Palmer leads Haverhill to a dramatic away win
Halstead 240 lost to
by two wickets
After a heart-breaking defeat in the dying moments against Copford in their last outing, Haverhill won off the penultimate ball at Halstead.
The hosts lost the toss and were put into bat on a good pitch, but with a tinge of green.
However, it was Halstead who were able to take advantage of a poor start from the Haverhill bowlers, which was riddled with many extras.
The opening partnership between Charlie Douglas-Hughes and Oliver Grayson reached 50 in no time at all, before Ben Wilkins found a breakthrough when he bowled the former out for 29.
The excellent Josh Wells (22) came in at number three for Halstead, but he too fell to Wilkins, who had him caught brilliantly by Joey Kettle.
Wilkins (3-36) soon had his, and Haverhill’s, third wicket when he had the home side’s overseas player Larvet Masunda (15) caught superbly one-handed at slip by the diving Anthony Phillips.
Phillips (1-45) then took a simple caught and bowled to dismiss Mark Johnson (three), before Josh Ruthven (2-32) had Harry Veal (20) caught at square leg by Wilkins.
Wickets continued to fall around Halstead opener Grayson, as Goush Raviendran and Chris Rayner both departed for single figure scores.
Eventually Grayson departed, falling agonisingly short of what would have been an excellent century, with Dan Pass bowling him out for 92.
Pass (3-26) and Chris Palmer (1-37) then took the final two wickets to bowl Halstead all out for 240, and with an over to spare.
Pass and Phillips began the run chase well for the visitors, who were soon at 42-0 before Halstead captain Wells had the latter caught behind for 18.
Wells removed the other Haverhill opener Pass (29), with Adam Dellar (10) coming into the crease and demonstrating his class with a straight drive over mid-off for a crisp one bounce four.
Calamity then struck for the visitors, as after hitting another glorious four, Dellar went for another big shot and was caught by Raviendran.
David Humphrey and Palmer looked to steady the ship, and almost had things back on track before Humphrey played a rash shot and was caught for 11.
Haverhill looked in a desperate position with debutant Alex Burrows coming to the crease at 125-4.
Burrows (43), Ruthven and Palmer brought the required rate down to a mere four runs an over, before a chaotic over left Haverhill’s chances in tatters when Ruthven (12) and Palmer (73) both departed.
However, Will Bailey (eight not out) hit his first ball for a boundary before Wilkins (six no) got Haverhill over the line at 241-8 with a ball and two wickets to spare.