Boxmoor’s first XI continued their impressive form and extended their unbeaten streak to start the season in the Saracens Herts League Division 6B with a six-wicket away victory at local rivals Kings Langley.
They arrived at the ground to be greeted unsurprisingly by a pitch with several damp patches – good day to win the toss and bowl which is exactly what stand-in skipper Matt Smalley-Harris did.
James McCluskey and Joe Hall opened the attack and got the ball moving and bouncing.
It didn’t take long for McCluskey to breakthrough, trapping one of the Kings openers LBW.
That began the hosts’ collapse as Hall (10-2-14-4) and McCluskey (10-1-33-3) ripped through the line-up, sharing seven wickets between them, including a hat-trick for Hall.
Sam Stride took an important catch at gully to spark celebrations among the Boxmoor players. Both of the opening bowlers returned season-best figures as they bowled straight through.
Jamie Vincent-Jones and Dave Young continued to keep it tight with a wicket apiece as Kings folded for a total of 76 all out in 26 overs.
There was still something in the pitch for the hosts but The Moor were keen to knock off the runs quickly despite the early loss of Aidan Pimm.
Smalley-Harris (21) and 16-year-old Ben Mannering (24 not out) helped to set up the win inside 22 overs, with Mannering hitting the winning boundary, despite the loss of three late wickets.
It made it five wins out of five to keep the 100 per cent record in tact and they are now 19 points clear at the top of the table.
This Saturday they will hope to keep rolling when they host eighth-placed Hatfield & Crusaders II.
The second team’s home clash against Preston III in Division 9B had to be postponed because of rain, while the third team got a walkover home win over Bushey IV in Regional Division B West after Bushey conceded.
The Boxmoor Sunday first XI won by nine wickets when hosting Ley Hill in a friendly.
Sri Kalai (3-0-6-2 ) took the new ball and wasted no time in bowling the Ley Hill opener with a peach of a delivery.
The bowlers gave little away and wickets were shared out as Ley Hill slipped to 45-7.
Lloyd Larkins cleaned up the tail in 1.2 overs, taking three wickets for seven runs as Ley Hill ended on 60 all out.
Boxmoor opened up with Matt Smalley-Harris and Ben Mannering, who rotated the strike well and punished the occasional bad ball, however, with the score on 54, Smalley-Harris middled the ball to mid-wicket where a fielder took a splendid low catch.
But it was too little too late. Mannering, joined by Ed Shaw, knocked off the last runs as Boxmoor completed a comfortable victory.