Burridge skipper backs high-class Hilio to top charts

Joe Collings-Wells is also in good form for Burridge with 307 runs so far. Picture: Vernon Nash (180397-034)
Joe Collings-Wells is also in good form for Burridge with 307 runs so far. Picture: Vernon Nash (180397-034)
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Rick Ankers has tipped South African batsman Hilio de Abreu to finish the season as the leading runscorer in the Southern League premier division.

The 25-year-old, who hails from Cape Town, hit his second ton of the summer in Burridge’s 106-run win over Alton last weekend.

He scored 115 and shared a second-wicket partnership of 98 with Joe Collings-Wells (76) in the success at the Ridge.

Having already hit 100 against St Cross, de Abreu now has 351 runs to his name – with Hampshire Academy’s Felix Organ topping the charts on 524.

But Ankers, who is aiming to complete a double over title-chasing South Wilts on Saturday, believes his overseas player will kick on over the second half of the season.

The skipper said: ‘Hilio is a proper cricketer and batted beautifully against Alton.

‘He looked at the game situation and set his stall out to get a hundred. His innings was paced perfectly.

‘He picked the gaps and hit the ball so cleanly. That was his second ton this summer and he can easily go on and get more.

‘I can see him finishing with around 700 runs for the season.’

De Abreu arrived on the recommendation of his Cape Town skipper Geoff Dods – Burridge’s long-serving overseas player.

Ankers was hoping to bring Dods back again but work prevented his return.

Instead, Dods suggested de Abreu, who had played previously in Kent.

The South African has proved a big success – both on and off the pitch.

Burridge’s victory over Alton was a timely return to form after defeat to Havant the previous week.

‘Our score of 292 was always going to be an imposing one and difficult for Alton to chase down,’ added Ankers.

 ‘The league is very open this year – with lots of teams beating each other.

‘We are in sixth at the moment but still in with a good chance if everything goes right for us.

‘Our first target is to try to complete the double over South Wilts, though.

‘They are a good side but it is a game where all the lads feel they can step up.

‘If we play at the top of our game then we will give ourselves a good chance.’

Burridge’s second-highest runscorer this season is Collings-Wells with 307.