Burghley must be at their best

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SECOND-placed Burghley Park will have to be back to their best against top side Cople Argus in Division Two of the Hunts League tomorrow.

Burghley slipped to a rare defeat last week after posting only 64 runs against a mid-table Nassington 2nd XI.

In a match heavily affected by rain and notable absenteeism, Burghley struggled after winning the toss and putting their visitors in to bat on a classic sticky wicket.

Tom Dolby and stand-in skipper Mat Simpson opened the bowling, with Simpson showing why he currently tops the league bowling averages.

Dolby bowled with pace and aggression albeit off a shortened run up due to the weather.

Simpson made the first breakthrough, having Mark Yeales caught mid-wicket by Austin Schwarz before the heavens opened.

Play was then held up for an hour and a quarter but upon retaking the field, Simpson had Phil Slinn caught and bowled.

Seasoned player Bill Taylor showed aggressive intent before edging a Stuart Biggs bouncer through to stand-in wicket keeper John Sheppard, but Steve Masterton and Adam Craig showed sprit and resilience scoring 21 and 38 respectively. Masterton lost his wicket to Michael Jones and Craig fell to a splendid catch in the covers by Matt Roberts off the bowling of Dolby.

The remaining wickets soon fell to Vince Spurr, Biggs, Dolby and Simpson leaving Burghley chasing 121. Simpson confirmed his class, finishing with figures of four wickets for 22 off 7.3 overs that included two maidens.

Burghley’s reply opened with returning stalwart Nigel Sabin and Rob Chorlton.

But Sabin soon lost his wicket, caught in the covers of the bowling of Haroon Bashir, and David Popple came and went without troubling the scorers, falling LBW to the left arm spin of Craig.

Wickets then began to tumble with Shepperd, Roberts and Corlton all falling to the bowling of Craig, with the latter caught by young Tom Burns.

Biggs showed resilience and fighting sprit, crafting a careful 19 before stepping down the wicket only to be stumped.

Schwarz added six and Spurr an entertaining 12, with one big 6, before both were architects of there own demise.

Dolby never looked settled, scoring just a single, but although Jones showed promise with 11, he edged behind and nearly ran himself out before leaving Simpson stranded on 2 and Burghley bowled out for a miserly 64.