Boston 1sts vs Sleaford CC Sleaford 217 all out, 201 for 8 - Boston 1sts, Winning draw 7 by 16 runs
As we entered September, with only three games left, Boston knew they had to raise their game.
Boston won the toss and elected field, putting Sleaford in, on what looked a very good Mayflower deck.
A good opening from Cheer and Elleray was needed and although the early wicket didn’t come, Boston frustrated the Sleaford batsman.
Eventually, a miss timed drive from Sneath gave Cheer and Boston their first wicket of the day.
The introduction of spin saw Sleaford try and up the rate, but a fantastic piece of fielding saw Garry Park, a Derbyshire professional cricketer only two months ago, run out. Sleaford were 74-2.
Another partnership started to flourish between Mountain and Shorthouse before Shorthouse mis-timed a pull shot to Epton to give Cheer his second wicket. A couple of overs later and Mountain finally was dismissed after making 87, Deans taking the important wicket for Boston. At 157-4, Boston knew they must finish well. Two quick wickets, one each for Deans and Cheer saw Sleaford slip to 162-6.
At 174-6, Cheer bowled Burford, but celebrations were cut short as the shout of no-ball gave the Sleaford skipper another chance. Burford went on to make 40 in quick time before being dismissed by Deans. Boston ended well and picked up their final 3 wickets in the last two overs, one each for Baxter and Deans and a run-out for the captain Baxter. Boston bowled Sleaford out for 217. Paul Deans ended with figures of 4-88 off his 17 overs.
After the interval, Jonny Cheer and Kieron Evans set about chasing down the target set. A fantastic start from Boston saw them race to 50 before Cheer was removed by off-spinner Shorthouse with the score on 67. Boston then lost three further wickets for 19 runs, Epton, Evans and Poole being dismissed. As things started to look like getting back on track, Gilding was dismissed by Goacher, bringing Baxter to the crease to join Azim.
At 100-5, Boston were staring down the barrel, but both batsmen worked hard and picked up runs where they could. With Azim taking a more aggressive role, he raced to 41 before being bowled by Shorthouse, with Boston on 154-6. Cheer came and went, another wicket for Shorthouse. A mini-revival from Hood and Baxter took the side close but with Boston always slipping further behind the rate, they had to settle for the losing draw, picking up 12 points after Elleray, who replaced Baxter at the crease in the last over, hitting a four to take Boston past the 200 mark. Tom Shorthouse was the pick of the Sleaford bowlers ending with 5-58 off his 17 overs.
Sleaford ended with a winning draw and 14 points, Boston taking 12, in what can only be described as a very good game of cricket.
Both sides held a minutes slience for the passing of Stephen Bradford, who sadly passed away last week at the age of 48.
Stephen had played a key role for Sleaford for a number of years.
Captain Tom Baxter said: “After this weekend’s results we are still bottom and 18 points off Market Deeping. If we are to get off bottom spot then we must beat both Bourne and Grimsby, unless Market Deeping somehow manage to pick up no points from their remaining two games, which is something I can’t see happening.”
“Against Sleaford, we slipped off at parts in the field, but showed great fight with the bat to come back from 80-4 to reach the 200 mark.”
“It is clearly disappointing to not manage to end on the winning side, but you have to take the positives from any result.”
“We host Bourne next week, who have slipped into the bottom half after a couple of bad results. It won’t be easy, no game is easy, but we will all give it our best shot and hope to pick up a victory before heading to Grimsby on the last day of the season.”
“Paul bowled very well and deserved his four wickets. He hasn’t had the overs he deserves in the last few weeks, but today he proved he still has a big part to play in our side.”