Braintree 2nd XI v Worlingworth
Braintree II’s made it back-to-back wins with a 36-run win at home to Worlingworth. Another great performance by the team, particular highlights were 50’s for Mark and Joe Osborne, the father and son duo combining to help put a very imposing total on the board for the dolphins.
The Braintree skipper Andrew Sherry won the toss and elected to bat on what looked a great pitch for scoring runs. However, Braintree lost an early wicket when Arindam Ganguly was caught at slip via a sharp catch. At the other end, Matt Kent was playing his usual attractive drives but when he reached 14, he was bowled. That brought Ian Johnston to the crease, who along with Joe Osborne put on a substantial partnership in very quick time. Johnston in particular playing some very aggressive shots with both batters punishing anything even slightly loose from the opposition bowlers. After reaching 34 in his usual bludgeoning fashion, Johnston was bowled leaving Braintree at 105 for 3. In at number 5 was Mark Osborne, who, together with his son Joe, put on another good partnership which was very pleasing to the eye. Throughout his innings, J Osborne played some exquisite shots, including multiple exceptional drives over cover and his typical shots behind square on both sides of the wicket. He eventually reached his first senior half century, a great achievement from the young batter who is improving week on week. Unfortunately, he was bowled soon after but a fantastic innings nonetheless. At the other end, Osborne senior continued on his merry way, finding singles and boundaries in between very stout defence. He also reached a 50, his first for the club after a long break from the game. Braintree were in a good position for a late surge, and some very useful contributions from Andrew Gowers (36) and Sherry (31) pushed the score along. Gowers struck 3 sixes in his bright and breezy knock, one of which travelling many a mile, far over the trees at long on and into an unsuspecting Local’s Garden. Wickets also fell during the flurry of runs with Braintree eventually finishing on 255-9. A good total, but the home side knew that with a short boundary and a fast outfield, they would need to bowl well to secure another victory.
Gowers and Sherry kept it tight early on, restricting Worlingworth’s opening pair to 3 an over in the first 10. After some confusion from both batsmen and some good awareness from the skipper, the first wicket fell via a run out, Gowers whipping off the bails at the non-strikers end after a throw from Sherry. Young offspinner Charlie Garner was then brought on at the bottom end, replacing Sherry. Almost immediately, a breakthrough came mainly thanks to a spectacular diving effort at cover by Mark Osborne, definitely a contender for catch of the season. Gowers then grabbed a wicket, the batsman lobbing a simple catch to Joe Osborne. Garner then got his second with a bit of luck as a full toss was skied and well caught by Gowers over his shoulder. Garner later picked up a third from a delivery with a bit of extra bounce, a sharp catch from Matt Kent behind the stumps. A good day for Garner, repaying the faith shown in him taking 3-67 after being trusted with his full allotment of 12 overs. Callum Lazarus then came on and he, together with Andrew Sherry, sealed the win with some tight bowling. Lazarus held his nerve well, bowling to his field, allowing the set batsman to get off strike and then keeping the new batter at the other end tied down. In the end, the batsman played for his not out when there was no chance of victory, finishing on 90*, a good innings but not quite enough for him and his team to get over the line. Worlingworth ended their innings on 219-5, 36 runs short of victory.
A hard-fought win for the Braintree, but one that they thoroughly deserved. They will hope to make it 3 wins on the bounce as they make the long trip to Felixstowe next Saturday.