Pressure is easing on the champions

Burnleys David Brown finished unbeaten on 162 in the league victory over Nelson
Burnleys David Brown finished unbeaten on 162 in the league victory over Nelson

Turf Moor skipper Bharat Tripathi believes that Burnley’s recent run has taken some of the pressure off the Lancashire League champions.

Following an uninspiring start to the defence of their crown, the history-makers have gone on to plug the gap to four points on current leaders Ramsbottom.

After addressing defeat to East Lancs with victory over Rawtenstall, Burnley registered three consecutive maximums as they put Rishton, Lowerhouse and Nelson to the sword.

Ahead of Sunday’s game against Haslingden on home soil, Tripathi said: “The league table starts to level itself out at this time of the season.

“It’s good that we’ve managed to start climbing higher because it takes some of the pressure off. We’re happy to be in the mix and that we’re not having to play catch up.

“It’s a reflection on how well we’ve done recently. Our bowling has clicked and the fielding has been superb for a number of games on the bounce now.

“We’re improving with the bat as well and David Brown’s unbeaten 160 (v Nelson) was fantastic and shows that he’s hitting form. We need to maintain that momentum now and keep moving forward.”

Tripathi will be hoping that the former Gloucestershire and Glamorgan man will be able to emulate that form when Nelson return to Belvedere Road in the quarter-final of the Worsley Cup tomorrow.

The cup-holders set a new record when landing a third successive triumph in the competition at the expense of Nelson in last season’s final at Seedhill.

“It’s a repeat of last season’s final and the game last week but this is a new game and another challenge for us,” said Tripathi.

“You’re only as good as the account that you give of yourself on the day so there won’t be any complacency on our part.

“They’ve got good bowling options - medium pace and spin - so we’ll assess the situation and work on a game plan to address that attack.

“But we’ve got options with the ball as well. We’ve got a fast bowler, left arm seamer, left arm spin, a right arm off-spin and a couple of medium pace bowlers.

“We’ll look to restrict them and keep things tight for as long as possible by rotating the strike to prevent them from dictating.”

And Tripathi believes the competition’s format is tailored to suit his side which harbours a number of List A cricketers.

“We are not just a cup side even though the cup is very special to us,” he said. “We like the way the format, with bowling limitations, changes the game as well.

“We relish that because you need to be more calculated. We like the management and tactical side of the game too which is like List A and County format. We thrive on it.

“The cup is important to us. Having won it three years on the bounce it would be lovely to keep that run going.

“We’ve established a record in the Worsley Cup, we’ve not lost in 13 games in the competition and there have been some big occasions within that as well. This will be another.”