Boxmoor’s Saturday first XI recorded their second win of the season with a 34-run home victory over Hatfield Crusaders II, thanks to 18-year-old Sam Pimm’s maiden century.
The winning margin was closer than skipper Richard Crowther would have liked as the hosts scored an impressive 275-8 from their allotted 50 overs.
This was despite losing the toss and being asked to bat on a good batting surface, a decision the Hatfield captain was made to rue.
All of the Moor’s top-four batsmen made starts but didn’t push on as they found themselves at 61-4 when Pimm strode in at number six. Despite being dropped early on, Pimm was determined to play his natural attacking game, playing as the dominant partner in two match-winning partnerships of 88 and 92 with Anum Hamdani (40) and Dave Young (30).
A tiring Pimm reached three figures with a short single, punching the air and taking applause from his teammates. With little energy left, he holed out for exactly 100 shortly after, leaving young Saair Hamdani to hit a quick-fire unbeaten 21 in the final overs.
Hatfield started positively and with the help of several extras soon raced to 65 before Young, bowling first change, took the opening wicket.
The visitors continued to play with attacking intent but lost regular wickets with Hamdani Snr (3-34) and Young (2-16) the pick of the bowlers.
Big hitting by some of the lower-order batsmen helped keep Hatfield in the game, Alan Jakes (37) being a high spot, with just 45 needed off the last seven overs and three wickets left.
Amit Mahajan eased the hosts’ nerves, snapping up the final three wickets, including a smart stumping by keeper Dan Hobbs, to end Hatfield’s hopes on 241. It was a much-needed 30 points for Boxmoor in Division 6B ahead of an away trip up the road at Bovingdon this Saturday
Boxmoor’s second XI were up against Preston, who were laying second in Division 9B.
Having won the toss, stand-in skipper Nick Cottrell chose to bowl. Stan Williamson (10-4-24-2) and veteran John Scott (10-3-21-2) led superbly from the front, making an early breakthrough but more importantly, kept the run-rate really low with Preston only scoring 44 from the first 20 overs.
On came Alex Harris and David Cope to continue to bowl tight, but for no reward, as the Preston run drought saw them at just 71 after 30 overs. Fifteen-year-old George Goates-Smith then picked up his maiden wicket in senior cricket and then a second just two balls later, as well as a wonderful one-handed catch, to dismiss their opener.
Aaron Hinton bagged three late wickets as Preston finished on 168.
Boxmoor’s reply didn’t get off to the best start with the skipper being bowled first ball. But Keith Hammond (23) and Kelly Low (12), steadied the ship and took Boxmoor to 58 in the 17th over when Low fell. Hammond and in-form 15-year-old Ben Mannering (59 not out), took the score steadily on. The youngster, who didn’t look a touch out of place, played excellently and built three different partnerships with Smith (18), Goates-Smith and Cope, to see the Moor home for a hard-earned four-wicket victory and 30 points.
It was a superb team effort with stand-out performances from the youngsters and senior members of the team.
Boxmoor’s third XI lost by 44 runs away at Parmiter’s School against Leverstock Green IV in a local derby in regional division B West.
Levy’s innings was in trouble with seven wickets down for around 60 but their eighth-wicket partnership between Downs (24) and Wilson (71) resurrected the innings and started to take the game away.
Jasmine Driver (2-0-11-1) and Mubashar Ijaz (4.4-1-18-2) restricted the damage by mopping up the tail to limit Leverstock to 159 all out.
But the Boxmoor reply never started in earnest. Opener Dan Webb (21) and Lee Rance (5) batted with attacking purpose, but Rance’s dismissal caused a collapse as Boxmoor slumped from 35-2 to 38-4 in short order. Only a late middle-order partnership between Josh Low (31) and Tilly Larkins (12), worth 47 runs, made the final Boxmoor total of 108 respectable.
Boxmoor Sunday first XI lost by seven wickets when hosting Simmonds in a friendly. Ben Mannering (72*) and Luke Flynn (78*) top scored for The Moor.