COVID Self-isolation gets the better of Maldon 4s with an entire cricket side being ‘pinged’ over the week, and indeed the night and morning before the game, the Maldon 4thXI looked completely different to recent weeks.
However, spirits were high and the sun was shining. Having won the toss Maldon elected to field first. Despite being a new bowling attack, the opening bowlers, Kian Woolston and Xavier Giles-Sciellier, bowled well and deserved a better return than that one wicket that fell to Kian.
The St Margaret’s batsman settled into the game and started to score more freely and found the gaps well. Paul Woolston and Al Johnson bowled an effective partnership and shared 6 wickets between them. The runs still flowed throughout the innings and Maldon could not tie an end down as they have done successfully throughout the season. Xavier returned to bowl at the end of the innings and picked up the 8th wicket to ensure that Maldon scored 4 bowling points. St Margaret’s finished on 176/8 from their 40 overs.
The target of 177 was always going to be tough and this proved to be the case. After 4 overs Maldon found themselves 4/4 having lost the wickets of Murray Mynard, Alan Sims, Paul Woolston and debutant Jack Freidlein. The St Margaret’s young leg spinner doing the damage as well as a direct hit run out. Captain Joe Figg and Richard Buckby steadied the ship and dug in determined not to get out and score some batting points. The St Margaret’s opening bowlers continued to bowl well and picked up the wicket of Buckby (11) with Maldon on 34/5.
Paul Gregory and Joe Figg continued to dig in and at drinks the score was 60/5. Joe reached his half century from 71 balls. Runs started to flow from the bat of Figg but wickets were still falling at the opposite end with Gregory (9) run out from another direct hit and Al Johnson (6) caught in the covers. At 107/7 Xavier and Joe put on 44 runs in just 5 overs with Joe reaching his third century of the season in 102 balls. With 26 needed Joe was caught well on the deep mid wicket boundary for 101 and Xavier (10) followed the next ball. Jas Bains and Kian needed to score 25 off the final 3 overs but fell 17 runs short with Jas being bowled in the 39th over.
This was a fine effort by the 4th XI and to get close to the target from 4/4 was a great achievement. Big thanks those that stepped in for the team during the week and especially those that did the night, and morning, before the game.