Haverhill overcome bogey side as they take sixth straight win
Adam Dellar is running out of compliments for his juggernaut side, as they stretched their winning streak to six games.
The Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division Two team (154-3) comfortably overcame Braintree (151) at Manor Road by seven wickets, against a side Dellar admits have often had the better of his team in recent times.
But Haverhill were able to capitalise on their current form as they recorded their sixth successive victory in the league – extending their lead in the table to 23 points, with a maximum of 20 points awarded for a win.
Winning the toss, Haverhill put Braintree in to bat first. Their opening batsman threatened to bed in as the top three amassed 70 per cent – or 106 – of the team’s 151 runs.
But the fall of their wickets signalled the weakening of Braintree’s resistance as their innings ended shortly after.
Ben Wilkins and Harry Harding provided top bowling figures as they took four wickets each, with Harding also taking a key wicket by run out. Will Bailey, meanwhile, wrapped up with the final wicket.
With the bat, Haverhill made short work of chasing the total, with both Luke Youngs (53 not out) and Mark Barrell (51no) passing the half-century mark.
Wilkins had a tough time, bowled after just three balls with the score on zero, but Anthony Phillips (27) and Youngs responded with a 51 run partnership to settle the side.
Dellar (15) was the only other batsman required as Haverhill easily reached their total, and finished on 154-3.
Dellar remains cautious, however, having played only a third of the season – and warned his side of the risk of complacency.
“There’s still a long way to go in this season,” he said. “It’s too early to be celebrating anything except that week’s win.
“Braintree got off to a great start and the way we responded to pull it back was great and a real marker of how we’ve grown from last season.
“But, to be honest, we should have bowled them out for about 120 – it was something we spoke about afterwards.
“There were signs of us falling back into bad habits, and not killing the game off.
“The boys have to keep getting better and developing, and it’s easy to take your foot off when you’re doing well.
“Now we’re getting the results, I’m looking to the next stage, which is attitude, work rate and desire – that’s what I’m calling for next.
“And I need the older players to help me to keep everyone motivated going into the next one, I can’t do it alone.”
Haverhill travel to Kelvedon & Feering on Saturday (1pm), a side they have not often faced.
He said: “We’ve had a fairly steady team and that helps with unfamiliarity. And every week we have had at least two of our five opening batsmen playing well, that’s a big boost for us.”