Lincs ECB Premier
Boston 1sts 134, Grantham 136-4 - Grantham won by six wickets.
Tom Baxter believes Boston CC Firsts never recovered from a ‘terrible start’ at Grantham.
After losing early wickets the Mayflower men’s hopes of upsetting the Lincs ECB Premier title chasers were ended, leaving Boston hovering 20 points above the drop zone.
The coin came down in favour of Grantham skipper Matt Dowman and he decided to bowl first on a good pitch which looked like it would suit the bowlers.
That was the case as Kieran Evans and Tom Poole were back in the pavilion and Boston were 1-2 from their first three overs.
Jon Cheer fell to Dowman when a ball bounced more than he expected and Boston were in deep trouble at 17-3.
“It was a terrible start for us,” Baxter said.
“Our top three were back in the pavilion and we were really up against it.”
Dan Sincuba and Fayadh Haffejee set about re-building the innings and the pair steadied the ship.
A change of bowling dismissed Sincuba for 19.
Another steady re-building job by Haffejee and Michael Musson saw Boston to 81-4 before Musson was dismissed by Samuel Peters for 19.
Haffejee fell for 43.
“Fayadh batted really well and looked comfortable until he mis-timed it to mid-off,” added Baxter.
Boston struggled along and only managed 134 before being dismissed in the 43rd over.
“They bowled well and we didn’t bat as well as we have showed in previous weeks,” the skipper mused.
“They made run-scoring difficult and forced you to play ball after ball.”
In response to Boston’s total, Ross Carnelly and James Dobson came out and took the game to Boston’s opening bowlers.
Tim Bell trapped Carnelly LBW and then dismissed Josh Mihill after finding the edge of his bat.
At 38-2, Boston knew that they still needed a couple more quick wickets to stand any chance in this game.
Dobson and Dan Freeman steadied the innings and made batting look comfortable on a pitch that, earlier in the day, looked bowler-friendly.
“We bowled well but needed something extra,” Baxter continued.
“To defend 134, you need something extra special with the ball and that is something our attack doesn’t have.
“We are a consistent attack that put the ball in the right areas and make run-scoring difficult.
“However, we lack wicket-taking options.”
Haffejee dismissed Dobson for 57 and then Bell returned to the attack to dismiss James Keast.
James Freeman and Dowman saw Grantham to their total in the 34th over.
“Today showed why we are in the bottom half and they are challenging at the top of the table,” Baxter said.
“They are a better side at this level.”
Boston’s man of the match award was shared between Bell and Haffejee.
Bell picked up 3-28 from his 10 overs and Haffejee top-scored with 43.
Results didn’t go Boston’s way as Alford, Market Deeping and Louth all won to ensure a really tight bottom half of the table.