Lincs ECB Premier
Boston 1sts 145, Grantham 1sts 148-3 - Grantham won by seven wickets.
Boston CC Firsts began the 2019 campaign as the Mayflower Cricket Ground entertained last year’s runners-up and play-off winners Grantham.
Boston handed a debut to their overseas professional Adeesha Thilanchana and welcomed back Fayadh Haffejee to the club after he missed last year through injury and university commitments.
Sam Holland has also returned home to Boston after two years playing cricket in Australia.
“It’s great to have Gilly (Adeesha Thilanchana) on board for the season.
“It is his first time in England and has come highly recommended by last year’s professional, Ishan Jayaratnre,” skipper Tom Baxter said.
The coin fell in favour of Boston and Baxter opted to bat first.
Daniel Freeman dismissed Ben Troops early on but Holland and Jon Cheer started to build a steady partnership before Joe Peck dismissed Cheer.
Haffejee fell to Sam Boyns and then Peck dismissed Thilanchana on his debut.
Boston were up against it and struggling to put a good score on the board and this was compounded when off-spinner Neil Stevenson was introduced into the attack and he picked up the wickets of Tom Poole, Mahir Yousuff, Scott Elleray and Paul Deans.
Boston’s total of 145 was well-below par and would need a fantastic bowling effort to stand any chance of picking up a victory on the first day of the season.
“I thought that Grantham bowled well. They did bowl some wides and gave us some freebies but for the first game of the season, I thought they made it difficult for us,” Baxter said.
“They have a good bowling attack and made it difficult for us.”
After the tea interval, Boston knew they needed early wickets and Thilanchana picked up debut wickets in his opening spell.
Ross Carnelly was caught at slip by Cheer and Rory Johnson was dismissed after a smart catch from Poole after Thilanchana found the edge of his bat.
Baxter joined the attack and dismissed Freeman but that brought Carl Wilson to the crease to join Jaden Fell and the pair batted very sensibly to see Grantham home in the 45th over.
“Grantham will be looking at winning the league and won’t lose many games. They’ll definitely be up there,” said Baxter.
“We have a lot of positives to take out of the game but the key thing we will take from that game is that we need to bat all of our overs.”