Lincs ECB Premier
Sleaford 1sts 261-7, Boston 1sts 166-6 - Sleaford won by 95 runs.
After back to back defeats against Bracebridge Heath and Bourne, Boston were in need of a reaction on Saturday.
However, it didn’t get much easier as Boston made the short journey to the very impressive Sleaford.
After three years of former New Zealand test match cricketer Tim McIntosh, Sleaford now have a new overseas star in Obus Pienaar.
Upon arriving at Sleaford, it was evident that the toss was important to see who would bat first and what looked a very flat track and would certainly favour the batsmen.
The coin came down in the favour of Shaun Morris, Sleaford’s skipper, and he had no hesitation in opting to bat.
With Scott Elleray missing the game, it gave Tim Bell the opportunity to partner Riley Orr with the new ball.
It wasn’t the best of starts as Boston had to take to the field with 10 men, Paul Tetther stuck in traffic.
However, a wicket in the first and second overs saw Sleaford at 5-2 before Tetther even made it onto the field.
“It was quite a surreal start. Whenever you have 10 men, you think about stopping them scoring freely but two overs in, we had two wickets and four runs scored off the bat.”
These two wickets brought Pienaar to the crease, who was partnered by Jack Wilson.
“It was a great start, but it was evident that he was a fantastic player.
“Three balls into his innings he played a straight drive and you knew he was a very good batsman.”
A 100 run partnership steadied the Sleaford ship and saw them to the 30 over mark.
With 20 overs left, Boston recognised a chance to keep a third consecutive side under 200.
However, Pienaar had other ideas.
He took the game away from Boston with a fantastic 143 from 129 balls.
Boston worked very hard with the ball but runs came easily and Orr (three), Baxter (two) and Cheer and Bell (one each) picked up the seven wickets.
Burford and Morris scored run a ball 30s which supported Pienaar, before he was superbly caught by the veteran of the side Tetther.
Sleaford ended their 50 overs on 261 for the loss of seven wickets.
“We must field better,” Baxter added.
“At times, we were sloppy and let them pick up more runs than they should have done.
“Belly bowled really well and was the pick of the bowlers. His 12 overs conceded only 22
runs and saw him pick up one wicket.”
At the tea interval, Sleaford would have expected to bowl Boston out and pick up 20 points to bounce back from their defeat to Grantham last week.
Tom Poole and Michael Musson opened for the second week running and a steady start was soon changed when they were both dismissed, leaving Boston on 27-2.
The returning Jonny Cheer came to the crease with Ryan Croom and the pair tried to re-build the innings.
As Boston had started to get a stranglehold in the game, Croom was dismissed by the spin of Tom Shorthouse and Boston were 96-3.
Cheer continued along, this time with the support of Liam Sparke, and added another 50 run partnership before Cheer fell for 54.
Boston were on 151-4 and the chances of victory had long disappeared.
The dismissals of Sparke and Saihan Azim left Baxter and Poole to see out three consecutive maidens as Boston ended 166-6 from their allotted overs.
“We should have scored more runs but their spinners tightened things up and made scoring very difficult,”Baxter said.
“They outfielded us today for sure.
“We spoke about the need to bat our overs and today we did that. We only picked up six points but it’s a step in the right direction.”
The Man of the Match for Boston was Jon Cheer for his 54 runs.