Boston hosted unbeaten Bourne 2nd XI to the Mayflower Cricket Ground in a must-win match for the hosts.
Boston’s skipper Tom Baxter won the toss and elected to have a bat on a pitch that looked like it may have something in it for both parties.
Baxter said: “We have wanted to bat first. I believe that getting runs on the board is the way to go. So, when the coin came down, it was one of those where I felt we had to bat.”
Boston’s innings could have started better. Opening bat, Kieran Evans was dismissed in the first over by Binns. Boston started to re-build through Hood and Roberts and took the score to 44. However, the dismissal of Hood and Roberts soon after saw Boston at 56-3.
With Baxter and Azim at the crease, runs flowed and Boston progressed past 100 before Baxter mis-timed one to mid-wicket for 35. Azim went from strength to strength, dominating another 70 run partnership, this time with Poole, who contributed 22.
Baxter said: “Those two partnerships really put us in a great position. Matty and myself just supported Shahan.”
As Boston tried to push the score along, a few wickets fell before Elleray joined Azim. Azim reached his century off 86 balls in the penultimate over. A quickfire 17 not out from Elleray saw Boston post 246-8.
“It was a great innings from Shahan. He was coming off the back of a 100 for the 2nd XI two weeks ago. He batted sensibly and put the bad balls away.”
“250 should always be a winning score but it was important that we put the ball in the right area after tea.”
After the tea interval, Boston went searching for early wickets. Elleray and Hewitt put the ball in the right area and were unfortunate to pick up the any wickets in their opening spell.
“To pick up no wickets does not tell the real story. They put the ball in the right area and beat the bat on numerous occasions. They got us off to a good start and pegged that run rate back.”
The introduction of Baxter and Roberts into the attack tightened the scoring, picked up wickets and rushed through the overs. The two openers were dismissed in the 20s, one each for Baxter and Roberts.
Baxter then removed Greenfield and Christmas quickly to leave Bourne 73-4. When their skipper, Bentley was removed by an impressive catch from Baxter off the bowling of Roberts, Bourne still needed 140 runs to win. Bell entered the attack to pick up the wicket of J.Bentley.
With five overs left, Boston needed 4 wickets to pick up maximum points. A wicket from leg-spinning all-rounder Gilding edged Boston closer and two in two balls from Baxter left Boston two overs to pick up one wicket.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and Boston had to take 19 points from an impressive victory. Baxter ended with impressive figures of 5-21 off his 12 overs.
“We bowled well as an attack. Some of the figures do not tell the story because of the fields we set. Runs came easily at times as we chased the wickets.”
Boston jumped above Bourne into 3rd place behind the unbeaten Grantham and Lindum.
“It was a great victory. If you had offered me 19 points and a score of 250 at the start of the day, we would have taken it very quickly.”
The Westwood Lakes Man of the Match award was awarded to Shahan Azim for his 101 not out from 86 balls.
Next week, Boston make the short trip to take on Sleaford 2nd XI.
In the South Lincs and Border League, Division Two, Claypole (126 all out) lost to Freiston L&L (127-0) by 10 wkts.
Freiston claimed a dominant ten wicket victory over Claypole to extend their lead.
Bowling first on a low wicket Tommy Atkinson had A Attewell well caught by Haris Nadeem. The impressive Atkinson then trapped J Attewell LBW.
Freiston remained patient as Claypole captain Jacques played a watchful innings. Taimur Mian produced an impressive spell including bowling North for 37. Mian claimed three wickets and played a key part in the run out of North.
A frustrating 38 run partnership between Jacques (39 not out) and Jackson-Smith (19) frustrated the table toppers. However Sunil Panjwani and Stewart Kirtley shared the final three wickets to see Claypole bowled out for 126.
In reply Waseem Ilyas and Richard Paul started watchfully in the face of some good new ball bowling. However once a ball change was necessitated by a high six onto the train line by Ilyas batting became easier.
Ilyas played the more aggressive role making an unbeaten 74 whilst Paul was typically more watchful for his unbeaten 34 , as Freiston reached their target in the twenty sixth over.
Freiston are now 19 points clear of nearest rivals Lindum at the top of the league table.
In the Cojos East Lindsey League, Division One, Freiston L&L (150 all out) lost to Graves Park (188 all out) by 38 runs.