Burnley professional makes a dramatic entrance, but locals fall just short of victory

Michael Kelly
Michael Kelly

Burnley professional Imad Wasim announced himself in his first game by nearly pulling off a victory in a thrilling contest against Haslingden on Saturday.

With the Sky Sports cameras once again with Burnley for the upcoming Clublife programme, scheduled during the first Test between England and Sri Lanka, Haslingden elected to bat at Turf Moor.

And after Wasim struck early at 19 then there was a big partnership of 151 for the second wicket between the visiting captain Graham Knowles and Lee Ingham.

But at 172-1, with 11 overs left, Burnley fought back, with the introduction of stand-in skipper Michael Kelly, taking the wickets of both the set batsmen, and in spin tandem with the pro, Wasim ended up with 4-96 off 24 overs, and the visitors setting a target of 241 on another good batting track.

In reply, Andy Beet, promoted to the top of the order, and Qasim Ali quickly set about their run chase, and were 30 off three overs, until the run out of Beet, which brought Wasim to the crease.

After a patient start, he attacked and scored a magnificent 113, but was run out in the last over in trying to keep the strike.

He was supported well by Ali (26), and the middle order of Steve Whittaker (24), Kelly (19) and Aidan Tate.

With 13 needed off the last over, and six needed off the last ball, it was just out of reach, with Burnley losing by five runs in the end but still claiming 5 bonus points in defeat.

The next day was scheduled for a rematch against Haslingden in the Worsley Cup, but the wet weather contributed to this being called off as the Haslingden square looked more like a pond than a cricket pitch!

So the game will be rescheduled for Saturday, with the start of the Twenty20 against Nelson away on Friday night, and the repeat of this game in the league on Sunday at Seedhill.