A bright start sees Wivenhoe celebrate their first victory of the season in the Two Counties Championship
Wivenhoe, last year’s runners-up to Mildenhall, recorded their first victory of the new Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship season, thanks to a home success over Halstead by 57 runs.
Wivenhoe’s top three batsmen all cashed in, after skipper Harry Burnett had won the toss, by scoring heavily in the home side’s total of 237 all out off their allotted 50 overs.
Narrowly beaten by three runs in a thriller at Braintree, on the opening day of the campaign, Wivenhoe made no mistake at their Rectory Road ground against a Halstead side who had also lost their opener, against Elmstead.
Durrell was quickly out the blocks, striking eight boundaries in a breezy 40, before he was bowled by Shaun Bobb with the score on 73.
Fellow opener Jordan Nicholls, providing solid support, then shared a 116-run stand for the second wicket with the free-scoring Liam Hope-Shackley, who smashed 11 boundaries and a six in his knock of 73.
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Hope-Shackley was the first of Joe Morris’ seven victims – Morris finished with remarkable figures of 10-0-42-7 – by which time the total had advanced to 189.
Nicholls was eventually trapped leg before by Josh Wells, Halstead’s skipper, to leave the hosts on 202 for three. Nicholls’ 56 was his first half-century in Division One. A late order collapse, with Morris bang in form, did not have a major impact as Halstead lost half their wickets for just 82 in their reply.
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The visitors did start in impressive fashion, coming out with all guns blazing. Chris Huntington (31) and Charlie Douglas-Hughes (17) put on 56 for the first wicket, but the introduction of Burnett and Matt Durrell proved decisive.
All-rounder Durrell took four for 23, to complete a satisfactory afternoon, while Burnett claimed three for 47 off his 10 overs. There were also a couple of wickets for James Butcher (10-2-26-2). Harry Veal top-scored for Halstead with 46 at No. 5, the visitors subsiding to 180 all out in the 43rd over.
Elsewhere in Division One, Woolpit made it two wins out of two on their return to the Two Counties Championship, following relegation from the East Anglian Premier League last summer.
They completely dominated their match at Haverhill, coasting to a 10-wicket victory with 13 overs to spare.
Haverhill won the toss and batted, but they were restricted to 152 for nine off their 50 overs. No batsman passed 30, James Boulton top-scoring with 28 at No. 6.
The wickets were spread around, with Barry Collins boasting figures of 10-5-16-3, and both Will Parker and Chris Wells taking two wickets.
In reply, captain Parker (69 not out) and Jack Rowett (82 not out, off 119 balls) saw Woolpit to victory without any alarms.
There was also an emphatic victory for fellow Suffolk side Worlington, who notched a seven-wicket success at Mistley.
James Stamatis contributed a hard-hitting 86 not out, including two sixes and nine fours, in Mistley’s total of 250 all out off 49.5 overs. Opener Ashley Uren had earlier scored 58, putting on 71 for the first wicket with Adrian Stockton (30).
Former Woolpit captain, Craig Estlea, took three for 31 off his 10 overs, but he was not even required to bat as Worlington front-line batsmen Graham Ford and Tom Osborn both registered centuries.
Opener Graham Ford finished unbeaten on 108, with four sixes and seven fours, while No. 3 Osborn also hit four sixes and 12 boundaries in his superb knock of 111. The duo put on 194 for the second wicket, and victory was achieved with 3.1 overs in hand.
Elmstead clinched a three-wicket home win over Maldon, who were bowled out for 223, spearheaded by 59 runs off 61 balls from captain Chris Harris at the top of the order.
Elmstead opener Jordan Elliott (69) top scored, while Joshua Elliott added an invaluable 47 not out at No. 7 as Elmstead secured victory in the 45th over.
Meanwhile, home advantage also helped Frinton 2nds to a three-wicket win over Hadleigh, despite a terrific all-round display from Tim Piddington.
Batting at No. 7, Piddington scored 104, off 104 balls, in Hadleigh’s total of 226 for eight. The visitors were at one stage reeling on 17 for four, until Piddington and Josh Davey (49) put on 150 for the fifth wicket. Sam Brynes took four for 37.
Opener Anthony Stubbs (65) gave Frinton a good start, but it needed an unbeaten partnership of 48 for the eighth wicket between Lewis Catlow (32no) and Dominic Stockdale (28no) to see the hosts home, with just one ball to spare. Piddington took three for 49 off 9.5 overs.