01:00PM, Friday 24 June 2022
Boyne Hill's revival shows no sign of slowing as they managed to get back within touching distance of the leading sides in TVL Division 1 with Saturday's five-wicket win over Burnham.
While Burnham remain bottom, with only one win to their name, the only other side who started the season with four straight losses - Boyne Hill - have been on something of a charge in recent weeks.
This comprehensive five-wicket win lifts them to fourth in the table, only 38 points behind leaders Ickenham whose game against Stoke Green this weekend was abandoned because of rain.
They may have only managed three victories this season but somehow, they've managed to haul themselves back into title contention, captain Ziya Mohamed's stated aim when the season got underway back in early May.
He led the way in this victory too, taking crucial early wickets alongside Samad Fallah (above) to check Burnham's early momentum at the crease. Adnan Shabbir's side got off to a relatively good start at the crease, with Fahad Raja applying himself well with 54 from 81 balls, however, Fallah and Mohamed then put the brakes firmly on.
Mohamed finished with 3-55, while Fallah took 3-42, and, although Zain Ishaq got away to score an unbeaten 53, the hosts were confident they could chase 176 at the changeover.
In reply to openers Osman Ilyas (26) and H Ishaq (49) did a lot of the hard work, putting on a stand of 81, while Tom Mellor (31) and I Butt (27) kept them up with the run chase, with Hill reaching 182-5 in the 42nd over.
“It was similar to last week really, they got off to a good start, but then I took three wickets to get us going,” said Mohamed.
“Our overseas (Fallah) came on and took three wickets which cleaned them up. So, it was a good start for us.
“It was cloudy conditions, but the pitch was playing alright, but we still felt they were 30 or 40 runs too many, because we could have got them down to 130/140.
“But one of their lower order batsmen scored well and he pushed their score on.
“It's usually tricky to bat second at Boyne Hill but we knew we could chase it down. Everyone got a start with the bat, so it was pretty good.
“We thought Burnham were going to be stronger to be honest.”
Having hauled themselves back into the promotion picture, Mohamed says the chemistry is developing nicely between the players after a troubling start. They face Eversley at home in their next match on Saturday.
“We always knew we had a strong team ourselves, but it took us a little while to get used to each other,” he said.
“Now the chemistry is there in the team and hopefully we can get a few more wins and fight for promotion.
“We would like to pick up at least another couple of wins from our next three matches and hopefully push our way up the table.
“We expect them (Ickenham, Henley 2nds, Stoke Green) to be our main rivals, but anything can happen in cricket. We are looking at promotion, so we must fight all of these top teams.”