Boston Cricket Club’s First XI have returned to the top of the South Lincs and Border League Premier Division table.
Saturday’s 80-run victory over third-placed Lindum Seconds, coupled with leaders Grantham’s defeat against Bourne Seconds, sees Tom Baxter’s side hold a seven-point advantage with seven matches remaining.
After Boston won the toss and elected to bat at the Mayflower, Lindum started with three consecutive maidens and runs seemed hard to come by.
Opening batsman Matthew Hood was back in the pavilion after scoring just seven runs and with the score on 25.
Another steady start to a partnership between Kieran Evans and Paul Roberts saw Boston progress past 50 before Evans was trapped LBW for 25. It wasn’t long until Roberts followed, mis-timing a pull shot off Simon Bray.
Saihan Azim and Baxter set about re-building the innings, Baxter anchoring the partnership and Azim taking an alternative approach of attacking the bowlers.
With boundaries flying off Azim’s bat Boston’s scoring rate increased.
Azim was finally dismissed by Matt Benson when he took on one big shot too many, falling for 61 from only 37 balls. Matthew Poole followed Azim back to the pavilion only an over later when he was dismissed by Benson.
With the score on 154-5 and eight overs left, the match hung very much in the balance.
Baxter and Luke Gilding ran hard between the wickets, picking up valuable runs and - as they edged closer to 200 - they upped the rate and a few boundaries followed.
Boston passed 200 and Baxter passed 50 before finding deep mid-wicket’s hands.
Boston managed 221 before Scott Elleray and Peter Mitchell were dismissed in consecutive balls to end the innings on 221-8.
Gilding finished with an unbeaten 26.
After the tea interval, Boston knew they had to start strongly.
Elleray and Haffi Mazhar started well with the new ball and Mazhar picked up the big wicket of Australian Bray for four.
Baxter entered the attack and picked up the wicket of Oliver Smith in his first over.
After Bell picked up the wicket of Angus Pickering for six, it left Lindum on 65-3.
Adam Lilley, David Quincy and Grant Watkins fell in a cluster as Roberts and Baxter began to take a strangle-hold of the innings.
At 96-6, Boston knew they were four wickets away from a 20-point victory.
The introduction of Gilding managed to bring the wicket of Benson before Roberts grabbed another two quick wickets, leaving Lindum on 141-9.
Boston’s victory was confirmed when Baxter beat the bat of Dan Taylor and Hood removed the bails for his third victim of the game.
The Westwood Lakes Man of the Match was awarded to Tom Baxter for his 51 runs with the bat and his 3-30 off his 11 overs.