Ruthless Boston CC Firsts defeat Bourne to keep their title hopes alive

Tom Baxter.
Tom Baxter.

Boston Cricket Club’s First XI kept the pressure on league leaders Grantham by picking up 20 points at third-placed Bourne Seconds.

Captain Tom Baxter claimed five wickets for the loss of 11 runs from his 10 overs as the hosts were dismissed for 84 runs.

Ryan Croom then top scored with 41 runs as the Mayflower men stormed to their winning total of 85 for the loss of just two wickets.

The victory saw Boston claim all 20 points, but Grantham managed the same haul to remain five points clear at the top of the South Lincs and Border League Premier Division, with two matches remaining.

Bourne captain Tom Bentley won the toss and decided to bat first on a pitch that looked hard and flat.

However, it proved a good toss to lose as the pitch played differently to how it looked.

Scott Elleray and Haffi Mazhar proved too good with the new ball, beating the bat on regular occasions.

In the third over an outstretched Andy Hewitt arm couldn’t keep hold of what could have been a brilliant catch, and then Croom struggled to hang on to another tough chance.

However, a ball later Mazhar nipped one back off the seam to clip the bail and leave the Jon Howard having to trudge off after leaving what seemed a nothing ball.

Three sharp catches in the slip cordon saw Elleray and Mazhar end their first spells with two wickets each.

“We dropped two chances early on and then clung on to everything else,” Baxter said.

“Saihan (Azim) took two good ones at gully and Kieran (Evans) seemed to take one away from his shoelaces to dismiss (Jordan) Temple.”

With Bourne on 26-4, the introduction of Baxter saw runs hard to come by and wickets continuing to fall for the hosts.

The skipper’s 10 overs only saw 11 runs conceded, while he picked up five wickets as he went through the middle order impressively.

Paul Roberts was on hand to pick up the last wicket which left Bourne all out for 84.

After the interval Boston had to set about chasing down the total.

Evans and Matthew Hood opened the innings but Hood was soon dismissed by Bentley when he was trapped LBW for three.

Evans and Croom then worked hard, putting on 67 for the second wicket.

Croom really took the attack to the bowlers, ending the innings on an unbeaten 41 from just 28 balls.

Needing two to win, Evans managed to loop one to slip to end on 27.

But Azim scored two runs with his first swing of the bat and the game was won.

“It was a very good batting performance,” Baxter said. “We worked hard and put the bad balls away.

“We only lost two wickets. One seemed a harsh decision and one was when we needed two to win.”

The Westwood Lakes Man of the Match was awarded to Tom Baxter for his 5-11 off 10 overs.