On a Muggy May day at Drapers Farm, Jas Bains led the Maldon Sunday XI out against North Weald, hoping to register the sides first win of the season. Having lost the toss, Maldon were put in to bat.
With rain lingering throughout the morning, accompanied by dark sombre clouds, batting was set to be a challenge. This sentiment was reinforced throughout the opening overs of the innings, with both openers; Stuart Coker and Alex Strong, falling cheaply, having battled hard against some tight bowling from the opposition. The Maldon innings saw an increase in tempo when Luke Reeve and Joe Figg convened in the middle. The two both balanced respectful batting with tempered aggression to get the innings properly underway for the home side. The partnership was eventually broken when Reeve was craftly bowled by the North Weald change bowler.
The visitors began to turn the screw having enacted a minor collapse amongst Maldon’s middle order; Jack Friedlein and Charlie Figg both out in unfortunate circumstances. This meant Figg was met by Al Johnson, with the need to rebuild the innings. The two did exactly that, having gaged the temperament of the wicket, they both went about in a measured fashion, ensuring the hosts kept the scoreboard ticking.
Eventually, both batsmen reached well earned half-centuries, leading Maldon to a competitive total of 173 from their 40 overs. Despite this total, the defence would not be easy, and an inspired bowling display would be needed to ensure victory.
Callum Figg and David Boyden opened the bowling for Maldon, and controlled the scoring rate of the visitors, as a result of consistent lines and lengths. Despite this it took a while for the first wicket to fall, courtesy of Charlie Figg, who capped an impressive first change spell with a well-deserved wicket. Charlie Reeve’s pressure from the other end was also a vital contribution to this breakthrough.
The hosts upped the intensity after drinks, with Luke Reeve and skipper Jas Bains sharing in the wickets, to put Maldon on top. Despite this North Weald refused to roll over, and batted positively to set up a photo finish. A skilful spell from Al Johnson, including a wicket, ensured the target remained challenging one, leading the chase to go to down to the final over.
In the end it was a dignified final over from Charlie Figg, adding to his wicket from earlier, but most importantly sealing the win for Maldon. Joe Figg contributed a run out of the final ball of the match the confirm a breath taking 1 run win for the Maldon Sunday XI.
Many thanks to North Weald who provided both a competitive and sporting match and we wish them all the best for the rest of the season. The Sunday XI will now look to build on this strong start to the season, next week at Hatfield Peverel.