Burnley and Lowerhouse both record wins ahead of highly anticipated cup semi-final

GOOD EFFORT: Lowerhouse's Ben Heap made a solid 27 in their victory over East Lancs.
GOOD EFFORT: Lowerhouse's Ben Heap made a solid 27 in their victory over East Lancs.
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Lowerhouse kept up the pressure on leaders Accrington with a well earned victory over East Lancs.

The champions batted first on a wicket that looked more suitable for growing vegetables on than playing cricket.

They found it hard going in the early stages with the in form Jonny Whitehead going for just six. Jack Edgar also struggled on the tricky wicket as he could only muster 5.

Ben Heap (27), Francois Haasbroek (33) and Paddy Martin (25), however, grafted hard to get the score somewhere near respectable.

Martin was one of three wickets in a row as Joe Hawke (diamond duck) and Matt Walker (golden duck) came and went without scoring. Fergus Bailey (5*) and Chris Bleazard (13*) prevented the home side from getting the bowling bonus as Lowerhouse ended their innings on 155/8, a very decent effort under the circumstances.

The home side’s innings did not start well as Lord nicked one behind to Joe Martin off the bowling of Haasbroek for just two. At the other end, Joe Hawke was bowling an impressive spell and was rewarded with 2 wickets in 2 balls including getting professional Ockert Erasmus for a golden duck.

Paddy Martin and Matt Walker continued to cement the visitors’ superiority by taking four more wickets between them (Walker’s dismissals of Kelly and Westhead were particularly special) to leave the home side in tatters at 60/7.

Nick Turner (41) then came to the crease and hit a series of boundaries to give the home side a glimmer of hope. Haasbroek, though, had other ideas and took the last three wickets for 10 runs to dismiss East Lancs for 125. Mini Bhada (22) and Danny Chester (11) were the only other batsmen to reach double figures.

Lowerhouse are away to Todmorden in the league on Saturday before Sunday’s Worsley cup semi against Burnley.

Burnley warmed up for the big semi-final against Lowerhouse next week with a comfortable double win against Todmorden in the Twenty20 and the league on Sunday.

On Sunday Burnley entertained Todmorden in the league and were inserted and started brightly despite the early loss of stand in captain Simon Newbitt (12) by Cole Hayman.

A partnership of 123 between professional Gyan Alwis (97) and Ben Sutcliffe (46) was broken by Hayman when he bowled Sutcliffe. After this wickets fell at regular intervals, noticeable for the run out of Alwis by a direct hit from captain Bharat Tripathi which helped slow the scoring rate down. Hayman bowled a hostile spell taking 4-45 off 12 and supported by Tripathi 1-53 and Adnan Rasool 2-83.

In response the home side lost the early wicket of Dan Pickup (11) but eased to 103 off 21 overs with both Chris Burton and Qasim Ali scoring 44 when big half centuries were there for the taking until lapses in concentration led to their demise. This led to Tripathi to lead his team home with an unbeaten 62 ably supported by chairman Michael Brown with an undefeated 34 to secure a comfortable six wicket win with a couple of overs to go.

Friday night saw Todmorden visit Turf Moor again in the Twenty20 and the visitors were soon in trouble by losing early wickets with good bowling and soon had them 28-5 and eventually 42-8 with Hayman (3-12), Steve Brunt (1-9), Rasool (2-18) and James Capstick (1-18) the wicket takers.

Youngster Tom Lawson also impressed in his first competitive game for the first team with three tidy overs. In reply Burnley used the power play overs to be 55-0 off six overs with Josh Whitehead smashing 52 off 30 balls and reducing the target of 91 to an easy chase with Burton (22) helping his side to an easy win off only 10 overs.

Next week sees Burnley entertain East Lancs on Saturday followed by that Worsley cup semi.