09:00AM, Friday 05 August 2022
Boyne Hill have moved to within 29 points of leaders Stoke Green, and 19 points of a promotion spot, after beating Beaconsfield by three-wickets on Saturday.
Ziya Mohamed's side might have begun the campaign with four successive defeats, but they're finding form at the right time and this latest win puts them right back in the promotion mix with five matches left to play.
Mohamed hopes they'll maintain their momentum between now and the final game to give themselves that chance, although he accepts the form of the teams above them may dictate whether they finish in the top two or fall just short.
All they can do now is try to win their remaining five matches, starting at leaders Stoke Green on Saturday, and see where that takes them.
On Saturday they came through a tough test against Beaconsfield, one of the teams to have beaten them already this season.
Electing to field on winning the toss, they restricted Beaconsfield to 235 all out in 51 overs.
Initially, wickets proved hard to come by for the likes of Prashant Kumar (4-55), Samad Fallah (3-49) and Osman Ilyas (3-64), as openers David Justus (59) and Ziafat Ashraf (48) put on 109 for the first wicket. But, once that partnership was broken, the Beaconsfield batsmen were whittled away leaving Hill with a chaseable target.
A couple of early wickets left the hosts a little frayed at 13-2, and Mohamed must have been thinking Beaconsfield would be this season's bogey team, however, they recovered well with Nabeel Janed hitting 80 from 73 balls and Imran Butt (44) and Mohammed (37) adding runs further down the order.
“We've got some really good momentum going at the moment, and like I said a few weeks ago, we are looking for that promotion,” said Mohamed. “If we win the last five games, I reckon we've got a very good chance.
“We know Beaconsfield have a good team. They managed to beat us earlier in the season, but we just had a collapse towards the end. We made sure that didn't happen this time, but it was a bit of a roller-coaster. They were 100 for no wicket, and very suddenly they were 116-6.
“They ended up scoring 235. We had an early scare at the start when we lost a couple of wickets, but our number 3, Nabeel batted really well and me and Imran (Butt) had a really good partnership towards the end as well.
“This year has been very difficult; all the teams are strong and can win so we don't take any team for granted. We went in and gave it 100 per cent and we got the result that we wanted.
“We must do our part now and whatever happens, happens.
“If we can get promoted that's a really good bonus for us. We are pushing for that and hope to win our last five games.”
He added: “We're playing Stoke Green next so that's going to be a crucial game on Saturday.
“Stoke Green is always a big game, we know that they have some very good spinners, but we're looking forward to it.
“Some of our guys play with some of the Stoke Green players on Sundays so it's going to be a really good game.”