Burnley’s squad strength underlined by averages

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

Bharat Tripathi has attributed Burnley’s success to the strength of the squad but has celebrated the achievements of the club’s stand-out performers.

The skipper’s elder sibling, Vishal, culminated the campaign as the Lancashire League’s most prolific run scorer with 959.

The 28-year-old, who finished second to Ramsbottom professional Daryn Smit last year, having cracked Jon Harvey’s long-standing club record, was joined by Turf Moor team-mates Chris Holt and David Brown in the top five.

Tripathi averaged 63.93 from his 24 innings, which included an unbeaten high score of 140 against Church early in the season.

Meanwhile, paid man Holt fired 781 runs for the former champions with an average of 43.38 runs in 24 outings.

One-time Gloucestershire cricketer Brown ended the term with 758 runs in the league at an average of 75.80. His unbeaten knock of 162 at home to Nelson in June was the highest individual total in the league this season.

“It’s a fantastic achievement,” said Tripathi. “It’s been a difficult season because of the rain and the games that we’ve misse,d which makes it tough to accumulate runs.

“My brother got off to an unbelievable start and he looked like he was going to surpass his total from last season. To be touching 1,000 runs again is a superb effort. He’s been excellent.

“David Brown got off to a slow start but some of the innings he went on to play were phenomenal, not to mention the six sixes he hit in a single over the other week. He really piled on the runs at the back end of the season.

“Chris Holt has been consistent all the way through. He’s just played his own game and I’m delighted that he’s improved on last season’s tally.”

The captain added: “They are arguably the best three batters in the Lancashire League. I don’t think there’ll be many people that will question that.

“Teams know that they’re in with a chance of winning if they remove them. It’s no surprise that they are in the top five run scorers at all.

“But we can’t just isolate individuals. Everybody has played their part and made big contributions in games. They’ve played some vital knocks.”

Holt was also one of the protagonists on the bowling front, finishing joint third alongside Haslingden’s Babaar Naeem in the league’s hierarchy with 61 wickets.

The 27-year-old averaged 14.36 with the ball from 1,552 deliveries, which included a personal best of 6-34.

Tripathi joined the rankings at number five, having claimed 51 victims, with a highlight of 6-15.

Elsewhere, Jhangir Liaqat narrowly missed out on the top 10 having taken 36 wickets, though his personal best of 7-32 was one of the most impressive spells of the season.

“I don’t want to champion my own case but I think I’m leading amateur wicket taker and Jhangir Liaqat has had another breakthrough season.

“He definitely deserves a mention because he’ll be close to 60 wickets in all competitions and he’s played some very good innings with the bat too.”

Wicket-keeper Chris Burton proved to be on the ball as he was responsible for 28 dismissals over the term. “Chris Burton also had a seriously good season behind the stumps,” Tripathi said.

Lowerhouse chairman Stan Heaton wants to see more representatives in the top 10 of the end-of-season averages following a trophy-less term.

The West Enders had two players championing their cause in the batting rankings, while Paddy Martin was the only individual to make the grade in the bowling statistics.

Professional Dieter Klein scored 682 runs after flying over from South Africa to provide his services for the 2016 campaign.

The 27-year-old averaged 35.89 from his 20 innings played, with a high score of 105 coming in the 122-run triumph over East Lancs in April.

The returning Ben Heap, who had previously spent a season as professional at Padiham in the Ribblesdale Cricket League, anchored the club’s paid man in the standings as he ended the term in seventh spot.

Heap totalled 643 runs at an average of 32.15 from 21 innings which included a high score of 82.

“We’re very happy with that,” said Heaton.

“We’re obviously delighted when individuals do well because that helps the team.

“We do want to see more players up there though, hitting big runs.

“Charlie Cottam has had a positive campaign and others have improved too.

“We just need to ensure that we keep doing the right things.

“It’s been good to have Ben Heap back because he’s more than just a player at the club.

“He’s on the committee and he coaches as well.

“He’s as good a player as you would want at your club both on and off the pitch.”

On the bowling front, Paddy Martin was just edged out of the top five after claiming 49 scalps in the league this season.

The 24-year-old averaged 13.69 from 1,081 deliveries and secured a personal highlight of 6-47.

Klein added 35 wickets to his side’s arsenal, though Heaton feels that mitigating circumstances prevented the professional from increasing his haul.

“We’re slightly disappointed with his wicket haul,” said the Liverpool Road stalwart.

“There’s some gap between what he’s done for us and what we’ve seen him do for Leicestershire.

“In his defence, the tracks haven’t really suited him because we only had a fortnight in May where we had a dry wicket.

“He hasn’t had the ideal conditions.

“It certainly hasn’t been due to a lack of effort on his part.

“It’s been a great season for Paddy Martin and we’re very pleased with how he is developing.

“He’s got his opportunity this year and he’s progressing nicely.

“We’re expecting a big season from him next year.”