Patel for 24. Henry Gillespie bowled tidily and earned his first senior wicket in difficult circumstances- captain James Carslaw and part time wicketkeeper Piers Robinson were at their very best in the field stopping everything in its tracks, however it was felt Bexley were given too many runs, finishing with a score of 239-3.
The Vine’s innings begun in sensible fashion with Dan Martin and Sam Collens (10) playing some lovely shots. Collens was unfortunately run out backing up too far at the non strikers end which begun a collapse for the Vine with James Carslaw (3) and Mike Martin losing their wickets early on. The middle order came and went, despite some resistance from Piers Robinson (21) but it was Dan Martin who would star with the bat with 68. The Vine eventually fell 99 runs short on 139 all out.