Azim’s half century keeps Boston CC Firsts on top

Saihan Azim.

Saihan Azim.

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Tom Baxter and Saihan Azim helped guide Boston Cricket Club Firsts to a six-wicket success at Woodhall Spa Seconds.

Victory meant that Boston remain four points ahead of Billingborough in the South Lincs and Border League Premier Division.

Captain Baxter claimed five wickets as Woodhall finished on 157-8.

Azim - the Acorn Taxis Man of the Match - then struck an unbeaten 50 from 34 balls to top score as the Mayflower men posted 158-4.

After electing to bowl, Boston’s openers set about picking up some early wickets.

But Scott Elleray and Haffi Mazhar both found balls regularly reaching the boundary.

It wasn’t long before Baxter turned to his slow bowlers, as the experienced Paul Deans was introduced in the eighth over.

At the other end, Baxter soon picked up the wicket of Woodhall captain Rob Bee as he misread the length of the ball and it bowled him for 20.

Deans picked up the wicket of Jack Timby for 26, bowling his 12 overs with figures of 1-28.

Baxter then dismissed Danny Wells for six, before Elleray picked up the vital wicket of Tim Bradford for 16.

Mazhar dismissed Tom Cushen for two after Luke Gilding took the catch behind the stumps.

The return of Baxter into the attack saw him pick up the wickets of Matt Haslam, Darren Hunt and Ben Bradford to end with figures of 5-31 from his 12 overs.

Woodhall ended their innings on 157-8 with Ben McCarrick ending with 58 not out.

“It was pleasing to get five wickets, but even more pleasing to restrict them to 157 on a deck like that,” Baxter said.

“We worked hard as a team and never stopped in the field.”

“It was very hot out there but the bowlers remained disciplined and we were brilliant in the field.”

After the interval, a 31-run partnership got Boston off to a decent start before Gilding gave a catch to mid-off.

Kieran Evans and Matthew Poole set about getting on with it and raced the score to 66 before Evans fell after a good piece of stumping work from the keeper.

Poole soon followed after mis-timing a shot to long-on.

Baxter and Azim added another 30-run partnership which saw Boston to 109.

Baxter was caught at slip before Tim Bell and Azim saw Boston home with an unbeaten 49-run partnership.

“He batted brilliantly,” Baxter said of Azim.

“He really deserved his half-century.

“He has been unlucky with the bat this year and over the past couple of weeks has really shown that form that he was showing towards the end of last season.”