Burnley make decent start in rain-affected Worsley Cup semi

NICE SHOT:  Kasim Ali (pro) bats for Burnley against Lowerhouse in the Worsley Cup semi-final. Photo: Georgie Brewster.
NICE SHOT: Kasim Ali (pro) bats for Burnley against Lowerhouse in the Worsley Cup semi-final. Photo: Georgie Brewster.

Burnley entered one of the most anticipated weekends in many a year but ultimately it was the weather which proved victorious.

In the big Fosters Worsley Cup semi-final on Sunday against Lowerhouse in wet conditions play was delayed until 2pm to give the ground a chance to dry out.

The rules of the Fosters Worsley Cup meant 50 overs have to be played with no reductions. Burnley won the toss and batted first on a good track but they had a disastrous start when Joe Hawke got Daniel Pickup caught at cover in the first over by Charlie Cottam.

There was then a partnership of 54 between keeper Chris Burton (12) and Qasim Ali (72) until a mix up in running left Burton stranded. The good batting continued with captain Bharat Tripathi putting on 79 with Ali. Burnley had got themselves into a good position but were never able to cut loose against some good economical bowling.

With 15 overs left it looked like 250 could have been on the cards but losing both Ali to Paddy Martin and Tripathi who top edged an ambitious sweep in consecutive overs put paid to this. This was compounded by the unfortunate injury to Steve Brunt who had to retire hurt after pulling his calf. It was left to cameos from professional Adnan Rasool (12), Michael Kelly (13) and Steve Whittaker (25 not out) to post a competitive 208-8. The pick of an impressive bowling display was Matt Walker 4-36 off 10, Hawke took one wicket for 24 off 3 overs, Martin 1-40 and Declan Bailey 1-32 off 9 as the successful bowlers.

Lowerhouse were about to start their innings when constant rain stopped this from happening and left the game to be completed on Saturday at 1pm with the visitors to start their reply.

Saturday saw East Lancs visit Turf Moor and in a reduced 21 over game in wet conditions the visitors soon got into their stride and made 166-3. Both Minhaj Bhada (61) and visitors professional Ockert Erasmus (62) got quick fifties but at tea time the rain came and ended the contest to give each team three points.

Next week sees the Burnley entertain Lowerhouse in the Twenty20 on Friday night, the completion of the Worsley Cup on Saturday and travel to Rawtenstall on Sunday.

Lowerhouse started Battle of Burnley week-end by setting up base camp at Todmorden.

The first skirmish saw the ‘House needing a convincing victory to get into contention for the Twenty20 semi-finals and that was achieved in style.

Lowerhouse made 184-4, with pro Francois Haasbroek (65) and Paddy Martin (52 not out) coming to the fore. Todmorden never looked in contention and were dismissed for 101. Fergus Bailey was miserly with 2 for 11 and Paddy Martin continued his superb form with 2-18.

Lowerhouse’s second mission was their League match versus Todmorden on the same Centre Vale battlefield. It would prove horses for courses as Haasbroek and Paddy Martin starred again.

It was no surprise that ‘House were invited to bat when the toss was lost because of the threat of bad weather. Jonny Whitehead looked in top form but when he was out for 27, it left the innings at 40-3. It was deja vu all over again for the pro’ and Paddy as they put on 115. Martin was bowled for a well made 42 but Haasbroek proved unstoppable as he went on to make his first Lancashire League century.

He finished on 131 not out, taking 27 (including four sixes) of Tod pro’ Alwis’s last over. Lowerhouse’s total of 254-5 off 46 overs would prove too much for a depleted opposition. Todmorden’s reply was steady at first but after their two impressive openers were gone at 58, there would be none of the necessary acceleration. In fact the home pro’ Alwis batted over 30 overs for 41 as the reply got increasingly turgid. The innings finished on 147-8 leaving ‘House winners by 107 runs.