Sevenoaks Vine 2nd XI welcomed Tunbridge Wells 2nd XI to The Vine on Saturday, in the first A21 derby of the year
The visitors won the toss and elected to bowl first. The experienced Duncan Irens and John Bowden made a solid start, making 66 for the first wicket, before Bowden sliced to backward point for 28. Harry Bevan-Thomas joined Irens and continued to ensure the momentum stayed with the home team. A mix up with the score on 100 saw Irens run out for 49 and brought Wells back into the game. The Vine middle order struggled against a strong spin attack with the trio of Charlie Williams (9), Angus Willis (2) and Krish Joshi (10) falling cheaply. Meanwhile Bevan-Thomas at the other end found ways to keep the scoreboard ticking over, making a well made 60. Cameos from Mohammed Jamil (15*) and Isaiah Elie (9*) ensured the Vine made a competitive 218-8 from their 50 overs.
The Vine defence started well with some economical bowling from Harry Robinson and Mohammed Jamil. The latter was rewarded with the scalp of Hugo Williams for just 8. Isaiah Elie came into the attack and removed Sam Stickler's off stump. Freddie Young lured Gus Freeman into a poor shot, chipping the ball to short fine leg. Tunbridge Wells found themselves 65-3 and were in need of a partnership. Opener Mark McLean withstood the pressure well and found a partner in Greg Thew. The pair put on 73 before McLean was bowled by Elie for 66. Thew soon followed for 58, trapped LBW by Matt Smart.
The score was 152-5 and with the visitors needing just 66 from 15 overs, they were well in the ascendency.
Another wicket for Smart, gave the Vine some belief. However, another partnership for Tunbridge Wells between James Madgwick (23) and Sam Huggett (15) which took the Wells up to 190, before Huggett was stumped off the bowling of John Bowden. The nerves began to show on the batsman as Govind Nair was run out for 10, and Madgwick played around a John Bowden quicker ball. With the score 204-9, it was either team's for the taking.
A few boundaries from the Wells lead to a simple equation in the final over. The Vine needed one wicket to win. Meanwhile Tunbridge Wells needed just 3 to win. Captain Angus Willis turned to Robinson to bowl the final over. The tension was palpable.
The first ball went for one run.
The second ball went a bit like so:
1. The ball was hit to mid on.
2. A shout of yes and no from the hesitant Tunbridge Wells batsman.
3. A missed throw at the stumps at the bowlers end from the fielder
4. A further hesitation from the batsmen
5. The ball was collected by Robinson who under armed the ball at the stumps and hit
6. The Tunbridge Wells batsman simultaneously made a desparing dive to make his ground
7. The umpire gave the batsman run out
8. Jubilant celebrations commenced amongst the Vine players
The Vine had clenched victory from the jaws of defeat, winning by one run.
Looking ahead, The 2nd XI travel to Bromley Town next week.