On a glorious April day, the 3rd XI made the long trip north to Woolpit. Due to the success of the 3rd XI in 2021 this meant anearly two week start in 2022 on Easter Saturday.
However, despite availability over Easter, this much changed 3rd XI came away with a fantastic win in a thriller. In total 602 runs were scored by both sides and the Maldon’s young bowling attack held their nerve to win by 14 runs.
Skipper for the day, Andy Barnes lost the toss and the 3s were asked to bat first. Andy Barnes and Stuart Coker batted well and made great use of the quick outfield and shorter boundaries and raced to 82 before Barnes was caught at mid on for 34.
Alex Strong has been looking good over the winter and took this form into the game scoring 40 from just 21 balls including a six that broke several newly laid roof tiles and caused the ball to lodge itself into the roof! Joe Figg joined Stuart Coker before Coker fell for 34. Joe Figg and Josh Servis scored quickly before Joe was run out for 25 with the score on 193 with 14 overs remaining. Paul Gregory and Servis continued where others had left and continued to score quickly. Servis fell for a well developed 25 and Xavier Scieller-Giles fell shortly after. Gregory and Sam Collins put a well paced 53 runs before both were bowled.
Callum Figg and Charlie Figg ensured the score progressed past 300 and Maldon finished on 308/8 from their 45 overs.
Maldon knew this was never going to be a easy chase at 6.9 runs an over, but Woolpit started well, playing some well placed shots. The Maldon opening bowlers, Callum Figg and Xavier Scieller-Giles were both unlucky too, with several shots just avoiding fielders. Injuries crept into the attack with both Callum and Sam Collins being replaced during their first spells.
Charlie Figg took two quick wickets, (his first in adult league cricket) with Servis and Gregory taking two smart catches at point and mid off respectively taking the score to 136/2 after 20 overs with Woolpit scoring just under the required run rate. Sam Collins returned to the attack and took two wickets, including the Woolpit skipper, Marcus West, who was caught behind the stumps for a great 90 from 90 balls.
This left the score at 192/4 with 13 overs remaining and Woolpit requiring 9 an over. With 10 overs remaining the game was well balanced with Woolpit requiring 9.7 runs an over. Andy brought back the opening bowlers of Xavier and Callum as the Woolpit batters were hitting big shots but with5 overs remaining Woolpit were well placed with just 44 runs to win from 30 balls. However, Callum and Xavier held their nerves brilliantly and bowled with good accuracy and pace causing the batsman to only score singles and the odd boundary.
With three overs remaining Callum took the wickets of the big hitting batters in consecutive overs withboth being caught well by Barnes and Servis respectively, leaving Woolpit 14 runs short of the Maldon 1st innings. The final 4 overs only went for 18 runs showing how well the bowlers managed under the pressure of bowling at the end of the innings. Special mention goes to all of the fielders but especially Rupert Baker and Antony Servis, with the latter stepping as a sub fielder when Strong was called upon to sub field for the 1s who were also playing Woolpit.
A strong team performance all around that will help all of the players this season.