Braintree 1st XI v Copdock & OI's

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Chris Leech Batting v Copdock.jpeg
Chris Leech
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Chris Hinks

Braintree Cricket Club’s First XI welcomed Copdock and Old Ipswichians to St Peter’s Road on Saturday and another excellent all round performance resulted in a 50 run victory.

Winning the toss, Dolphin’s captain Chris Leech elected to bat first on a track that as usual looked full of runs, a credit to groundsman Jamie Foyster. Leech himself, and Matt Renvoize, carried on where they’d left off the previous week, putting on 58 runs for the first wicket. However, having scored 17 Renvoize’s nemesis adjudged him LBW off the bowling of Felix Ward.

Chris Hinks joined his skipper at the crease and the pair continued to score runs at ease, pushing singles and ensuring that any loose deliveries were duly sent in the direction of the boundary ropes. The bowling of Don Mlambo was particularly to their liking and at one stage 37 runs were scored from 14 of his deliveries, including a towering six from the bat of Leech.

The two hundred was brought up as Hinks crashed the ball through the covers. Unfortunately, he was out the very next ball caught by Freddie Coe off the bowling of Ward. Braintree’s vice captain had accumulated 68 runs in a second wicket stand of 144.

As is so often the case when one wicket falls another follows soon afterwards as Leech fell three runs short of his century, caught on the mid wicket boundary by Hugo Douglas off the bowling of Nathan Scarrf.

Rory Ainsley (28) and Luke Gouldstone (14) scored runs off almost every ball to keep the scoreboard ticking along and both were not out as Braintree’s innings closed on 246 for 3 off their allotted 45 overs.

Braintree in defence of their total, got off to the best possible start as in his second over Luke Gouldstone found the edge of Reuban Sharpe’s bat and Matt Renvoize took the catch behind the stumps.

After the early set back Karl Storey and Nathan Scarff started scoring a few runs for Copdock putting on 59 for the second wicket. However, Joel Ainsley was brought into the attack and quickly claimed the wicket of Scarff. Having scored 24 the visiting captain was well caught by Josh Paget.Soon after Storey lost his wicket too, when on 39 he slashed at a delivery from Paget and Leech took a magnificent diving catch. Together Mlambo (38) and Ward (47) set about another recovery for the visitors, they too lost their wickets in quick succession though. Geoff Eveling couldn’t hide his delight as he trapped Mlambo LBW and Leech took another excellent catch to dismiss Ward off the bowling of Chris Hinks. With all their top order batters back in the pavilion, Braintree were into the visitors tail and claimed the five remaining wickets inside 4 overs. Two smart pieces of fielding by Geoff Eveling saw both Will Menzies (6) and Harry Packer (4) run out whilst Gouldstone took two exceptionally good catches off Hinks to dismiss Jon Hartman (16) and Hugo Douglas (0). It was left to Gouldstone to wrap up the innings as he dismantled Freddie Coe’s stumps. From a position of 152 for 3, Copdock had

slumped to 196 all out. Chris Leech had led the Dolphins from the front with his 97 and two excellent catches, however every other member played their part in achieving victory. All bowlers claimed wickets, very few runs were conceded in the field and all catches were taken.