Lincs ECB Premier
Grantham 227-6, Boston 202 - Grantham won by 25 runs.
On the back of Boston Firsts’ opening victory of the Lincs ECB Premier season, they welcomed Grantham to the Mayflower Cricket Ground.
And it was the title chasers who left with a 25-run victory.
The coin came down in favour of the Grantham captain Daniel Webb and he had no hesitation in batting first.
It couldn’t have started better for Boston when Tim Bell trapped Ross Carnelly in front of his stumps from the first ball of the innings.
James Dobson and Daniel Freeman then batted sensibly and waited for their scoring opportunities before Bell removed Dobson after a fantastic catch from the back-pedalling Michael Musson.
The next two partnerships were probably what won the game for Grantham.
Freeman and James Keast and then Keast and Matthew Dowman pushed the score to 163.
Freeman, Keast and Dowman all passed 50 which set up the innings for Grantham.
Andy Hewitt removed Freeman when he mistimed his drive to mid-off and Fayadh Haffejee picked up two wickets towards the end of the innings.
Grantham managed to pick up full batting points, scoring 227-6 from their allotted overs.
“I felt we bowled well as a unit,” said Boston skipper Tom Baxter.
“We bowled some bad balls but every side bowls bad balls throughout 50 overs.
“Belly picked up three wickets and has done really well with the new ball this year.
“He’s worked really hard to put the ball in the right areas.
“The main frustration was the singles we gave away.
“They took a few risks but we gave them 20 or 30 runs with a lack of concentration in the field.”
After the tea interval, Boston would have felt that this total was definitely achievable.
Boston lost Tom Poole early on, being bowled by Freeman, and then Ricky Lovelace, who was dismissed by Freeman after he found the edge of his bat.
Haffejee and Musson were dismissed by Dowman and Joe Peck and Boston were on 85-4.
A 50-run partnership saw Boston re-build with Cheer and captain Baxter pushing the scoreboard along.
“This partnership was going to be crucial,” Baxter added.
“While we were out there, I thought we could take it close.
“I always felt we would have to do something special to chase it down, but you never know.”
However, Jon Cheer rocked back to cut Neil Stevenson but managed to hit his own stumps, seeing him dismissed for a magnificent 77.
Baxter was next to go, being bowled for 36 from the young leg-spinner Keast.
Mahir Yousuff and Bell made sure that Boston reached their fourth batting point with some big-hitting.
Boston fell 25 runs short, being dismissed for 202 with one ball to go in their innings.
“Grantham will certainly be up there this year,” added Baxter.
“They’re a well drilled side with some very good players in their line-up.
“However, we can take a lot from today.
“We were one partnership away from beating them.
“In a way, it was similar to the Sleaford game. One good partnership up top and we would have got over the line there too.
“So far we have one win from four games so we need to start looking at picking up a few victories if we want to drag ourselves away from the bottom of that table.”
After the match, the matchball sponsor, Steve Tetther awarded Boston’s man of the match to Cheer for a fantastic 77.