Boston CC Firsts concede top spot... by one run

Paul Roberts.
Paul Roberts.

Boston Cricket Club Firsts conceded top spot in the South Lincs and Border League Premier Division - by the narrowest of margins.

Grantham Firsts left the Mayflower with a one-wicket victory, which was enough for them to move five points clear of their hosts with four rounds left to go.

Saihan Azim.

Saihan Azim.

“It couldn’t have been closer. To get that close and not cross the line is the worst feeling,” said captain Tom Baxter.

“We were out of it, back it in it, out of it and eventually just missed out.”

With a bit of rain in the week the deck had a good covering of grass and looked to offer a little assistance for the bowlers.

When the coin came down in favour of Baxter he decided to allow his bowlers first use of the pitch.

The opening pairing started well and restricted the scoring to minimum.

Mark Fell, Lincolnshire’s First team coach was first to fall when the leading edge of the bat saw him miscue a shot to Boston’s debutant Ryan Croom off the delivery of Scott Elleray.

Grantham valued their wickets and didn’t give Boston a chance for any other early dismissals as the spin of Baxter and Paul Roberts continued Boston’s domination of the innings.

When the drinks were taken, Boston were in a very good position with Grantham only having 66 on the board, but what they did have was nine wickets in hand.

After the break, Grantham tried to force the issue and up the scoring rate in the process.

Stewart Mudie and Josh Mihill both passed 50 before being dismissed by Elleray.

Mudie went when Elleray’s outreached arm flicked the ball towards the stumps and Mihill was caught behind off Elleray’s bowling.

As the scoring rate increased, Boston worked hard and were happy to restrict Grantham to 191-5 off their 45 overs.

After the tea interval, Boston set about chasing down the total and creating a gap at the top of the table.

A steady start from Kieran Evans and Matthew Hood saw 74 runs on the board before Hood (39) returned to the pavillion, caught and bowled to Mark Fell.

Evans soon fell for 34, bringing debutant Croom to the crease.

Croom (12) and Saihan Azim (one) soon departed leaving Boston on 111-4 and needing 81 to win from 10 overs.

Baxter and Roberts tried to push Boston over the line, but one quick single too many saw Roberts run out for 27.

Baxter continued looking for the boundary and edged Boston closer with them needing 32 off the last three overs.

When Baxter managed to take 14 off the 43rd, it was down to 18 runs needed from 12 balls.

Baxter was dismissed in the final over for 49, leaving Elleray the task of hitting six from the last two balls.

Boston managed four runs and ended the game one short of Grantham’s total.

The Westwood Lakes Man of the Match on was awarded to Scott Elleray for his figures of 3-45.