Braintree 1st XI v Copdock & OI's

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Josh Paget impressed with 2-28
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Skipper Chris Leech 26
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Chris Hinks 30
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Louis Cant clean bowled

Braintree’s First Eleven visited Copdock and Old Ipswichians on Saturday and disappointingly put in a below par performance on the best away pitch they will play on all season, resulting in a 5 wicket defeat.

Once again Chris Leech won the toss and elected to bat first, immediately he made his intentions known by twice despatching the ball through the covers to boundary inside the opening over. Matt Renvoize started in a more sedate fashion though as he faced ten deliveries before he too decided that it was time to find the ropes with a couple of excellent shots.

Leech found the boundary four more times as Braintree raced to 39 inside 7 overs, however when on 26 the skipper edged a delivery from Sam Slatter and Tom Jenkin took a smart catch in the slips. Leading scorer Renvoize on his own admission has found scoring runs away from home much harder than at St Peter’s Road. Saturday was no exception as having scored just 16 he completely misjudged a ball from Ben Tweedy and found that his bails were sent flying.

Although the Dolphins had lost both openers inside 9 overs, they had already accumulated 50 runs and on paper still had a strong batting line up to come. However, the game is played on grass and things started to go pear shaped.

Geoff Eveling (7) was given out LBW off the bowling of Freddie Foyster and soon after Slatter found the edge of Nofal Raja’s bat and Jenkin took a spectacular catch. To make matters worse Luke Gouldstone (2) then found himself the victim of another LBW decision. Wickets continued to fall as Adam Westall, Louis Cant, Charlie Garner and Glen Newham all failed to trouble the scorers.

Only Chris Hinks showed some resilience with some good defensive play, he was also able to find the boundary when he received a couple of loose deliveries though. With the wickets falling at the other end, it looked as though Braintree could end up without a single batting point. However, the vice-captain ensured that it didn’t happen as he struck two huge sixes. Unfortunately having top scored with 30 his stumps were dismantled as he attempted to hit a third. Braintree had been dismissed for exactly 100.

Defending such a low total was never going to be easy, however when Luke Gouldstone trapped Karl Storey (17) LBW in only the second over and Josh Paget forced Ishaan Rakesh (0) to edge a delivery to Matt Renvoize behind the stumps the unlikely looked possible. Especially as Reuban Sharpe having struck four boundaries, pulled Paget straight to Adam Westall at square leg, Copdock had been reduced to 44 for the loss of 3 wickets.

Unfortunately, Nathan Scarff (21) and Rory Hollis (30) steadied the ship and comfortably took the home side within sight of victory. Just as the “fat lady” was warming up her voice though Geoff Eveling was belatedly brought on to bowl and dismantled Scarff’s stumps with his first delivery and four balls late Hollis suffered a similar fate. It was too little to late though as Kavish Patil hit the winning boundary.