Braintree 2nd XI v Melton St Audrys
Braintree II’s wait for a first win of the season will go on for another week after an 8 wicket defeat at the hands of Melton St. Audry’s
Skipper Andrew Sherry won the toss and elected to have first use of a decent looking wicket and for a while things looked good for Braintree as Dave Hale and Arindam Ganguly looked to be aggressive in the early overs. Having put on 93 for the 1st wicket inside 15 overs the Braintree innings stumbled as firstly, Ganguly was run out for 37 and then 11 runs later Hale, having just passed 50, was forced to retire hurt with what turned out to be a ruptured bicep that he picked up whilst hitting his 2nd six of the innings. Unfortunately, this could result in a lengthy spell on the side lines for the opening bat who was just beginning to find some form.
It was Joe Osborne who once again held the Braintree innings together as wickets began to fall regularly at the other end as Melton began to take hold of the game. Osborne gained huge confidence from spending time at the wicket against Kesgrave the previous week and looked to be a little more expansive striking 7 boundaries in a really well compiled 46 and, aided by some clean hitting at the end of the innings Braintree set a target of 202.
It was going to be essential for the Dolphins to get into the middle order of the Melton side if they were to pull off a victory and they got the early breakthrough when Utting was bowled by Andy Sherry for 7 with the score on 14. Braintree just could not get a break as their visitors struggled against their opening attack, with half chances and fresh air shots dominating, but finally got another wicket in the 19th over with the score on 58. Charlie Garner taking a sharp catch in the covers at the second attempt as Manson looked to break the shackles. Steve Hale taking a well-deserved wicket having bowled 9.3 overs for just 18 at that stage.
Unfortunately that was the last wicket Braintree would take as Eddie Green (92*) and Adrian Smith (75*) put on an unbroken stand of 148 for the 3rd wicket to see them home. By no means chanceless as they rode their luck on occasion but, yet again, Braintree couldn’t get through that top order and give themselves a chance of victory
Some positives to take again though as this transformational side makes its way through a tough season. Joe Osborne once again shone with the bat and dad Mark had a great game behind the stumps. The fielding was also sharp and, on another day, with a little bit of luck, the opening pair of Sherry and Hale could have put their team in a different position.
Next weekend the boys make the trip to Sudbourne Hall