Cavaliers burst Burgh’s bubble

A shorthanded Burgh failed to halt Cavaliers’ push for promotion on Saturday afternoon at the Woodlands Sports Centre, Castor, near Peterborough.

A battling performance in defence of a low total, insufficient to prevent the Millers suffering a four-wicket defeat at the hands of the side second-placed in Division Three of the South Lincs and Borders League.

Electing to bat and with designs on at least posting a decent total, Burgh could hardly have wished for a more encouraging start with an opening stand of 95 from Mark Johnson and Phil Sharp; Johnson particularly in fine form collecting a half-century as the Millers seemed on course to test Cavaliers.

Then, just as the duo had begun to accelerate the run rate, Burgh’s bubble of optimism burst. Excellent fielding by Ingram in the covers produced a direct hit to run out Sharp (31) before a couple of overs. Later Johnson (61) swung a poor delivery from Hayes straight to the same Cavaliers fielder at deep mid-wicket.

The transformation of fortunes that now took place was stark indeed. The remainder of the Burgh innings was a sorry tale of bad luck and mishap.

Taylor being gifted figures of 5 for 26 and only two more batsmen, Tony Beardsley and Chris Keeler, reached double figures.

Burgh’s final score of 137 for 9 had ‘un-competitive’ written all over it, but sometimes, just sometimes, cricket’s a funny old game.

With more than fifty overs at their disposal, Cavaliers could afford a steady approach. and initially, with Hayes comfortably dispatching the odd bad ball to the boundary their reply started smoothly with no sign of trouble on the horizon.

Then Burgh’s skipper Richard Underwood threw a rogue spanner in the works with the introduction of an irregular, part-time bowler and as often happens, this disrupted the rhythm of the Cavaliers batsmen.

Keeler’s brief appearance with ball in hand tempted Hayes (25) into an ill-judged stroke, a wide delivery being slapped straight to Pete Blackmore at cover and the Millers had their breakthrough.

Three more wickets then fell for the addition of only twenty runs,

Battle was now fully joined and with spinner Sharp tying down one end, his twelve overs would only cost seventeen runs, Burgh’s appetite for Cavalier wickets grew.

Cavaliers though changed tack and as their middle-order became far more proactive in their run-making, cameos from Sikander and Dale broke the visitors’ stranglehold.

The Millers would claim two more wickets to leave their hosts interestingly poised at 109 for 6 but there would be no further successes for Burgh.

As evening drew on, Sweary (33 no) and Taylor had little difficulty in guiding Cavaliers past the winning post in the thirty-eighth over.