Burridge pair share huge stand

Seth Jackson. Picture: Mick Young (150640-02)
Seth Jackson. Picture: Mick Young (150640-02)
Hampshire's James Vince hits a six during the NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston, Birmingham. PPP-170309-212743001

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Iain Hardcastle and Seth Jackson shared a remarkable 241-run stand as Burridge II completed a thrilling run-chase to beat OTs & Romsey II in their Hampshire League showdown.

Things looked bleak for Burridge on their home track when OTs piled on the runs to post 307 for five from their 50 overs with Paul Longland helping himself to 120 not out.

And Burridge looked destined for a big defeat when they were reduced to 72 for five after 15 overs.

But skipper Hardcastle (134 not out) and Jackson (92 not out) then put the innings back together and steered their side to a memorable victory.

It was also a fitting finalé that the captain launched a mighty six with nine balls to spare.

The delighted Hardcastle admitted he was pessimistic about the chance of his side being able to get anywhere near the victory target at the midway point in the game.

He said: ‘OTs batted very well to be fair to them and we didn’t think we’d be able to chase 307.

‘But we set ourselves small targets.

‘We lost a few early wickets but in our first conversation in the middle, we decided we needed to just get batting points.

‘Then we were looking to get to 40 overs without losing a wicket to see where we were. But to get there with nine balls left was unreal.

‘We are naturally aggressive batsmen so we were not going to leave bad balls.

‘Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But we had a fantastic day.’

Hardcastle, 32, is an experienced cricketer with a long association with Burridge but revealed it was the highest run-chase he could recall.

And he was full of praise for his batting partner who probably deserved to reach three figures as well.

Hardcastle said: ‘It’s the biggest partnership I have been involved with.

‘I’ve never been involved in a game where 300 has been chased down.

‘As captain, it’s nice to take that responsibility and do what was needed.

‘I suppose it would have been good for Seth to get his ton as well but neither of us thought about our own runs. It was all about winning.

‘It was a 241-run partnership to win the game and in my mind, that is more impressive than our individual scores.

‘I don’t think we felt we had it in the bag until the last two or three overs.

‘It was always in the balance. If they had got us out, I’m not sure we would have gone on to win. The momentum would have switched.

‘We got to 200 with about 15 overs to go and knew we were in with a shout if we were both still there.’

Burridge II will now face an ever sterner task next weekend as they travel to unbeaten league leaders fair Oak.

Hardcastle said: ‘They are unbeaten but I think we can give them a run for their money.’