Boston Cricket Club First XI hosted Skegness on Saturday in a battle of the Lincolnshire ECB Premier League bottom three.
With Boston sitting in the bottom two and Skegness only just above them, it was an important game for both sides.
Winning the toss, Baxter opted to bat first on what looked to be a good pitch.
Boston openers Evans and Poole had to face West Indian U19 international Ray Jordan. Evans edged behind for four, leaving Boston on 6-1 and Jordan with his first scalp.
In-form Jonny Cheer joined Poole and they took the score to 49-2 before Poole was out for eight.
The wickets of Croom and Musson fell quickly, leaving Boston struggling at 61-4.
Sparke joined Cheer at the crease to be greeted by a fierce bouncer which hit him in the chest, with Skegness well on top at that stage.
Cheer and Sparke then set about re-building the innings, Cheer passing 50.
The scoreboard continued to move along and Cheer went to his second consecutive century, and with seven overs to go Boston were 180-4.
Having passed the hundred mark, Cheer started to accelerate even more, adding 57 to his score as the pair put on another 79 runs.
Boston ended up posting 259-4 – a much better score than they could have hoped for at 61-4 – as Cheer (157 not out) and Sparke (66 not out) carried their bats to the end of the 50th over.
Baxter said: “They both batted very well. It was good for Sparkey to get some runs. It was good to see him get a score, and an important one at that.
“Jonny is one of the best players in the league and it was the best knock I’ve had the chance to witness. It was the perfect innings.”
The Skegness reply began well, with Chanditha and Labuschagn taking them to 97-0 off 16 overs. But Baxter made the breakthrough, dismissing Chanditha for 62 after a smart stumping by Poole.
Bell came into the attack and picked up the wicket of Labuschagne, before bowling Cuthbert for five, to leave Skegness on 115-3.
“At that stage, the game was very even. It could have gone either way. A good partnership could have won them the game,” added Baxter.
A50-run partnership followed, but Baxter and Bell tied the batsmen down, slowing the run rate. Baxter then removed Epton for 30 – another stumping from Poole.
Jordan and Chamberlain came out with the intention of chasing the runs down but both fell to catches, from Cheer and Musson, off the bowling of Orr.
At 194-6, Skegness seemed content to look for a losing draw, while Boston pressed for the win.
Farooq was clean-bowled by Elleray, then Orr dismissed the stubborn Brackley to reduce Skegness to 203-8 with four overs to go. At this point Boston were hopeful of a 20-point haul. However, Redgard and Chamberlain saw out the final four overs, as the innings ended on 204-8.
Orr picked up 3-75, but the key bowling partnership was Baxter and Bell through the middle overs, with Baxter finishing with figures of 2-46.
Boston’s 15 points couldn’t move them out of the bottom two, as Louth picked up 20 points and Skegness’ eight points were enough to keep them just above Boston.
Matchball sponsor was The White Hart Hotel. Man of the match: Jon Cheer.
○ Fixtures: Saturday - Woodhall Spa v Boston; Boston 2nd XI v Woodhall Spa 2nd XI; Boston 3rd XI v Burgh. Sunday - Boston Sunday 2nd XI v Caythorpe