Cricket: Glover stars in Burghley Park’s win over Bourne Optimists

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BURGHLEY Park took the spoils against Bourne Optimists on Sunday after a last-minute change of venue.

The clash was meant to be played at Burghley’s ground but a sodden wicket forced the move to Bourne’s ground at Edenham.

Winning the toss, Burghley skipper David Popple had no hesitation in asking to bat first on a unusually clement day using the all weather wicket.

Burghley opened with the in-form Matt Roberts and explosive Stuart Biggs. Roberts found the going tough and contributed three runs via the inside edge before falling to an in-swinging delivery from Nick Carey.

Biggs also found it hard work and certainly played in a more measured fashion, playing the ball on merit but also finding the bowling tricky on occasions.

New recruit Kieran Harris of Heritage Bats joined Biggs and signaled intentions straight away by avoiding the dreaded golden duck and playing correctly before as falling to Carey, edging behind to the keeper for two.

Alex Glover strode to the crease in imperious fashion and soon started to get the innings motoring, mixing drives down the ground with hard pull shots and crisp cut shots.

The pair of Biggs and Glover put together a 50 stand before Biggs fell, caught behind off the bowling of Jervis for a below par score of 22.

Will Plummer joined Glover and soon caught up with Glover’s stroke play, being savage on the bowling of Sherwin and Wright, hitting fours and sixes with consummate ease.

The pair added over 100 runs, with Plummer bringing up his first 50 in cricket.

Ever the sportsman, Plummer was bowled next ball trying to hurry the score on and this brought Richard Clifford who added a sparkling 15 before losing his off peg to Jervis.

Sensing he needed to up the ante, Glover started to get runs off every ball but at 77 fell trying to launch a ball out of the park, returning opening bowler Richardson taking the crucial wicket.

All-rounder Tom Stephenson and keeper Jack MceEntee saw off the final few balls to take the score to a par score of 209-5 off 40 overs.

Sensing that swing bowling was the order of the day, Popple asked Mat Simpson and Duncan Roberts to open the bowling with the pair keeping the runs down and testing the skill of Jones and Carey.

Simpson provided the break through, having Carey smartly caught one handed at point by Plummer for 11.

Popple brought on Stephenson, who took a wicket first ball, bowling a beauty that went through the gate of fellow opener Jones.

Jervis and Schilina came together and started to get the score moving once more, both punishing skipper Popple’s offspin.

However after finding his line, Popple struck having Jervis caught at mid off by a diving Plummer for 13 with Optimists skipper Nation following an out-swinger by Stephenson only to be caught sharply in the slips by Matt Roberts for a below par 0.

Biggs replaced Stephenson and soon had both batsman hoping about as well as taking a few body blows. Biggs cleaned bowled Schilina for a entertaining 27 and after some lusty hitting from Richardson, snared his wicket for 18.

Popple continued to keep things happening at the other end, with LBW shouts and missed catches happening but eventually added to his tally with the wicket of Sherwin, caught by safe hands Plummer for eight.

Stephenson assisted Plummer is his catch tally by removing Nation for seen and taking it to four catches in the match as well as recorded impressive figures of 8-1-16-3.

Bringing back the opening pair of Roberts and Simpson proved a master stroke by Popple, with Roberts persistence paying off, having Wright caught and bowled for a enterprising 15 and Simpson snaring James, caught sharply in the slips by Popple for a duck, Optimists all out 128 off 36.1 overs.

Plummer was awarded man of the match by opposing skippers Nation and Popple with Burghley next entertaining Witham Wackers on Sunday at home.