Defending champions too strong for Boston CC Firsts

Scott Elleray.
Scott Elleray.

With rain delaying the start of the Lincolnshire ECB Premier League season, Saturday’s visit of reigning champions Bracebridge Heath was newly-promoted Boston’s first action in 2016.

When the coin fell down in favour of Bracebridge Heath, they had no hesitation in opting to bat.

Captain and vice-captain Paul Cook and Nick John came out to open the batting and Cook took the attack to Boston’s openers, Scott Elleray and debutant Riley Orr.

When he fell in the third over for 19, Bracebridge already had 25 on the board.

People could have been forgiven for thinking this could be a long day in the field for Boston.

Orr picked up his first Boston wicket when he bowled Nick John for 24, and then Elleray followed that up with the dismissal of Vikram Atri for 0.

Whapplington came and went, being bowled by the impressive Tim Bell.

At 78-4, Boston would have been very happy with the way they had started.

A partnership that re-built the innings came from Houston and Stubbs as Bracebridge knew they were under a bit of pressure.

Orr removed Stubbs and Smith in quick succession and then Houston was bowled by Bell, leaving Bracebridge struggling at 136-7.

A match-changing 50 run partnership between Carter and Bradley put them back in control of their innings, but Boston fought hard to the end and managed to bowl Bracebridge out on the last ball of the innings after a smart run-out from wicket-keeper Tom Poole.

Poole ended with three catches and a run-out on his return from his winter in Australia.

Elleray, Orr and Bell bowled 45 of Boston’s overs and were all impressive on their first outings on grass in 2016.

“They bowled very well. To bowl the champions out for under 200 is a great effort,” said skipper Tom Baxter.

“They are a very good side with some top, top cricketers.”

At the interval, Boston knew that four an over would see a surprise victory to start the 2016 campaign.

Boston would have wanted a good start to the innings but Jonny Cheer and Ryan Croom were both in the pavilion as the scoreboard read 20-2 after Carter and Houston both picked up a wicket.

A re-building partnership from Kieran Evans and Liam Spark pushed Boston past the 50 mark but then, in a mad five over spell, Boston scored 11 runs for the loss of three wickets.

At 65-5, Boston were definitely up against it and that wasn’t helped when Baxter was dismissed for five to leave Boston 73-6.

“We were massively up against it at this stage and a few silly shots and decisions allowed wickets to fall too easily,” Baxter admitted.

Poole and Michael Musson again tried to re-build, ticking the scoreboard over at every available opportunity before Poole fell to a top catch at mid-on.

Poole was dismissed for 22 while Orr was then dismissed for seven and Boston were sitting at 114-8.

Musson was dismissed for a very well-made 25 and Bell followed two balls later to end the innings and give Bracebridge a 72 run victory.

The Roger Budge Electrical Engineering Ltd man of the match was Riley Orr.