Boxmoor enjoyed a convincing home win over a poor Botany Bay II on Saturday with the annual Steam Fair at the Moor as the backdrop.
The thumping 216-run victory was sweet revenge for defeat at the start of the season.
Skipper Richard Crowther won a rare toss and had no hesitation in batting first in hot conditions. Despite the early loss of opener David Coster, the hosts gained complete control as they continued the run-fest from the previous week. Crowther (62) joined the consistent Aidan Pimm (51) in reaching another century partnership.
Once both were dismissed, the high tempo continued as Brook Townsend (season high 80) and Sam Stride (53 not out) put on 122 for the fourth wicket. After Townsend’s dismissal in the 48th over Boxmoor declared for the second week running on a healthy 283-4.
With a much-changed bowling line-up, the tone for the Moor’s bowling attack was set by Lloyd Larkins as he pinned the Bay opener leg-before on the first ball.
Jai Nandwani followed suit with a wicket from the other end in his first over leaving Bay reeling at 1-2. The visitors never recovered as Boxmoor’s bowlers kept the pressure up with regular wickets.
Nandwani, on his first-team debut, finished with 3-20. The Harper brothers (Rewan 2-5, Stan 3-11) wrapped it up as Bay folded for 67.
They travel to third-placed Allenburys & County Hall II this Saturday.
The Saturday IIs, with important players unavailable, were away to Ickleford but still came away with a four-wicket win.
Stand-in captain Stan Williamson lost the toss and the opposition decided to bat.
Williamson and Anum Hamdani opened the bowling attack and kept it tight with Ickleford being restrained to 52 from 18 overs. The innings lasted the full quota with John Scott (two) and Saair Hamdani picking up the only wickets to fall as Ickleford reached 233-3.
The Boxmoor reply started well with openers Rob Smith and Dan Hobbs finding the boundary with ease. Smith hit a match-winning knock of 89 before being dismissed.
There were fine partnerships throughout and Boxmoor got the winning runs in the 45th over, with Hamdani playing a lofted drive over the bowler’s head for another boundary. The win saw Boxmoor retain second spot in a tight top-of-the-table race.
Boxmoor 3rds, with key players out, were looking to complete the league double over hosts West Herts IV.
After asked to bat in the blisteringly heat, Boxmoor were sluggish and reaching 64-3 at mid-innings with only Dan Webb (39) troubling the scorers. Adam Pomerenke (37) and Paul Biddle (19) added impetus as Boxmoor ended with a creditable 152 all out.
Herts U15s girls’ county player Gaby Pimm opened the bowling for Boxmoor and was unlucky not to take a wicket in her six overs (0-30). It was down to Mubashar Ijaz (3-20) to apply the brakes as Herts folded from 60-0 to 95-5. Unfortunately for Boxmoor, big hitting from a Herts debutant eased them over the line with eight balls to spare, after a massive six over midwicket.