Saturday saw the start of the 2022 cricket season for Boston Cricket Club, coming up against a Woodhall Spa side that had already played last week and had managed to strengthen their side with the inclusion of a couple of first team players.
It was always going to be a tough start for a much-changed Boston firsts.
With Jonny Cheer making the decision to move to Bourne and the club moving from the Lincolnshire ECB Premier League to the South Lincs and Border League, Rowan Evans is the man charged with leading Boston’s first XI.
At the toss, the coin fell in favour of the visiting captain Evans, and he had no hesitation in opting to bowl first.
“I knew the pitch would be a good pitch but felt that first game of the season it might be best to know what we had to chase, rather than setting a score,” he said.
It was a mixed start for Boston as a few too many wides and poor deliveries were mixed with the wickets of the two opening batsmen, both falling to Dan Fox.
The partnership of Grant and Jayawardene looked like taking the game away from Boston.
Boston’s new signing, Dan Milgate, managed to make the breakthrough as he removed Jayawardene after a smart catch by Bell.
At the halfway stage of the innings, Woodhall were 122-3 and certainly on top.
After the drinks interval, Milgate removed Grant (54) and Hodgson took the wicket of Pocklington.
Another partnership then started to build between King and captain Behan but the re-introduction of Bell saw him pick up two wickets, those of Behan and Richardson.
Woodhall Spa ended on 223-7 from their allotted 45 overs.
Rowan Evans: “At the halfway stage, I felt they had the upper hand. Chasing anything over 200 at this level is always a challenge, especially on the first day of the season.
"It was going to take a great effort from our top order to ensure this was possible.”
When chasing a score like 223, the start is crucial and Boston’s first two partnerships were worth 59 and 47 as Boston managed to get themselves to 106-2.
Two quick wickets saw Boston at 124-4 and as had been throughout the majority of the game, Woodhall were definitely the favourites.
The 56 run partnership between Baxter and Milgate edged Boston back into the game until Baxter was dismissed off the bowling of Lindsey.
With 44 runs needed to win and only four overs remaining, Milgate and Hood managed to see Boston over the line in the final over.
Milgate’s return to the cricket field saw him end the innings on 59 not out.
Milgate said: “It was good to be back. Over the past few years, I’ve had other commitments and just not had the time for cricket.
"It was great to be back on the field and I really enjoyed it.”
Evans added: “It was a great chase and without Milgate’s innings, we wouldn’t have got over the line.
"He took the game away from Woodhall and it was great to get that first win of the season.”
Boston’s man of the match was Dan Milgate for his 2-56 and his 59 not out.