Bharat lauds response but lead at the top is cut

Vishal Tripathi for Burnley in their game against Lowerhouse
Vishal Tripathi for Burnley in their game against Lowerhouse

Burnley skipper Bharat Tripathi lauded the response and character of his team-mates after an eight wicket win against Rishton at Turf Moor.

It was the club’s 15th league win in 18 outings, though their lead over rivals Ramsbottom was cut to six points as they failed to accrue the bowling bonus points.

Having secured their second piece of silverware of the season in the form of the Twenty20 trophy, Tripathi’s side failed to progress in the LCB Knockout Cup when losing out to defending Ribblesdale Cricket League champions Clitheroe in the quarter-final.

“It had happened twice this year,” said Tripathi. “We’d lost league games and we were very disappointed but we moved on to change that feeling by winning games. There was a bit more disappointment this time after the Clitheroe loss, the mood afterwards was very sombre, but we knew we had to leave it behind us.

“Seasons can unravel if you allow individual results to affect you. We had to go in to the game at weekend with confidence and get back to winning ways. We’ve lost four games from 34 in all competitions. We’ve done quite well and we’ve got to take pride in that.”

Rishton professional Kelly Smuts was the man to deny Burnley the two vital bonus points. The South African batsman hit his third century of the season as the visitors, who sit bottom of the league’s hierarchy, made 216-7.

Smuts hit 15 fours and seven sixes in making 152, though it took some time for the paid man to find his rhythm. After a slow start that saw just 11 runs come from the first eight overs, Smuts added 46 with Matt Nuttall (15). Josh Whitehead also made 13 against his former club but that was as good as it got in terms of individuals accumulating double figures as Burnley pro Chris Holt stunted the away side’s progress with figures of 3-66, taking him beyond the 50 wicket mark for the term.

Vishal Tripathi top scored with 91 from 80 balls with 15 fours and a six, adding 84 with Holt (25) for the first wicket. David Brown then hit 13 fours from 56 balls in making an unbeaten 68, adding 69 with Tripathi for the second wicket and an unbroken 66 with Chris Burton (19 not out) for the third wicket to see Burnley home in the 34th over.