BRAINTREE Cricket Club got back to winning ways in Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship division one thanks to a 31-run victory over bottom side Haverhill.

Dolphins stand-in captain Chris Leech lost the toss and the visitors to St Peters Road elected to bowl first.

However, before the start could commence the heavens opened and the players had to stand around for over 90 minutes before the rain abated and proceedings could get underway.

Chris Leech and Matt Renvoize got Braintree off to a steady start putting on 25 runs for the first wicket.

Unfortunately, having just hit Chris Palmer for two boundaries Renvoize when on 13 got an edge and Hussain took a comfortable catch.

Dan Chalk (4) failed to get going and was soon back in the pavilion as Palmer dismantled his stumps; Barry Stephens (1) didn’t stay around long either as he could only direct a longhop from Max Egan straight to Sam Hartshorn at square leg.

Will Jackson joined Leech at the crease and the pair set about building a partnership, ensuring that any bad balls were sent skidding across the wet outfield to the boundary.

The Dolphins captain was next to lose his wicket though as having scored 28 he drove a delivery from Ben Wilkins straight to Mo Chowdhury.

When Khalid Saeed caught Chris Hinks (0) off his own bowling and Guy Walton (2) was run out Braintree had been reduced to 85 for the loss of six wickets and it was obvious that they would be posting another low score.

Jackson and Steve Hale did their utmost to give the total some respectability putting on 20 for the seventh wicket.

But is so often the case Jackson, when attempting to push the score along, was caught on the boundary having scored 30 valuable runs.

Hale struck another boundary but when on 17 found himself clean bowled.

Andy Sherry (3), Geoff Eveling (8) and Robbie Spalding (1*) pushed the odd single but could only progress the Braintree total to 128 when their last wicket fell.

Even though they were only defending a low total, the Dolphins thought if they could take some early wickets, they could still be in with a shout.

This was exactly what they did as Hale claimed the scalps of both Haverhill openers without them troubling the scorers, Sam Hartshorn was caught behind by Renvoize whilst Sam Street offered a simple return catch.

Robbie Spalding then got in on the act as he had the dangerous Chris Garrad (1) well caught by Guy Walton.

Mo Chowdhury came to the crease deciding that the best form of defence was attack hitting Spalding for two huge sixes.

However the Braintree seamer tempted him again and Barry Stephens took an excellent catch.

Hussain found the boundary ropes with the first delivery received but he soon became Hale’s third victim as once again wicket keeper Renvoize took a catch.

The veteran Braintree chairman had put together an impressive spell of bowling with figures of 3-13, only conceding runs off five off the 48 deliveries he had bowled.

Haverhill were struggling big time having lost five wickets, with only 45 runs on the board.

For the visitors, Chris Palmer and Simon Walters then put on 33 runs for the sixth wicket.

Even so Walters was never comfortable; Stephens had him in all sorts of trouble on numerous occasions and eventually Andy Sherry took a smart catch in the slips.

With Palmer at the crease Haverhill were in with an outside chance of reaching the modest target.

However, having scored 36, he was run out following an excellent piece of fielding by Guy Walton. The remaining batsmen were unable to stay around for very long as Carl Bradford (0) was bowled by Chris Hinks and Khalid Saeed (6) was brilliantly caught by Jackson off the bowling of Stephens. When Max Egan (4) was tempted out of his ground by Hinks and Renvoize whipped off the bails the visitors were all out for 97.

This coming Saturday the Dolphins make the short journey along the A120 to Coggeshall whilst in comparison Yoxford make the 120 mile round trip to face Braintree Seconds.