Burridge back up belief

Derek Kenway bats Burridge to victory. Pic: Allan Hutchings
Derek Kenway bats Burridge to victory. Pic: Allan Hutchings
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Burridge opened up the Southern Electric Premier League division one title race after inflicting a first defeat of the season on Sarisbury Athletic.

After the talk before the game from Burridge skipper Rick Ankers suggesting his side had nothing to fear, they backed it up with an accomplished performance to win by four wickets with 10 balls to spare.

In a cracking game that ebbed and flowed, Sarisbury were unusually off colour with the bat as they slumped to 86 for five.

But Joe Lovett (52) then played a vital knock, after Derek Kenway put him down early in the innings, as Athletic clambered their way to 194 before they were bowled out with three balls remaining of their 50 overs.

Dan Goldstraw then went for some bonus runs at the end of the innings.

But he was caught on the boundary by Seth Jackson to give Geoff Dods (four for 29) another scalp.

Things became somewhat heated as some supporters, and Sarisbury players, felt Jackson’s foot had touched the line in taking the catch but the umpires accepted the fielder’s word and the decision was upheld.

In reply, Kenway used all of his experience to craft a crucial 69 for Burridge as Sarisbury tried to force their way back into the game.

Dods (60 not out) also played an important role and despite the best efforts of James Ingram (four for 28), Burridge got the job done.

Delighted Burridge skipper Ankers said: ‘It was a brilliant result. We tied them down well and then we chased them beautifully.

‘I would like to say we are as good as them. I wouldn’t say we are better than them because I thought they were a very, very good side.

‘But it was a proper game of cricket and has strengthened our desire to get promoted and play sides of that quality every week.

‘It was a really good standard but it has given us a boost in confidence.’

Opposite number David Banks said: ‘Too many of us gave our wickets away but they bowled well to be fair to them.

‘Then the best player in the whole league, in my opinion, won them the game.

‘We knew Derek Kenway could do that and Dods batted well too to stick with him. If we had got one of those two earlier, I think we would have won it comfortably.

‘But fair play to them. We were never going to go unbeaten for the whole season. Now it’s up to us to bounce back from the defeat.’

On the controversial catch, Banks said: ‘I’m not saying it cost us the game at all. They deserved to win, to be honest.

‘It’s just one of those things that is in the back of your head. And you wonder what another 10 runs or so might have done.’

Ankers replied: ‘Seth took the catch but didn’t move or step back – he just looked down. I was watching him like a hawk.

‘He said he was sure he didn’t touch the line and that was good enough for me. Some people watching from 50 or 60 yards away thought he touched the line. How they could see it, I don’t know.

‘Even if it had gone the other way, I’ve no doubt we would have chased the extra 10 runs or so anyway.’