Holt's century in vain as rain causes further disruption
It's as you were at the top end of the Lancashire League after rain played its part once again by causing further disruption.
The leading trio were well positioned at the halfway stage in their respective fixtures with table-toppers Ramsbottom closing on 220-6 against Nelson at Acre Bottom, defending champions Burnley were 268-6 against Todmorden at Turf Moor while Lowerhouse culminated their innings on 242-6 against Rawtenstall at the Worswick Memorial Ground.
Burnley, currently second and four points adrift of the leaders, were flying on home soil as Vishal Tripathi and Chris Holt put on 177 for the opening wicket.
Former Northamptonshire cricketer Tripathi hit 75 before guiding Andrew Sutcliffe’s delivery in to the hands of Elliott Gilford.
And the club’s professional registered his highest tally when firing 116 prior to his exit as Hamza Ali and Sutcliffe combined to good effect.
Michael Kelly also hit an unbeaten 30 and Michael Midwood 20 on his Lancashire League debut. Visiting skipper Sutcliffe took 3-44 while Ali claimed figures of 3-79.
Elsewhere, Chris Bleazard’s 106th Lancashire League half century was a feature of Lowerhouse’s high-scoring innings.
The veteran hit seven fours and two sixes from 43 balls in an unbeaten 50. Ben Heap also made 60 from 104 balls with five fours and two sixes, professional Dieter Klein hit 43, Adam Hugill 21, skipper Charlie Cottam 20, Jon Finch 18 and Paddy Martin an unbeaten 17.
Keith Roscoe took 3-47 from 17 overs for Rawtenstall.
Meanwhile, holders Burnley stayed top of the Pride of Pendle Group in the Twenty20 competition after a 30-run win over East Lancs. The elder Tripathi sibling made 46, paid man Holt 30 and Steve Brunt 17 in Burnley’s 143-7.
Holt then took 3-15 and skipper Bharat Tripathi 2-20 to restrict East Lancs to 113-7. Mo Bhada made 34, Shahrukh Khan 17, skipper John Turner 14, Lewis Pearson an unbeaten 12 and James Westhead an unbeaten 11.
“It was another game where the rain came down at exactly the wrong time,” said captain Tripathi.
“It has been the same in successive weeks now. We posted another good score with 260-odd runs on the board and then the rain starts to come on the final ball of the innings.
“It was a very good batting performance, though, and it was good to see the lads continuing their fine form.
“Chris Holt has been scoring freely recently which is fantastic. He must have scored more than 250 runs in his last three innings now which will be great for his confidence.
“There’s probably around 1,000 runs between Chris and my brother now as well. It was a fantastic knock from Chris to bring up another ton for the club.”
Tripathi added: “We’re guaranteed to go through in the Twenty20 now as well. We’ll finish in the top two which gives us a home draw in the quarter-final which is a big plus.
“We’ve just got one game to go against Enfield now and whoever wins that will finish top of the group.
“It’s a hugely important game for us even though we’ve already progressed to the knockout stage. We want to top the group in order to get a more favourable tie in the quarter-final.”
Burnley face a potentially season-defining weekend which starts at Dill Hall Lane where they’ll tackle Enfield in the Twenty20 competition on Friday.
They will then entertain Ramsbottom in a top-of-the-table clash on home turf on Saturday before Firwood Bootle CC are the visitors on Sunday in the last 16 of the LCB Knockout Cup.
Lowerhouse travel to Blackburn Road to take on Church in the Twenty20, they’ll then face Haslingden at Bentgate in the league before rounding off the action against Ramsbottom in the county cup at Liverpool Road.