A first century of the season for skipper Richard Crowther couldn’t prevent Boxmoor’s first XI from going down to Old Elizabethans II on Saturday in the Saracens Herts League Division 6B.
They lost by four wickets on another hot Saturday afternoon at the Moor.
Crowther was delighted to bat first having won the toss and was determined to set a big score. Aidan Pimm (37) and the returning Sam Stride (20) were watchful against tight bowling as they saw the opening partnership reach 58 at the first drinks break.
But shortly after Stride, looking to take on a young leg-spinner, was the victim of a stumping. Crowther arrived looking to play positively and up the scoring rate, which he succeeded in doing as he and Pimm moved the score to 110 in 25 overs before the latter fell to the slow bowling of the opposing captain.
Crowther continued to push but was hampered by the fall of regular wickets at the other end with young Ed Shaw (20) the only player to offer any support. A series of soft dismissals meant the Moor found themselves in trouble at 194-9.
The skipper, on 72 after being dropped on 46, was joined by 16-year-old Lloyd Larkins (15 not out) who performed heroically as he contributed to a last-wicket partnership of 53 to help guide the captain through to his hundred and his team to a competitive total.
Crowther was out to the penultimate ball of the innings for 107, which included 18 fours, as the hosts ended on 247 all out.
Compared to recent scores at the Moor, this was a little below-par but Crowther still felt it was a decent total to defend.
However, the initiative was handed to OEs early on. A string of loose deliveries were punished as they quickly racked up the runs, reaching the 100-mark in the 17th over for the loss of just a wicket.
Runs continued to come quickly as Boxmoor searched for wickets. Crowther, bringing himself on to stem the flow, was the only bowler to go for less than five runs an over finishing on 10-2-25-1.
His one success was the experienced OE opener, Hoar, on 91, but that was not enough to see the visitors take the spoils in the 44th over.
Some late wickets for Dave Young (3-53) helped give the result some respectability and Boxmoor came away with 16 points as they stay in fifth place in the table.
They have a free Saturday this weekend as mooted opponents North Enfield II have withdrawn from the league.
Boxmoor’s second XI won by six wickets away at Harpenden V in the Saracens Herts League Division 9B.
Despite a fine spell of bowling from returnee Ameer Rasheed (7.4-0-13-3), the Harpenden innings got of to a steady start and at 116-2 at drinks, they’d laid a foundations for a big score.
But John Scott (10-1-37-3) and Kelly Low, bowling for the first time in many a year,held Harpenden in check. Low ended up with four wickets from his efforts.
Harpenden slumped to 175 all out when Rasheed came back on for his second spell to clean up.
Rob Smith and Ben Mannering opened the Moor reply batting with a fine partnership of 31 before Smith fell for a quick-fire 20.
Dan Smith shared a solid partnership of 44 with Mannering, before he fell for 21 leaving Boxmoor at 74-4 off 25.
In came Rasheed, who once again looked like he’d never been away, as he struck a fine 36 not out.
Mannering finished with a new highest score with a superb 90 not out to win the game for Boxmoor another game.
Boxmoor’s third team lost at Flamstead II away in the Saracens Herts League Regional Division B West.
Boxmoor did welcome three new players to their ranks making third-team debuts in Matt Smalley-Harris, and under-15s Alex Bell and Freddy Hockin.