Down Under duo both strike 100 runs apiece

Ryan Croom.
Ryan Croom.

Australian duo Ben Vella and Ryan Croom both struck centuries as Boston Cricket Club Firsts beat out-of-form Lindum Ramblers by 234 runs.

Vella struck 133 runs and Croom added 101 to the total as the Mayflower men maintained their 22-point lead at the top of the South Lincs and Border League Premier Division.

Boston’s total of 319-5 was to much for Lindum to compete with, the away side skittled for 85.

Boston skipper Tom Baxter had no hesitation in batting first on a new deck.

The hosts began well but Dave Newman was dismissed in the fifth over for 24 after mis-timing a slog sweep that was wonderfully taken on the move by Nick Kimber.

The run rate continued in a similar fashion until Kieran Evans (11) was run-out after a direct hit by the quick work of Joel Waller.

This brought Croom and Vella together, and the pair took their time to settle into the innings.

The next two hours belonged to the duo from Down Under as they showed a masterclass of how to accumulate runs quickly, but at low risk.

“They were both on top of their game,” said Baxter. “Croomy has so much ability but hasn’t had that big score yet.

“I’m so pleased for him. He’s deserved it.”

A 180-run partnership from the pair saw Croom pass 100, but he was soon dismissed for 101, stumped by Euan Pickering off the bowling of Matt Benson.

Saihan Azim was caught behind for six and that brought Baxter to the crease.

A 51-run partnership followed, where Vella was responsible for 40.

During that partnership, Vella achieved his second century in three games before he was finally dismissed for 133 off 105 balls, which included 11 fours and seven sixes.

“It was another fantastic innings,” Baxter added.

“They both made it look easy and scored runs without taking many risks throughout.”

At the tea interval, Boston were confident of having enough in the bank for victory, but remained desperate to bowl Lindum out to achieve maximum points.

Scott Elleray and Sam Elliott continued their fine form, putting in good bowling displays.

The pair each picked up a wicket, Elleray trapping Kimber LBW and Elliott dismissing Oliver Smith thanks to a great reaction catch from Elleray.

Two more Elliott wickets saw Boston well and truly on the way to maximum points.

Another fantastic piece of work in the field by Azim saw Boston atake five wickets at the halfway stage.

“They both bowled really well. I was pleased for Sam to have picked up those three wickets,” Baxter said.

“He bowled really well last week without any luck.

“Scott put the ball in the right area and constantly troubled the batsmen.”

The introduction of Baxter into the attack saw Boston exert their control as his five-over spell yielded only 14 runs.

Baxter’s four wickets saw him end with figures of 4-14.

“I didn’t bowl the best spell I’ve bowled but I put the ball in the right area and waited for the mistakes,” he said.

With man of the match Vella picking up a solo wicket, Boston picked up a 20-point victory.

It was Boston’s eighth win from nine games in the league, keeping Bourne Seconds at a distance.