Hood sets the standard as Boston CC Firsts keep the pressure on the leading pack

Matthew Hood.
Matthew Hood.

Matthew Hood was praised for his ‘crucial’ 81 runs, which helped Boston Cricket Club Firsts keep the pressure on the leading pack.

The wicketkeeper hasn’t always found his best form with the bat this season, but his impressive score on Saturday helped the Mayflower men beat Sleaford Seconds by 34 runs.

They now sit third in the South Lincs and Border League Premier Division table, nine points behind leaders Lindum.

“He batted really well,” said Boston skipper Tom Baxter.

“He hasn’t scored the runs he wants to this year but you wouldn’t have known watching today.

“His innings was crucial to us posting a score.”

Baxter, won the toss and had no hesitation in having a bat.

Openers, Kieran Evans and Westwood Lakes Man of the Match Hood started positively and the runs began to flow.

As the runs continued, it wasn’t until Boston reached 60 that Evans was dismissed, after the introduction of spinner Tom Brooke, for 34.

Another 50 partnership followed between Hood and Paul Roberts (37) and Boston looked set for a huge total.

The quick wickets of Roberts, Baxter, Saihan Azim and Luke Gilding saw Boston’s scoring rate slow and a total of 200 start to look in doubt.

Hood continued accumulating runs at the other end and in a final push to get the team to 200 and, in chasing his own century, he mis-timed a shot and was caught for a fantastic 81.

Some big-hitting towards the end of the innings from Ricky Drury (21 not out), Tim Bell and Scott Elleray saw Boston post an impressive 227-7.

“We would have settled for 227 from the start, but at one point we looked to be on for a score closer to 300,” Baxter reflected.

After the tea interval, Boston’s openers started well.

A dropped catch off the second ball of the innings and another in the third saw Boston lose momentum slightly.

When Simon Godby was dropped again in the seventh it looked like it wasn’t going to be Boston’s day.

“When you drop catches early on it gives that batsman a second chance to assess how to play his innings, Godby had three chances,” Baxter said.

A close run-out attempt from Baxter nearly saw the end of Godby, just after Elleray removed Andrew Wilson.

Andy Hewitt picked up the wicket of Kurt Colyn after a smart catch by Baxter.

Godby and Ben Bulmer came together and batted patiently and showed that picking up batting points was the main aim of

their innings.

As the game drifted away from Sleaford, Boston tried to pick up wickets in an attempt for maximum points.

After a 120-run partnership, Baxter removed Bulmer, having him caught and bowled for 32.

And it wasn’t until the final ball of the innings that Boston picked up their second bowling point with David Harrop chipping to Bell at cover.

Sleaford closed their 45 overs on 193-4, but Boston claimed 17 points.