Burridge out to dethrone South Wilts
Unbeaten Burridge will face their toughest test so far this season when reigning Southern League premier division champions South Wilts visit Botley Road.
The home side boast a 100-per-cent record to date, with opening bowler Dan Stancliffe wreaking havoc with the opposition batting.
He has already claimed two five-wicket hauls and last season caused South Wilts problems in their ‘time pennant’ game which ebbed and flowed.
In the end Burridge brought their rivals’ seven-match winning streak to a halt by getting the better of a winning draw.
Stancliffe (three for 56) played a major role in pegging South Wilts back before lunch, and along with Lee Savident (four for 25) put their opponents on the back foot.
Savident is unavailable for the home side but vice captain Dan Hewitt is backing Stancliffe to get into the champions.
‘South Wilts didn’t enjoy facing him last summer and he has started this season on fire,’ said Hewitt.
‘He has already claimed two five-wicket hauls, against Hampshire Academy and New Milton.
‘I wouldn’t want to face him at the moment
‘He possesses a lot of skill, a natural variation and a decent pace.
‘His awkward action is difficult to pick up and he gets a lot of people out early doors.
‘He is the sort of bowler you can bring back into the attack and know that he will be straight into it.
‘At times he can be a bit moody but that isn’t a bad thing for a fast bowler.’
Even though Burridge are forced to make five changes from last week’s side, Hewitt insists they remain a competitive outfit.
Top-order batsman Ben Fitchet is drafted in from Guernsey for his debut, after playing most recently in the Sussex League.
Off-spinner Seth Jackson is also back from Loughborough University to give the home side a boost.
After struggling to stay in the premier league last season, Burridge have enjoyed their new lease of life at the start of this campaign.
Hewitt puts a lot of it down to increased confidence after making a winning start.
‘We have had a fairly kind start to the season fixture-wise and that has helped,’ he said.
‘But we have gone out and beaten what has been in front of us.
‘That has given us the confidence of knowing how to win games.
‘The New Milton win was particularly important because it showed that we can come through tight games and win them.
‘Positivity has been the key for us so far.
‘A number of our players are now in their second and third season in the premier and have learned from their experience.
‘There is a good mood in the camp and we will be even stronger when a few more lads return from university.’