Black day for Vine
SEVENOAKS VINE 125ao
Vine lost by 107 runs
SEVENOAKS Vine suffered a disappointing setback on Saturday when a below-par batting performance contributed heavily to their Kent League Premier Division defeat by visiting Blackheath.
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Vine skipper Karl Pearson lost an important toss and was invited to bowl first on a beautiful early summer's day.
A good pitch and lightning-fast outfield meant it was an easy decision for visiting captain Chris Willetts.
Openers Sharif and David Hammond put on 30 before the former was caught at slip by John Bowden off the bowling of Vine opener Tim Shaw.
His opening bowling partner, James Day, picked up the next wicket, clean-bowling Alex Senn with the score on 37.
Wickets continued to fall at steady intervals, although the Blackheath middle order of Lee, Paul and Valkovics did contribute 39, 39 and a game-high 41 respectively to see the visitors to 232-9 at the interval.
Vine spinners Lorne Burns (3-72) and Bowden (1-52) returned their best figures of the season to date. James Day continued his fine early season form with 2-38 from 11 fiery overs.
The Vine reply got off to the worst possible start with Chris Hammond cleaned-bowled first ball. Opening partner John Bowden soon followed (12 lbw) and the reply was faltering at 15-2. Vine keeper Anthony Shales joined the in-form Tyler Griffin and the pair counter-attacked to put Blackheath firmly on the back foot at 61-2 off a mere 10 overs. Disaster struck, however, when a mix-up led to Griffin (23) being run out from a direct hit by Sharif. This proved the turning point as Shales (38) soon followed offering a return catch to former Kent CCC bowler Warren Lee. Only Lorne Burns (22) offered any real resistance as the home side folded tamely to lose by 107 runs.
The Vine will look to bounce back again this weekend when they travel to newly promoted Sibton Park, buoyed by the return of all-rounder Oliver Howick and last season's top scorer, Michael Barber.