On another glorious day, Sevenoaks welcomed the Beckenham Bees to the Vine ahead of another eagerly anticipated Kent League clash.
Losing another toss, Sevenoaks were asked to field first. After some tight opening bowling, Chris Vernon, resembling a melting ice cream in the midday sun struck first, found the edge of Finnan Bryan’s bat which led to Miles Richardson springing like a flying salmon to his right, taking a one handed catch, a true champagne moment.
After that Beckenham started to rebuild slowly, led from the front by their captain Alex Senn who scored 50 and supported by mainly by James Fear who made 36.
The Vine bowlers continued to squeeze and pile on the pressure with the ever patrolling Neil Reid Dick, full of energy after his weekly trip raiding the confectionary isles of Bookers once again the pick of the vine attack, returning figures of 2-28 from his 10 overs. League veteran John Bowden once again showed all his ability and decades of league experience to take two quick wickets and keep Beckenham from accelerating with figures of 2-33.
A late innings burst from Johan Malcolm and Jahid Ahmed allowed The Bees to post 215-7 from their 50 overs.
A return to the team for Harry Houillion had an instant impact and he started well. Despite the loss of Vernon cheaply, the ‘Great Houlliondini’ showed magic touch on his way to a brisk 43.
Once he departed overseas superstar Luke Schlemmer (71 not out) and Mike Barber (54) went about their business well chipping away at the deficit. However, when Head coach Barber nicked off, the Vine still needed 20 runs for victory. Cometh the hour, cometh the Vine’s burly Welshman Ben Price who strode to the middle and proceeded to clump three boundaries in his first four balls, showing true grand slam pedigree. This left Schlemmer to knock off the winning runs in style and take the Vine over the line, getting a much needed victory and resurrecting their season in fine style.
Sevenoaks face bottom of the table Bromley this weekend and will be hoping for back to back league wins as they approach the half way stage.
Kent Cricket League Premier 2nd Division: Beckenham 2nd (239/9) beat Sevenoaks Vine 2nd (204/9)
The 2nd XI suffered their third successive loss of the season against Beckenham at Foxgrove. Losing the toss, the Vine were made to field first and were rewarded with two early wickets, one a piece for Ryan Gavin and Harry Robinson.
The experienced number three and four batsmen for Beckenham rebuilt well and it wouldn’t be until a few balls before the second drinks break, the Vine would make their next breakthrough. The left arm spin of Freddie Young had Will Northwood caught for 24, with Robinson taking an athletic, leaping catch at midwicket. Young would then take two more quick wickets, and The Vine were back in the game.
Number four batsman Ross Pillar brought up his 100 after some powerful stroke play, before also falling victim to the bowling of Young, caught once again by Robinson in a diving effort on the cow corner boundary. Young was the pick of the bowlers taking 4-43 from his 10 overs. Some elegant stroke play by Prashant Tyagi (29) helped the home side surpass 225 before edging behind off the bowling of Harry Robinson, who would also take a further wicket at the death to finish with figures of 3-38 from his 10 overs. Beckenham finished on a strong score of 239-9 from their 50 overs, but with a short boundary square of the wicket, the Vine were quietly confident.
The Vine chase began in the worst possible way losing captain and opener Cyrus White in the first over, with the ball hitting his thigh pad and being given out caught behind. Run machine Tom Harvey continued his fine run of form with a quick fire 21, before being given out LBW to a ball that looked to be going over the stumps by a fair margin, as did Matt Wilson for 13. This brought Akhil Shah to the crease, who alongside other opener Guy Bevan-Thomas, rebuilt the Vine innings and took the score to 120-3 off 30 overs. A loose shot from Shah saw him chop onto his stumps for 25 and would lead to another middle order collapse for the Vine with the score suddenly becoming 130-7. Guy Bevan-Thomas would be the next to go following a patient 43 and with that, signalled the end of the Vine’s hope of a win.
With 15 overs still to bat, the focus was on bonus points and tailenders, Harry Robinson and Fred Young reached 145 before Young was trapped LBW. Robinson and number 11 Ryan Gavin then put on an unbeaten final wicket stand of 60. The pair comfortably passed the next bonus point margin of 175 and needed 10 runs from the final over to reach 200 for the next bonus point. Robinson hit 12 in two balls, the first thanks to four overthrows plus two runs off the bat, and the second a big six into the tennis courts. The Vine finished on 204-9, with Robinson on 40* and Gavin on 16*.
Next up is Bromley away for the 2nd XI with a win necessary to turn around the season.
Kent Regional Cricket League Division 2 Central: Sevenoaks Vine 3rd (164/8) beat Dartford 3rd (133/6)
The Vine 3’s won the toss and elected to bat on a hot day at Otford. Andy Akerman and Ben Anderson took full advantage playing a good array of attacking shots and the Vine were 95-0 at the half way stage and looking on course for well over 200 but Anderson’s dismissal for 39 changed the course of the innings. Wickets fell regularly and when Akerman was run out for 58 there was a danger of falling short of a good total. Fortunately Andrew Blincoe scored a well paced 20 to take the team score to 164-8.
The Dartford 3’s response got off to a fast start as Vine opening bowlers Leo Wood and Pete Thresher had little luck. Dartford reached 62-1 off 12 overs but the introduction of spin slowed the rate dramatically. Initially Andrew Blincoe who took 1-15 in his first five overs and then skipper Hugo Tudor (1-7 off his 9) including five consecutive maidens put the brake fully on.
The reintroduction of seam in the form of Dave Beckett after Blincoe’s first five overs yielded instant results as he removed the well set Dartford opener and suddenly Dartford were needing eight an over. Scott Moseley grabbed an excellent catch off Dave Beckett and Beckett finished with 3-30 as Dartford’s reply finished tamely on 133-6.