A wrecking ball four wickets in an over by Ashley Redgard (5 for 17) went a long way towards Burgh & District Cricket Club’s comfortable seven-wicket victory over Timberland in Division Two of the Readers South Lincs & Borders Cricket League on Saturday.
This was a match dominated by the ball, bowlers on both teams extracting copious amounts of help from the crumbly Station Road pitch, and all was done and dusted by five o’clock.
With Burgh’s square still temperamental, weather-disrupted early season preparations largely to blame, whichever team was first to bat was like as not going to have the odds against them and Timberland, short straw in hand, quickly fell into survival mode as Scott Underwood struck thrice to leave the visitors on 22 for three after 11 overs.
That Timberland were going to be out of luck on this particular afternoon was graphically illustrated by the utterly fluke dismissal of their number three batsman, Blankley, who edged hard towards third slip where Richard Underwood, in his attempt to make the catch low down, inadvertently kneed the ball with some force several yards to his left and straight into the gloves of keeper Richard Hill.
Through Tonge and King, Timberland did recover a little and, although the former was to fall to Redgard upon the latter’s introduction to Burgh’s attack, it was enough to encourage King and his fifth-wicket partner Durwood into a more proactive search for runs.
The visitors’ outlook briefly shone brighter but two false shots leading to two excellent catches, one by Jamie Taylor diving forward at mid-on and Paul Wilkinson back-pedalling at long off, left both King and Durwood pavilion-bound and Burgh in full control.
King’s dismissal came at the start of Redgard’s fifth over, one that brought the Burgh bowler a total of four wickets, and twice took him so close to a hat-trick.
The over left the visitors gobsmacked and Burgh buzzing. With Sharp removing Mickleburgh in the very next over the last of the wheels thus fell off Timberland’s rickety wagon.
The visitors’ collapse from 66 for four to 66 all out, came in the space of just 15 balls.
With 65 overs at their disposal, Burgh had no need of exuberance in their reply.
Timberland’s varied attack caused problems aplenty without breaking Burgh’s resolve or achieving anything beyond one early wicket.
A solid second-wicket stand between Phil Sharp and Steve Bruce almost saw the Millers to victory on their own but a couple of hiccups meant that it would be left to Bruce (28 no) and that man Redgard to finish securing full points.
Burgh passed Timberland’s meagre total in their 21st over having reached 70 for three.