Braintree Cricket Club captain Louis Cant has hailed the form of "star batsman" Warren Celiz this year and believes the Dolphins' opener is showing that he is one of the most destructive hitters in Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship.

Celiz has scored 430 runs at an average of 53.75 in Braintree's nine league games, including a superb 103 from 87 as they beat Mildenhall seconds by 154 runs last weekend.

That kept them top of the division two table ahead of a trip to third-placed Copford on Saturday.

It was a dominant display by Braintree, who also had Dan Chalk hitting 91and then Cant pitching in with a four-wicket haul to help stunt Mildenhall's reply and the Dolphins' skipper ranked Celiz's contribution as one of the finest he had seen from an important member of his side.

Cant said: "Warren has been our star batsman this year and one of the most dominant players in the league.

"What he brings to the team with bat and wicket-keeping ability is only surpassed by his his attitude and leadership skills, as one of the senior players in the team.

"The ton last weekend was one of his best he pretty much won the game for us in the first 20 overs."

The win against Mildenhall saw Braintree quickly get over the frustration of a disappointing defeat at Little Bardfield the week before and underlined their title intentions in emphatic fashion as they scored 317 for five from their 50 overs.

Mildenhall were then bowled out for 163 in less than 41 overs and Cant was pleased by his team's performance.

"It was great to get back to winning ways and we were completely dominant from beginning to end," he said.

"The conditions were in our favour and winning the toss made a nice change, but we got back to playing aggressive cricket and executing it perfectly, particularly with the bat."

However, the Braintree skipper is under no illusion that the job is far from done.

He knows their game at Copford this weekend will give them a chance to put distance between themselves and a key rival in the title race.

Cant added: "It’s huge; there’s no getting away from that.

"But if we stick to what we’ve been doing and play our attacking game, I have no doubt we will prevail.

"This is a great chance for others to really stand up, be a match-winner and give the selection committee some headaches going forward.

"We have a strong, albeit different team this week.

"Matt Hollingsworth is returning to the team, for what will be his last game with us for a few years as he is off to Pilot School in the USA.

"Warren (Celiz) has picked up muscle strain in his hamstring, though.

"He will play, but the experienced Jeremy Hollingsworth comes in to take over keeping duties.

"However, myself and Dean Bass are unavailable, so it’s the perfect time for Barry Stephens to get back to being our frontline spin bowler."