Luke Gilding claimed three late wickets to earn Boston Cricket Club Firsts maximum points in their 128-run victory over Moulton Harrox.
Gilding - who began the season as the side’s wicketkeeper - kept his cool to dismiss the final three Harrox batsmen, bowling just five balls all match and not conceding a single run.
“It was a surreal ending,” said captain Tom Baxter, overjoyed that the late wickets meant Boston remain four points ahead of Billingborough in the South Lincs and Border League Premier Division.
“I thought they would bat out. I hoped Luke would get us a breakthrough but nobody expected that.
“He does bowl bad balls, but he gives it a good turn.
“His second and third wickets were good balls that would have got a lot of batsmen out.”
Although Gilding was the late hero, four wickets from Paul Deans and 83 runs from Acorn Taxis Man of the Match Saihan Azim - picking up where he left off last week, when he posted 70 runs - also played a big part in the success.
After being put into bat, Boston’s openers quickly got into their stride.
Three successive boundaries for Gilding saw him race to 29 before being dismissed, while Kieran Evans posted 38.
After Matthew Poole had raced to 17, he was dismissed by Maxwell Cusack.
Azim and Baxter managed a 91-run partnership before Baxter was dismissed for 36 off the bowling of Henry Lavery.
As Boston finished on 251-9, Azim’s 83 came off 59 balls and included six boundaries and three sixes.
Scott Elleray and Haffi Mazhar opened the bowling for Boston, and runs came quickly for Moulton.
Trusted slow bowler Deans who picked up the wicket of Louis Greetham and Chris Beale in quick succession, while Baxter dismissed the dangerous Jack Barnett for 38.
Deans then picked up the wicket of Karl Hibbert to leave Moulton at 76-5 after 17 overs.
It was from then that the game changed and Moulton looked to bat out their overs and pick up as many batting points as possible.
“It was frustrating,” admitted Baxter.
“Nobody wants to see someone bat out the overs for very few runs, but they are in a similar position to us.
“Each point is vital to them.”
Baxter rarely changes his bowling plan, relying heavily on his four bowlers. But Saturday was different.
Between overs 30-39, Baxter used all six of his bowlers.
Moulton scored 50 runs off their last 24 overs.
But then, after 39 overs, Baxter gambled on Gilding, with Moulton on 123-7.
The next five balls saw two dot balls and three wickets.