Holders Burnley CC suited to T20 style!

Burnley Cricket Club captain Dan Pickup
Burnley Cricket Club captain Dan Pickup

Turf Moor skipper Dan Pickup feels Burnley have everything they need and more to retain their Twenty20 crown.

The defending champions had an unblemished record in the competition last year, beating East Lancs, Colne, Clitheroe, Accrington and Rishton in the JWL Founders Group before seeing off Crompton in the knockout phase and then brushing aside Ramsbottom and 2017 victors Clitheroe on Finals Day at Acre Bottom.

The holders opened their current campaign in the JWL Bitter Group with a six wicket win against Nelson at Seedhill only to then see the derby against Lowerhouse at Turf Moor abandoned last week.

They host Accrington this evening. “We had a good year in it last season so we’ll be doing our best to repeat that,” said Pickup.

“Trying to defend a trophy is a nice challenge to have, but the Twenty20 competition is one of the hardest to defend.

“You’ve got the group stages to negotiate and, once you’re out of those, anything can happen in knockout cricket.”

He added: “It’s a tough one to win time after time, but we have a side that is suited to that format. Hopefully, it will be same again this year.

“You need a variation in your bowling attack. We’ve got some good spinners, which is important.

“We’ve got a good mixture of bowlers. We’ve got lads that can score quickly up front as well. That short format suits our style.”

Lancashire League leaders Burnley, who returned to the top of Division One following victory over Norden, will then travel to Thorneyholme Road to take on Accrington again on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Lowerhouse go into this weekend’s games in confident mood after what skipper Ben Heap described as a “solid” performance in Sunday’s win at Crompton.

After five defeats in all competitions, the West Enders won by nine wickets at Glebe Street on the Duckworth/Lewis method, after making 69-1 in 22 overs, in reply to the hosts’ 104 all out, as Paddy Martin took 5-21 and Toxy Hussain 3-28.

Lowerhouse were without Joe Hawke and Francois Haasbroek, and Heap said: “We deserved the 12 points, no doubt, Duckworth/Lewis or not, it was a good, solid performance, with two key players missing as well.

“Toxy and Paddy were exceptional, and everyone pulled together.

“It breeds confidence for this weekend, especially with Joe and Francois back.”

Lowerhouse are at home to Rochdale on Sunday in the league, after tonight’s scheduled Twenty20 clash at Enfield.