Four-some! Jayaratne inspires another win

Ishan Jayaratne.''Picture: Sarah Washbourn' NNN-180206-195323002
Ishan Jayaratne.''Picture: Sarah Washbourn' NNN-180206-195323002

Boston CC Firsts made it four wins in a row with an 83-run success against Sleaford.

They won the toss and decided to bat first, with Sam Holland and Ricky Lovelace opening.

Holland was dismissed by Cameron Hall after a smart catch by wicketkeeper Oliver Burford, which brought in-form Jonny Cheer to the crease.

Lovelace and Cheer pushed the score on and put Boston in a good position before Angus Youles entered the attack and dismissed Lovelace via a second catch from Burford.

Another steady partnership formed with Cheer and Ishan Jayaratne as the score pushed on.

Tom Shorthouse dismissed Cheer and Mahir Yousuff in similar ways, both being caught at slip, Cheer’s 46 taking him to 395 runs from seven innings so far this season.

Boston captain Tom Baxter said: “Jon has always been a key figure for us. He’s one of the best in the league and loves batting.

“He’s had a really good start to the season and is top of the run scorers.”

After Michael Musson was run out, Luke Gilding and Jayaratne steadied the innings with a 50-run partnership before Gilding was bowled by Adi Sreedharan for 19.

Baxter then joined Jayaratne at the crease and they added 46 runs in a partnership heavily dominated by Jayaratne, who finished 89 not out from 87 balls.

“It was a top innings,” said Baxter. “He batted sensibly and waited for the bad balls and it wasn’t until the last four overs that he took any risks.

“When I got out there he was adamant we would get to 200 and we did that. He paced his innings perfectly.”

Boston’s total of 200-6 was their highest in four weeks and they were confident of defending that coming off the back of a strong bowling performance a week ago when they dismissed Alford for 21.

Needing quick wickets after the tea interval, Boston were give the perfect start when Jayaratne removed the out-of-form Ross Diver for 15.

An early bowling change turned the game on its head when Paul Deans was introduced to the attack.

Shorthouse found the hands of Baxter at mid-off to give Deans his first wicket and Matthew Mountain soon followed after being trapped LBW.

Charlie Roberts and Andy Hibberd worked hard for Sleaford but good bowling and smart fielding made run-scoring hard to come by.

Roberts fell to Bell in his second over and Deans picked up the scalp of Hibberd.

McPeake smashed his first ball for six and tried to replicate that for the next three balls before being bowled by Deans to give him his fourth wicket of the day.

Sleaford were now in deep trouble, struggling on 69-6, and Boston had the scent of victory.

But they were made to fight for the last four wickets, with Sreedharan and Hall trying to support Burford before both were dismissed by Tim Bell, who picked up three wickets in just five overs.

Jayaratne returned to the attack and dismissed Youles (caught by Musson) and Scott Tite (caught by Lovelace) to give Boston a fourth victory on the bounce.

Sleaford ended on 117 all out, with Boston taking 19 points and Sleaford two.

Boston’s man of the match was Jayaratne for his 89 not out and his 3-40 with the ball.

Boston’s victory has moved them into fourth place, only four points behind third placed Sleaford.