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Heap’s ‘House are starting to gel

New Burnley professional Asif Zakir
New Burnley professional Asif Zakir
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In the Lancashire League, champions Clitheroe suffered their first defeat of the campaign at the hands of Burnley at Chatburn Road.

Professional Asif Zakir’s (pictured) unbeaten half century on his league bow was much needed for the visitors as they chased Clitheroe’s 206-9 finish.

The Pakistani all-rounder struck three fours and as many sixes during his 80-ball knock as he culminated the innings on 59 to see Burnley through to a six-wicket win.

Sub professional Karl Brown was the mainstay of the home side’s innings with the Lancashire cricketer posting 84 runs, made up of nine boundaries.

The combination of Cole Hayman and Chris Holt slowed down Clitheroe’s progress as they claimed three wickets apiece while Joe McCluskie chipped in with another couple.

Qasim Shah hit a career best 34 in a 79-run stand for the second wicket with Liam Bedford who ended the afternoon on 33.

Zakir added 97 for the fourth wicket with Joey Marshall (40), with the latter firing four boundaries having faced 63 deliveries.

Meanwhile, Lowerhouse climbed to seventh in the table after registering their second victory from the opening three fixtures of the season.

Captain Ben Heap was delighted with the way in which the West Enders blended in the eight-wicket triumph over newcomers Middleton at the Brooks Foundation Ground.

Former title-winning paid man Francois Haasbroek took 5-41 to help bowl out the away side for 124 before serving professional Ockert Erasmus hit an unbeaten 60, including 11 fours, to take the hosts to victory in the 23rd over. Haasbroek also made an unbeaten 26 and Heap added 23.

“We showed that we are starting to gel on Sunday and we’re discovering each other’s roles and responsibilities,” said Heap.

“Middleton were under pressure all the way through their innings and found it really difficult to score against us.

“Our fielding was of a very high standard and we’re hoping, now the first few games have passed, that we’re understanding each other’s mindsets better.”