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27/05/23 - 1st XI v Tunbridge Wells 1st XI

The Vine welcomed the ‘old nemesis’ Tunbridge Wells on a glorious early summers day.

Winning the toss on a good looking wicket, the Vine started well, with openers Chris Vernon and Cyrus White taking the score to 27 in 8 overs.

However, Vernon had his off stump removed by Wells opening bowler Matt Barker (1-52), meaning Captain Luke Schlemmer joined White. The Skipper looked in lekke form moving to 28 off 38 balls, before a mis timed drive saw him bowled by Chris Williams (2-33) who was arguably the pick of the bowling.

White (34) departed shortly after meaning Evert Bekker, supporting a less bushy beard to the 2022 season was joined by Michael Cowdrey. The pair began rebuilding and added 97 for the 4th wicket. A mix up between the wickets saw Bekker run out for a well constructed 45. Cowdrey continued on his merry way, with a number of lusty blows taking him to 50 off 72 balls. However once himself and Kent professional Jimmy Logan went in swift succession, it was important the Vine finished the innings strongly and it came in the form of Sahil Shah. After his man of the match 6 wicket haul in the previous week, played a brilliant late innings cameo on his way to 39 off 22 balls including 17 off the final over, with the Vine setting 239.

A poor start from the Vine, coupled with some brutal hitting from Wells stalwart Chris Williams enabled the away side to race to 76 off only 7 overs.

3 quick wickets from seamers Vernon (2-33) and Shah (1-11) allowed the Vine a glimmer of hope after a bad start.

However, Wells youngster Ben Dawkins and keeper Sam Smith steadied the ship and put together a match winning partnership worth 120. Smith was removed for 59 by Samwise Jones (1-31) and a further 2 late wickets from senior citizen Warren Lee (2-68) added some respectability to proceedings, however Dawkins 85 not out saw Tunbridge Wells over the line with over 10 overs to spare.

A disappointing result for the Vineyard, who will aim to spring back next week with a trip to ‘The Butts’ to take on an inform Sandwich Town.

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