Boxmoor’s new-look 1st XI started the Saracens Herts Division 6B season in confident fashion with a convincing 83-run win away at Allenburys & County Hall 2nds on a firm but slow pitch on Saturday.
Losing the toss and batting first, Boxmoor’s opening pair of debutant Matt Smalley-Harris (16) and the seasoned Aidan Pimm (32), started the innings with a steady 31-run partnership.
Skipper Richard Crowther (45) and Pimm kept the scoreboard ticking with a partnership of 74 to get the score to 105-2.
A flurry of wickets followed, leaving the Moor at 110-5 with 15 of their 50 overs left.
It took some sensible batting and keen running by Sam Stride (26) and Joe Hall (46) in their match-winning partnership of 72, to see Boxmoor through to a total of 197-8 .
Hall particularly impressed with some powerful shots, perishing four short of his half-century in the final overs.
Boxmoor’s bowlers tore into the opposition’s top order, debutant Shaun Nichols taking two wickets in his first two overs to leave Allenburys reeling at 1-2.
Nichols’s miserly spell (5-2-4-2) along with James McCluskey (nine runs off seven overs) meant the hosts struggled to score and quickly fell behind the run rate.
Mid-order partnerships of 39 and 38 helped the home side’s chase but energetic and tight fielding, along with the introduction of spinners Prateek Malhotra and Crowther put Boxmoor in control.
Malhotra (2-32), returning to the club after a number of years away studying medicine in the Czech Republic, and Crowther (3-21) squeezed the life out of Allenburys as they collapsed from 78-3 to 114 all out.
Boxmoor’s 2nds won by five wickets when hosting London Colney 2nds in Division 9B on a cold and damp day at the Moor which did not favour the batsmen.
London Colney’s openers struggled to find gaps as Dave Young (8-0-20-1) and Stan Harper (7-0-26-2) bowled an economical spell. At drinks, Colney were on 68-1, however with only one partnership stand (58) making it into double figures and further tight bowling form the Moor, backed by an excellent direct hit from the boundary by Ed Shaw, the visitors edged their way slowly to 153-8 off the 45 overs.
The Boxmoor innings got off to a shaky start but Dan Hobbs (28) and Richard Ballard (39) weathered the storm and put on a brilliant 60-run partnership, supported by a quick-fire 20 from Kelly Low and 33 not out from Anum Hamdani to see the Moor home with 10 overs to spare.
The third team’s clash at home to Old Camdenians 2nds in Division B West was cancelled due to a wet pitch.
Boxmoor’s Sunday 1sts lost by 11 runs away at Potten End in a friendly.
Potten posted a total of 210 off their 40 overs, with two or their players getting solid half-centuries. Paul Biddle got two wickets and opener Joe Hall three for the Moor.
In reply, Hall came in at number three and began to up the tempo, but fell with the score on 83.
The required run rate climbed but Boxmoor managed a late charge via Lloyd Larkins and skipper Steve Alderton, giving them hope, but 23 was needed off the final over and Boxmoor finished on 200-8, just 11 runs short.