Boxmoor kept their unbeaten streak going with a convincing 132-run away victory at second-placed Radlett 4ths on Saturday to notch their 12th win out of 12 in Saracens Herts League Division 6B.
The Moor skipper Richard Crowther won the toss and chose to bat, asking his side to post a total that would put pressure on their hosts.
Openers Matt Smalley-Harris and Ben Mannering set the tone, seizing on anything loose in a partnership of 142 from 25 overs.
Both found the boundary regularly as they notched half-centuries in quick succession.
Helped by a smattering of extras and poor fielding, Radlett began to wilt, despite Mannering’s loss for 66.
Smalley-Harris continued to rack up the runs as Boxmoor pushed past the 200 mark, but he agonisingly fell three runs shy of a well-deserved century. It was nevertheless a season-high score of 97 from the young opener that included 13 fours.
The Moor still had 12 overs to set a tough target and despite the loss of regular wickets, Aidan Pimm, Crowther and Sam Stride all chipped in with useful middle-order runs, while smart running from Shaun Nichols and Dave Young in the closing overs pushed them up to 279-8.
Despite the imposing total, The Moor’s job was made harder when wicket-keeper Mannering fell ill, meaning the league-leaders had to field only ten men and put the gloves on Stride.
However, Stan Harper went on to produce the best fielding of the day with a direct hit on the wickets, running in wide from third-man to break the dangerous Radlett opening partnership.
Nichols followed with two quick wickets as the hosts found themselves on 38-3.
Yasir Mughal and Chris Edler (53) repaired the damage, with the latter hitting several quality boundaries.
The spin of Malhotra was introduced and he got the breakthrough, with Stride taking a sharp catch to dismiss Edler.
The Radlett innings then fell away as The Moor showed why they are the team to beat in Division 6B this season.
Smalley-Harris ended the resistance of Mughal, well-caught on the boundary by Sam Pimm, while Crowther mopped up the tail with 4-20 from his nine overs.
Malhotra (2-21) had the last word as Radlett were bowled out for 147 in the 33rd over.
The win puts them within touching distance of sealing promotion with five games still remaining. The gap at the top of the table is now up to 67 points ahead of a home clash with bottom side Kings Langley 2nds this Saturday.