Braintree 2nd XI v Felixstowe & Corinthians
Braintree II’s were comfortably beaten by 135 runs at Felixstowe on a tough day for the team. However, Mark Osborne shone once again with a very composed innings of 68 which managed to secure Braintree a couple of bonus points which could be vital come the end of the season.
After the toss, in which Felixstowe elected to bat, there was a slight rain delay. However, soon after, the covers came off and play got underway with Braintree looking for an early breakthrough. With the score on 34, Heathcote was bowled by Andrew Sherry for 12. A good partnership between Caldwell and Wilks pushed the score up to 125, but Sherry again found the wicket as he so often does. At the other end, young batter Caldwell had reached a well made 50, but not without being dropped at least once. Joe Osborne was unfortunately the victim of 3 dropped catches off his bowling , Braintree’s fielding not at its best on the day. Matt Kent struck twice in two balls to leave the home side 163-4 but after some some late hitting by Oswald (36)and frequent boundaries from Akers (71) Felixstowe eventually got to 271, a very challenging total to chase. In between the boundaries, young bowler Callum Lazarus kept a cool head and also took his first senior wicket in the process, having Oswald brilliantly stumped by keeper Hollingsworth.
Braintree’s reply got off the worst possible start as the first wicket fell with the score on 8. That started a dramatic collapse as Braintree’s top order was ripped apart by Oswald and Elliston, the score 20-5 after 9 overs. A bit of resistance was then provided with a partnership of 40 between Mark Osborne and Andrew Sherry. With the score on 60, Sherry was bowled attempting a big shot, with the ball keeping low on the damp surface. While wickets fell around him, Osborne kept a cool head and dispatched any loose balls to the boundary with some nice cuts and shots down the ground. Small contributions from Charlie Garner (11) and Rowen Lazarus (10) helped to progress the score towards 100 and then 125. Lazarus occupied the crease well, allowing Osborne to score the majority of the runs in their partnership of 56. With the score on 136, Osborne was caught attempting a big shot and that ended his rearguard action.
Not an easy day for Braintree, but a lot of lessons to be learned. They will hope to get back to winning ways as they host Woodbridge next Saturday.