Boston CC suffer first defeat of the season

Ben Vella.
Ben Vella.

Boston Cricket Club Firsts suffered their first defeat of the season - seeing their lead at the top of the table cut to 10 points.

With first travelling to face fourth in the South Lincs and Border League Premier Division, the Mayflower men were hoping to push away from the chasing pack.

However, it was the hosts who pulled themselves back into the mix with their 51-run victory.

Boston skipper Tom Baxter won the toss and elected to bowl first on a green, seamer-friendly pitch.

Billingborough openers, Chris King and Mitch Griffiths took the game to Boston’s new ball pairing of Ben Vella and Andy Hewitt and raced to 50-0 from eight overs.

Vella picked up two key wickets in his next two overs, removing King and Griffiths to leave them on 54-2.

“They batted aggressively but sensibly. They chose the balls they wanted to go after and respected the good ones,” Baxter said.

The introduction of Baxter into the attack saw Billingborough’s scoring rate slow up.

As this happened, Hewitt joined the wickets, picking up two well deserved ones as he bowled his 12 overs straight through, ending with figures of 2-25 from his 12.

“He bowled really well,” added Baxter.

“It’s his first real bowl of the year and he put the ball in the right area and was very patient.”

Baxter picked up his three wickets from the other end and, at that point, Billingborough were reeling on 93-7.

Baxter ended with 3-24 from his 12.

Unfortunately for Boston, it started to go downhill from there and some positive batting from Paul Goodwin and Scott Tite took the game away from the Mayflower men as they scored runs too easily.

An unbeaten eighth-wicket partnership of 80 runs saw Billingborough post 173-7 from their 45 overs.

Baxter added: “We eased off and we let them off.

“We had them down and just couldn’t finish them off.

“I thought we bowled well, but we let ourselves down in the field.

“We can be so much better and on an occasion when we needed to be, we weren’t.”

Boston would still have been hopeful of chasing down that total, especially having previously only lost 14 wickets in their first six victories of the season.

“I have no doubt we should have chased that total down.

“It was less than four an over and the pitch hadn’t done a great deal,” the captain added.

Mathew Hood (eight) and Dave Newman (four) were back in the pavilion soon after the start of the innings and the Australian pairing of Ryan Croom and Vella attempted to re-build the innings.

At 70-2, things were looking quite good before Croom was bowled by the impressive Shane George.

The next seven overs saw Boston lose four wickets as Baxter watched on from the non-strikers end.

At 94-7, Boston faced an uphill battle to continue their winning run.

When Baxter was dismissed, a great effort from Hewitt and William Tetther only delayed the inevitable and the duo were both dismissed by Aaron Pullum to leave Boston all out for 123.

“It wasn’t good enough,” Baxter added. “We gave our wickets away too easily.

“Admittedly, they bowled well but they didn’t bowl 10 balls that got us out.

“They batted better than us, bowled as well as us and fielded much better than us.

“They deserved the win.”

Hewitt was named Man of the Match for his fantastic opening spell of 2-25.