Braintree 1st XI v Dunmow

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Chris Leech Batting v Dunmow.jpeg
Chris Leech
Joel Ainsley bowling v Dunmow.jpeg
Joel Ainsley

Braintree Cricket Club’s First Eleven’s winning run came to an abrupt end as they lost by 106 runs at high flying Dunmow on Saturday.

Skipper Chris Leech won the toss and elected to field first taking into consideration that recently his bowling attack had managed to contain the opposition’s batting. Things didn’t go as planned though as Dunmow’s veteran openers put on 71 runs for the first wicket.

Mel Hussain was more than content to let his partner Stuart Felstead score the bulk of the early runs, he took a liking to Joel Ainsley’s bowling though and despatched the ball clear of the boundary for six. Trying to be too clever, Hussain attempted to do the same again to the next delivery but only succeeded in finding the safe hands of Luke Gouldstone and was out for 19.

Having reached his half century Felstead started to find runs less easy to come by, getting frustrated he attempted to hit out at Chris Hinks, got an edge and Matt Renvoize behind the stumps brilliantly plucked the ball out of the air with one glove.

Ainsley claimed two further wickets in quick succession as he had Ben Spargo (15) and Joe Gallant (34) caught in the deep by Glen Newham and Luke Gouldstone, respectively. Dunmow lost their fifth wicket as Ainsley cleaned bowled Cameron Gibson for 15.

Looking to push the score along in the final few overs Damian Westwood and James Reid hit some lusty blows, depositing and losing the ball out of the ground on three occasions. Both fell victim to Geoff Eveling though, Reid (17) was trapped LBW and Westwood (38) was caught on the long on boundary by Hinks. Off their allotted 45 overs Dunmow accumulated 221 runs for the loss of 7 wickets.

Braintree’s reply got off to the worst possible start as Sam Mixture trapped the previous week’s centurion Matt Renvoize LBW without troubling the scorers and the very next over, he had Chris Hinks (4) cleaned bowled. Having just hit Mixture for two successive boundaries Jamie Foyster (13) found himself controversially adjudged LBW, although the live YouTube feed showed that ball was well missing the stumps! When Geoff Eveling edged a delivery from Spargo to Felstead in the slips without scoring, the Dolphins had lost their first four wickets for just 33 runs.

Chris Leech and Luke Gouldstone looked to steady the ship and at drinks they had moved Braintree’s total on to 58 for 4. Gouldstone must have had an energy drink at the break as having only scored three singles from 36 deliveries, he resumed with extra vigour scoring a further 16 runs (including a six) from only 8 balls faced. Unfortunately, the wily old fox Baz Sewell tempted him again and this time he could only find the safe hands of Paul Read on the boundary.

Lee Fullgrabbe (17) decided to attack Sewell from the off clearing the ropes on two occasions, however he too was undone as he failed to middle the ball and offered Spargo a simple catch at long on. Glen Newham ensured that Braintree had at least earnt one batting point as he struck his first delivery for four, however Sewell drew him out of his crease and Westwood behind the stumps whipped off his bails.

Captain Leech had managed to keep his wicket intact all this time, although he had survived at least three dropped catches. However, when on 42 his luck ran out as he was caught on the mid wicket boundary by Gibson, off the bowling of Hussein. Joel Ainsley (1) and Karl Parker (0) came and went quickly as Braintree found themselves bowled out for just 115.