BURRIDGE captain Rick Ankers paid tribute to ‘unplayable’ Dan Stancliffe after his six-wicket haul inspired a remarkable win over Alton.
Having failed with the bat, hosts Burridge stared defeat in the face after setting their opponents a lowly target of 128 in the Southern Electric Premier League premier division.
But Stancliffe, opening the bowling for the first time in the absence of Nick McMurray, had other ideas – ripping through the Alton order to seal a victory as impressive as it was unlikely.
And Ankers, who refused to accept his side were beaten at the midway point, was delighted with the quality of the bowling at Botley Road.
He said: ‘If we get it all together as a bowling unit we are a match for any side, so there was always a glimour of hope for us in the game.
‘But if you are chasing 127, then you expect to get it.
‘In 25 years plus of league cricket, I have only played in about three or four games like that.
‘It shows you don’t need to score a load of runs to have a good game.
‘Thankfully, as bad as we were with the bat, we were outstanding with the ball.
‘And I have to say that was one of the best spells of bowling from Dan Stancliffe I have ever seen.
‘He was virtually unplayable.
‘He has bowled well all season without a great deal of luck, although I think he has now got 21 wickets at 11 (runs) apiece which is outstanding.
‘Saturday was the first time he has opened the bowling for us, with one of our other bowlers (McMurray) away.
‘And he just bowled brilliantly.’
Also catching the eye for the hosts was all-rounder Geoff Dodds who made 18 with the bat, only behind Lee Savident (22), before taking four wickets of his own.
For Ankers, Dodds represents the best of his type in the league.
He said: ‘In my opinion, he (Dodds) is the best all-rounder in the league.
‘He gives you everything, he is dogged, never gives his wicket away and has got 350 runs now.
‘He was unlucky on Saturday, he got out to a good ball when he was hitting them nicely.
‘In three seasons he has bowled badly once – at St Cross last year,
‘That’s the only game where I can say he has bowled badly which probably tells you something about his consistency.’
As well as Burridge bowled though, Ankers admitted his frustration at another ‘terrible’ batting display.
He said: ‘We batted terribly and played some of the worst shots I’ve ever seen.
‘We have been very poor of late with the bat and have to learn to build partnerships and bat as a unit rather than as individuals.
‘If we keep playing millionaire shots all the time we are going to get bowled out for 127.’