Boston Cricket Club’s title hopes are dashed, despite nine-wicket victory over Stamford

Tom Baxter
Tom Baxter

Boston Cricket Club’s hopes of claiming the South Lincs and Border League title were dashed - without a single ball being bowled.

On Friday night the First XI - who trailed Grantham by just five points - discovered that Skegness Seconds had conceded their match against the league leaders.

This meant that Grantham were awarded the full 20 points and crowned champions.

“They have beaten us twice. They deserve to be champions,” said a pragmatic Boston captain Tom Baxter.

However, the manner in which they missed out on promotion to the Lincs ECB Premier must be hard to take for the Mayflower men.

Nevertheless, Boston Firsts did not let their heads drop and and finished their season on a high, leaving Stamford Town with a nine-wicket victory and reaching their goal of collecting all 80 points from their final four contests.

With that end of season feel, an early start was agreed at the toss and Stamford elected to have a bat on what looked a bowler-friendly surface.

It didn’t go to plan for Boston as Stamford sat pretty at 39-0.

Haffi Mazhar turned the game on its head to claim four wickets while Stamford were left on 44-5 after Andy Hewitt picked up a wicket.

“We didn’t really get started until 10 overs in. We bowled more bad balls than we have done, we were unlucky,” said the skipper.

Wickets continued to fall and a run-out was followed by Baxter picking up two wickets in two balls to all-but-secure the league bowling award with an impressive 52 wickets in 2014.

At 62-8, Stamford managed to salvage a little pride by edging past 100 and posting 102 before they were all out.

The final two wickets were taken by Scott Elleray.

“It wasn’t a great start but we turned that round,” Baxter added.

“If somebody had said we’d bowl Stamford out for 102 at the start then we’d have all taken it. All four bowlers did well and deserved their wickets.”

“It was difficult finding out that the league was over before we even got to Stamford but we still had a game to win.”

After the tea interval, Kieran Evans and Matthew Hood started well and with positive intent and added 67 runs, before Evans was bowled for 36 by Bryan Bennett.

Ryan Croom joined the scene and continued his good form as his 19 not out off nine balls pushed Boston over the line in the 17th over.

Matty Hood ended the innings 39 not out.

“It was a very good effort from the top three. They’ve gone out there and done a number on Stamford,” Baxter said.

The latest 20-point haul saw Boston finish the season five points behind Grantham.

The Westwood Lakes Man of The Match was awarded to Haffi Mazhar for his 4-32 off his 12 overs.

“Haffi was unlucky throughout his opening overs and then managed to pick up four wickets in 15 balls,” said Baxter.