Braintree 1st XI v Lakenheath
Braintree’s First XI got back to winning ways with an emphatic 10 wicket victory at Lakenheath on Saturday. Due to various reasons including Glen Newham getting married (congratulations to him and Mary) the Dolphins made five changes to the previous week giving a debut to young Joe Osbourne. The home side won the toss and surprisingly elected to bat first bearing in mind they too had struggled to score runs so far this season.
Luke Gouldstone and Geoff Eveling opened the bowling for Braintree and immediately tied down the Lakenheath batters who could only score 14 runs off the bat in the opening 10 overs. Shane Leech had only managed to scratch five singles when Gouldstone demolished his stumps. Coming to the crease at the fall of the first wicket, Oakley Colby looked a little more adventurous and struck three quick boundaries.
Saving Gouldstone and Eveling for later, skipper Chris Leech brought Robbie Spalding on to bowl and he quickly had Shaun Palmer (6) trapped LBW and then forced Paul Pallant (0) to edge the ball into the gloves of the bespectacled Matt Renvoize. Colby was joined at the crease by Ross Dupe and the pair put on 52 runs for the fourth wicket.
With the runs starting to come more freely, Chris Leech turned to spin at both ends and in his first over Chris Hinks clean bowled Dupe who had scored 31. Three deliveries later Ryan Saunders suffered the same fate. Mark Milner didn’t last very long either as Eveling had him caught by Gouldstone.
Colby eventually reached his half century however he lost his wicket soon afterwards, unfortunately for him he was out of his ground when Eveling deflected a drive by Tom Dupe onto the stumps. Hinks then bowled Andy Leech (0), whilst Gouldstone wiped up the remainder of the tail having Craig Thaxton (1) plumb LBW and bowling Shaun Lister (0). Tom Dupe was not out 19 as Lakenheath were all out for 145.
All eleven fielders played their part in restricting the home teams run scoring efforts and special mention must go to Joe Osbourne for one particularly excellent stop.
Facing a weak home bowling attack Chris Leech and Matt Renvoize knew that if they got their heads down, they could set Braintree on course for victory. Captain Leech had failed to trouble the scorer in both his previous innings so far this season, so when he ran a single off his second ball faced, he drew an almighty cheer from his teammates.
The opening pair batted sensibly and steadily scoring just 25 runs off the opening 10 overs, however unlike the previous games they’d kept their wickets intact. Renvoize had been content to block the deliveries received and eventually got off the mark with a boundary backward of square. Leech was seeing less of the strike, but he was pushing singles from virtually every ball faced.
After seeing off the opening attack of Pallent and Palmer both batters took advantage of the bowling of Leech and Colby that followed. Dolphin Leech particularly took a liking to the deliveries offered to him and at one stage scored 42 off 20 balls faced. Renvoize got in the act too finding the ropes on a few occasions as Braintree’s openers now raced towards the winning target.
From the final ball of the 27th over Leech pulled Pallent to the boundary and a comfortable victory had been achieved. Renvoize remained unbeaten on 51, whilst Leech finished on 79.