BURGER NEL is having a major influence as Purbrook continue to blossom in their first year back in Southern League division three.
The South African took another three wickets as Purbrook romped to an eight-wicket win at Hursley Park.
This latest win, their sixth of the season, helped Purbrook climb to fourth in the league.
It is a far cry from the start of the season when Martin Lee’s side lost their first three games back at the higher level
Lee praised the contribution of all-rounder Nel who is in the country for the first time as an overseas player .
‘Burger has been a solid addition to our squad and more than useful acquisition,’ said Lee.
‘He is easily one of our better fielders and one of the keenest overseas recruits we have had.
‘His appetite is one of wanting to play all the time and he still possesses ambitions to play at a higher level.
‘As an off-spinner he is a little unorthodox with his arms waving around a bit but it works for him.
‘It is not so much the wickets he takes but more his consistency never going for many runs.
‘I know I can rely on him to come on and increase the scoreboard pressure on the batsmen.
‘On occasions I have even had him opening the bowling.
‘Apart from his contribution in matches he has also spent a lot of time coaching our Colts where he has done a lot of great work.’
Against Hursley Park Nel went on second change and removed one of the big hitting home batsmen who was starting to look dangerous.
If he had stayed in for any length of time he could have severely damaged Purbrook’s chances.
Instead Nel had him clean bowled and Hursley finished on a total of 144 or nine.
Lee had ben forced to reshuffle his batting order because of unavailability which meant Clark Harding opened for the first time this summer.
Harding (54) stepped up to the plate and along with Lee (27) put on 60 for the first wicket.
Lee also promoted Aaron Dean (47 not out) from number nine to number three but once again the gamble paid off.
‘Aaron had ben averaging just three runs and his confidence was low,’ said Lee.
‘His runs are another big positive for us.’
The win pretty much guarantees Purbrook’s safety.
Lee feels they can relax and enjoy the final four games of the season.
He may even take the opportunity to blood a few youngsters.
‘When we were struggling at the start we knew we didn’t have to press the panic button,’ added the Purbrook captain.
‘Once we got the first win things started to come together.’