1s Beaten By 10 Wickets

Maldon hosted league leaders Halstead, hoping for a win to kick start their campaign. Captain Toby Pugh won the toss, and on a glorious Saturday afternoon, chose to bat on a pitch that has already been used.

Halstead struck with the 5th ball of the match, as Harry Grant was caught spectacularly by wicket keeper Max Chu off the bowling of left arm bowler Joe Morris. The visitors struck again in the second over when Martyn Coker was trapped lbw by Josh Wells to make the score 1/2.

Ross Walpole and Ben Gibbons rebuilt the Maldon innings, with Gibbons turning Wells through mid wicket for four. Walpole faced a barrage of short pitch deliveries from Morris, who extracted extra bounce which challenged the diminutive Walpole. Walpole respond by pulling Morris for 4, but his resistance was ended as he mistimed a drive for 23.

At 32 for 3, Jimmy Ainscough made his way to the crease and immediately looked as though he planned to be aggressive, striking three boundaries. However, he perished for 17 attempting a 4th, finding Adam Dellar at cover from George Blackwell’s bowling.

The Maldon innings continued to stutter, as Gibbons then departed for 13. A steady stream of wickets continued, as Wild, Anderson and Beames all fell for single figures score, to leave them 70 for 8.

Captain Toby Pugh rallied the score late on, taking it past 100 as he drove boundaries through the off side. He reached 26 from just 20 balls, but ran out of partners as Keith Sharp and debutant Sam Collins fell, leaving Maldon all out for 104.

Maldon were seeking quick breakthroughs against the powerful and fast scoring Halstead side. The Maldon bowling attack created chances, but the fielders were unable to back them up. Dropped catches gave Chu several reprieves, something Maldon could ill-afford against a player with over 800 league runs this summer, and touted for higher honours with New Zealand in his career.

Chris Rayner at the other end found the boundary with regularity, as the Maldon bowlers were powerless to prevent the torrent of runs. Both Rayner and Chu reached their fifties as Halstead romped to a 10 wicket victory with breaking sweat.

Next week Maldon try to revive their season as they travel to 11th placed Worlington.

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