Braintree 1st XI v Easton
Braintree’s First XI opened their Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Division Two campaign with a 7 wicket defeat at the hands of newly promoted Easton.
In the absence of new skipper Chris Leech, stand in Chris Hinks won the toss and elected to bat first on the same track as the previous weekend’s friendly.
Opening the innings with Matt Renvoize, Jamie Foyster struggled to put bat on ball and in the third over was given out caught behind after a delivery struck him on his boot! Hinks had asked his team to stay at the crease for as long as possible and he led by example as he looked to dig in whilst at the other end Renvoize tried to accumulate. But having scored 21, Renvoize found the safe hands of Sayer at mid on and had to go.
Rory Ainsley joined Hinks and looked in good touch striking three consecutive deliveries to the boundary ropes as he looked to impose himself on a bowling attack increasing in confidence. Meanwhile Hinks having faced 33 deliveries without scoring, tried to up the tempo but could only find Lavergne at mid off who took a comfortable catch.
Will Jackson came in and also got off to a flying start despatching two of his first four balls to the fence, however he then found scoring difficult and gave an easy catch to Wright as he looked to move the score on.
At the other end Ainsley was beginning to tick, ensuring that any loose deliveries were despatched to the boundary and with the aid of Geoff Eveling the first batting point was reached as the hundred came up in the 30th over.
Braintree would have been looking at 100-4 as a platform to push on in the final overs but Ainsley and Eveling resulting in the former being run out having scored 37 and the start of a collapse that saw the last 6 wickets falling for just 15 runs. Luke Gouldstone (0), Glen Newham (5), Andy Gowers (1), Nasar Khan (1) and Josh Paget (0) all came to the crease and were soon back in the pavilion as the Dolphins capitulated. Eveling remained unbeaten on 14.
In reply Easton soon lost their first wicket as Josh Paget had Wright (10) well caught by Rory Ainsley. Paget then tempted Taylor (4) and Will Jackson took one of his trademark catches. When Paget claimed his third dismissal trapping Sayer (8) LBW, Braintree sensed more wickets however that wasn’t the case as Francis-Smith (46*) and Carlstoem (36*) saw the visitors reach the winning target inside 20 overs. Josh Paget returned respectable figures of 3 for 33 off 7 overs, Gouldstone found good pace unfortunately he struggled to find line and length.
Despite the defeat, Chris Hinks was pleased with the attitude of his players and things look promising for the future.