Burnley Cricket Club extend their lead at top of the table

Burnley extended their lead at the top of the Fosters Lancashire League to four points over the weekend.

Saturday saw the visit of Ramsbottom to the league leaders, but, with a very bad forecast, there was inevitably only time for half a game as Burnley were inserted.

Burnley's Jonathan Clare makes a four

Burnley's Jonathan Clare makes a four

Play started on time and the visitors soon made inroads, with the ball seaming and causing difficulty for the batsmen, as they were reduced to 28-3 with Chris Holt (5), John Clare (4) and Dan Pickup (8) all out.

Vishal Tripathi scored 26, but wickets continued to fall with only Chris Burton (44 not out) holding the innings together, and at 73-6 it looked like a score of less than 90 was on the cards as skipper Bharat Tripathi (4) and Michael Kelly (0) also fell.

Steve Brunt (19) came in and took the score to 113 with Burton, but once he was out, the remaining three wickets fell as Burnley ended all out for 123 as visiting professional Smit (5-22 off 10) and Simon Reed (3-27 off 10) did the damage. Most of the innings was played in rain, and, as the rules state you can’t start in rain, there was no chance of play restarting.

Sunday saw Burnley travel to Colne, and overnight rain had reduced the game to 40 overs apiece, with the visitors inserting Colne.

Burnley's Chris Burton batting

Burnley's Chris Burton batting

Burnley were soon on top with Graham Lalor striking early (1-20 off seven) and Jhangir Liaqat helped restrict the visitors to 24-2.

It was left to former Burnley player Amad Akram (28) and the visitors’ professional Thomas Kaber to steady the innings with a 68-ball 73.

Pickup took 2-15 off five overs and Burnley professional Chris Holt (2-47 off 11) but it was the in-form Liaqat, who for the second weekend running took five wickets in a devastating second spell, to claim 5-35 off 11.3 overs. Burnley were chasing 146, when close to 200 was on the cards before Kaber was bowled by Liaqat.

In reply, on a damp wicket which always offered something for the bowlers, Holt (6) soon was gone, but Vishal Tripathi and David Brown (20) took the score to 56 until Brown was caught at mid off from Andy Hakin (2-30).

Tripathi anchored the innings until he ran himself out for 43.

It was left to the returning Clare, who went past 4,000 Lancashire league runs, to see Burnley home with a classy 39 not out, ably assisted by Pickup (16) and Burton (10 not out) to see Burnley get maximum points for the fourth time this season and move four points clear of rivals Lowerhouse.

Next week sees the visit of East Lancashire on Saturday and then the first round of the Worsley Cup at Haslingden on Sunday.