Baxter admits the best team won as Boston CC beaten by Sleaford... now for Bourne

Boston in discussion. Photo: @russelldossett (www.sportspictures.online)
Boston in discussion. Photo: @russelldossett (www.sportspictures.online)

Boston CC skipper Tom Baxter conceded that the best team won when the Mayflower men suffered a 67-run defeat at home to third-place Sleaford in the Lincs ECB Premier on Saturday.

And now the Mayflower men want to bounce back as they travel to face Bourne today (noon).

Boston can only watch on. Photo: @russelldossett (www.sportspictures.online)

Boston can only watch on. Photo: @russelldossett (www.sportspictures.online)

The coin came down in favour of Boston captain Baxter, and he decided to bowl first, looking to exploit the bowler-friendly conditions.

“It wasn’t an easy choice. I do like to get runs on the board and try and defend it, but the pitch suited the bowlers and we felt that bowling first would give us the best chance to win the game,” he said.

Ishan Jayaratne and Scott Elleray opened the bowling and kept things tight early on, but it wasn’t until Tim Bell replaced the latter that Boston picked up their first wicket.

Bell’s delivery bowled Mathew Mountain.

Jonny Cheer in bat. Photo: @russelldossett (www.sportspictures.online)

Jonny Cheer in bat. Photo: @russelldossett (www.sportspictures.online)

Ross Diver and Andy Hibberd built another partnership but, again, it was Bell that broke that partnership with a wonderful catch from Mahir Yousuff at mid-off.

Paul Deans removed Sleaford captain Tom Shorthouse for a duck before another partnership was built by Diver and Charlie Roberts.

From 145-3, Boston worked very hard with the ball and in the field to pick up regular wickets and eventually bowl Sleaford out in the 49th over for 181.

“It was a really good effort with the ball. I felt that Ishan, Belly and Deano bowled really well,” Baxter said.

“It was disappointing that Scott picked up an injury, especially after his seven-wicket haul last week at Alford.

“(I thought) 181 was a reasonable total but it was certainly a total that I felt we should be thinking about chasing down.”

After the tea interval, Sleaford’s overseas professional Iain McPeake had other ideas and had Boston in trouble at 29-3.

Cheer and Yousuff attempted to re-build the innings but two quick wickets from Angus Youles and Shorthouse left Boston 60-5 and looking towards a heavy defeat.

Baxter and Jonny Cheer had a steady partnership but Sleaford would have always felt in control.

Baxter was dismissed by Adi Sreedharan and so was Peter Mitchell before Cheer and Elleray fell to McPeake.

The innings came to a close when Bell was bowled by Sreedharan.

“It was disappointing to lose but when you look at the sides, they are better,” admitted Baxter.

“They are better on paper and in the league positions.

“However, in this league, it comes down to your key players performing.

“Our batsmen struggled against their bowling and we didn’t have a significant partnership to steady that innings.

“McPeake and their three spinners are very good bowlers at this level. They’ve all picked up 20+ wickets this year.”

Boston CC’s Seconds enjoyed a one-wicket win at Sleaford Seconds in the South Lincs and Border League Premier Division on Saturday.

The hosts posted 110 runs before being dismissed, the Mayflower men responding with 111-9.

The result leaves Boston seventh in the standings while Sleaford drop to fourth.

Boston Sunday Firsts’ home match against basement side Cherry Willingham was cancelled, Boston awarded 20 points as their visitors conceded.

Dan Fox’s side sit fourth in the Lincoln and District League Premier Division standings.