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Braintree 2nd XI v Bury St Edmunds III

Braintree’s 2nd string suffered defeat in their first outing of the season as they went down by 78 runs.

 

Having won the toss, new skipper Andrew Sherry invites Bury St Edmunds III’s to have a bat and give his bowers first use of a typically soft and green April track. Sherry himself took the new ball with Leigh Garner and made a breakthrough with the 1st ball of the 5th over as he broke through the defences of Elliot Bonas who had to leave without troubling the scorers. The ball just clipping the off bail as it failed in from outside in typical Sherry fashion to give him a wicket that his early nagging lines had deserved.

Garner was working hard at the other end and between them the opening pair were keeping the run rate in check and as the pressure mounted Ian Plumb offered a catch to Dave Hale at short cover as he drove unconvincingly at Sherry, but he couldn’t hold on and the Bury number 3 was given the first of would be 5 lives on his way to 77. He shared a second wicket partnership that had crept over 200 before it was broken with Oli Stanton falling 4 short of a well deserved century. 

It was Rowen Lazarus, deputising for his son Callum who had taken ill, who made the eventual breakthrough as he removed both Plumb and Stanton in the same over. The former clean bowled and the latter to a sharp catch at mid wicket by skipper Sherry.

Braintree worked hard in the field and the bowlers, in the main kept control of the run rate, despite being a player short, but the introduction of Vivek Rajagopal added some impetus to the final overs and allowed them to set a target of 247.

A challenging target for a side with a mix of youth and experience and an early blow as Matt Kent was caught by Ian Plumb off of the bowling of Elliott Bonas for 6. Dave Hale, playing his first game for 3 years, then joined Nick Lockhart and the pair started to make some progress with Hale looking to be aggressive whilst Lockhart dispatched the bad balls to fence with increasing confidence. 

Having moved the score to 85 Hale was bowled trying to hit Rajagopal back over his head and he had to depart for 37. Lockhart reached a well deserved 50 but that would be as far as he would go as he dragged on to give Rajagopal a second victim and the game had turned within the space of 4 overs.

Sherry then found himself looking to ensure points were gained as victory became increasingly more unlikely and, with a mixture of watchfulness and belligerence, made a valuable 32 before he was caught on the boundary by a diving Finlay Bonas.

Braintree’s tail did their best to get to 175 but were agonisingly just 6 short of that extra point as they finished on 169-8, denying Bury a maximum haul!