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Braintree 2nd XI v Chappel & WC

Braintree's second string knew before a ball was bowled they were in for a tough game against leaders Chappel & Wakes Colne and that's exactly how it turned out.

On a flat track against a quality batting line up Braintree couldn't get the early breakthrough they were looking for despite an excellent opening spell from Andrew Sherry and Joe Osborne. Sherry was the more threatening but it was Osborne who came closest to breaking the century opening stand as he induced Jha to chip one in the air but agonisingly it dropped just a fraction short of the returning Dave Hale at mid wicket.

Jha wouldn't last too much longer though as, with the first ball after the drinks break, Calley Foyster had him caught excellently at cow corner by Lee Fullgrabe.

Foyster was bowling with great control on a wicket that gave her absolutely no margin for error and was unlucky to have Tom Whiteman and Jack Perfect-Brown put down during her spell. Those drops would prove costly as Whiteman took his season tally to 1194 (at an average just a fraction short of 120) as he hit an imperious 176 before he was excellently caught by Thomas Mellon at long on after Matt Kent had traded the gloves for the ball. 

Kent also went on to pick up the wicket of Tristan Moseley, who was bowled for 14, whilst at the other end Jack Perfect-Brown went on to complete his maiden career century - striking the final ball of the innings for 6 to bring up his 3 figures.

Braintree worked hard all afternoon in the heat and despite the opposition setting them a score of 368 to chase, should not be disheartened given the quality they faced.

Braintree's reply got off to the worst possible start as Matt Kent was bowled for 0 in the second over and shortly afterwards Joe Osborne departed, also without scoring, as Charlie Johnson unbalanced him with a short ball and he got too close to his stumps. Johnson was causing problems with significant in swing and Braintree were soon 40-5 with all five wickets falling to the Chappel opening bowler. Ian Johnson (7) was well caught at first slip before Dave Hale (18) and Andrew Sherry (5) both had their timber disturbed.

Lee Fullgrabe and Danny king then dug in and got the score ticking along as the quest for bonus points became the priority. The pair put on 63 together, Fullgrabe being the main aggressor as he struck 7 fours and 3 sixes in an excellent 59 while King, hampered by a shoulder injury, was more studious in his approach as he went on to make 27. Unfortunately, once they had departed, there was no wag in the tail this week and Braintree's reply ended on 160 but battled hard for those bonus points meaning there is now a 30 point gap between them and the relegation spots.

Next week will see the visit of Kesgrave, who sit mid table, and with the spirit amongst the side Braintree will be confident of taking something from this game