Braintree 1st XI v Easton
Braintree Cricket Club’s First Eleven made the journey into deepest Suffolk on Saturday to play Easton and got back to winning ways courtesy of an excellent 8 run victory. In the past Easton had always prepared a decent a pitch, however things seemed to have gone downhill somewhat since our last visit.
Chris Leech won the toss for the fifth consecutive week and elected to bat first. Unfortunately, in the early stages runs were hard to come by and by the tenth over Braintree had only posted 22 runs on the board for the loss of Matt Renvoize who was adjudged LBW having scored just 6.
Jamie Foyster joined Chris Leech steadily pushed the score along, in total they put on 110 runs for the second wicket at a rate of 4 an over. When on 68 though the Dolphins’ skipper lost his wicket as he drove a delivery from Chris Wells straight to Ben Harper. Foyster had batted sensibly to score 39 however he followed Leech back to the pavilion just 2 balls later as he guided the ball to Pete Moore in the slips.
Chris Hinks and Rory Ainsley upped the scoring rate a fraction, but they too lost their wickets in quick succession. Ainsley was cleaned bowled by Ezra Fuller for 17 whilst Hinks holed out to Harper off the bowling of Fernley having scored 12.
In the 45th and final over of their innings Braintree added a further 12 runs however they lost 3 wickets doing so, Joe Osbourne (5) was run out, Geoff Eveling (9) and Himesh Patel (4) were both caught in the deep. Off their allotted overs Braintree had accumulated 190 runs for the loss of 8 wickets but having successfully defended lower totals previously, the Dolphins were fairly confident of doing so again.
Replying Easton got off to a flyer scoring 28 runs off the opening 4 overs, however when Luke Gouldstone got his line sorted the home batters had no answer to his pace. Toby Wright (8), Rob Taylor (21) and Ben Harper (0) all had their stumps dismantled within the space of two overs.
Pete Moore and Mark Fernley then put on 78 for the fourth wicket however it took up 26 overs doing so, the pair struggling against the combined spin of Eveling, Hinks and Leech. Eventually the pair realised that if their team had any chance of victory, they would have to chance their arm, resulting in both batters being stumped by Renvoize of the bowling of Leech for 44 and 38, respectively.
Phil Caelstroem (13) in an attempt to hit out was brilliant caught on the boundary by Gouldstone and Himesh Patel took an even better catch to dismiss Sam Hall (5). When Wayne Mitchell (7) was stumped by Renvoize, Easton were still 21 runs short of victory. Chris Wells did his best to reach the target but at the end of the 45th over they still required a further 9 runs.
The end result looked close, however Easton were always well behind the run rate thanks to the Dolphins spin trio backed up by an excellent all round fielding display. Chris Leech with his 68 runs and bowling figures of 4 for 36 was man of the match with the remaining members of the team all playing a big part in the win.
This coming Saturday Braintree welcome table topping Kelvedon to St Peters Road, The opposition have only lost one game this season and that was to the Dolphins, so a good match is anticipated.