FUAD Ahmed helped Burnham Sports beat Great Totham by 43 runs and climb back up to second place in the T.Rippon Mid-Essex League first division.

Ahmed, from Bangladesh, is observing Ramadan, which means that he is halfway through fasting for the month.

However, he has pledged to carry on playing cricket unless there are extreme weather conditions and he certainly played his part last Saturday.

On a pitch of uneven bounce that offered assistance to the bowlers the whole match, the 18-year-old, who bats left-handed but bowls right-handed, made a fluent 42 - the highest score achieved by any batsman in the match. Later, he returned to take two important wickets.

“It’s great that Fuad feels able to carry on playing,” Jamie Hamilton, the Burnham captain said. “I’m not sure how many of us would be able to go through the day without anything to eat or drink - let alone play so well.

“Having lost out past two matches and then had a week break, it was important for us to get back in the groove.

“Conditions made it tricky, especially early on when we were put into bat, but we grafted hard.”

Ahmed shared in a 40-run partnership for the third wicket with Grant Smith (28) after his team had lost a couple of early wickets, and there were also valuable contributions from Ali Allchin (29), Robin Whittaker (26) and Jack Silvester (19 not out).

Powell (four for 47) and Cheeseman (three for 20) were the pick of the Totham bowlers.

Totham had been bowled out for just 30 in the reverse fixture and, despite always being up with the required run rate, lost wickets at regular intervals.

Whittaker, enjoying another prolific season, was the pick of their attack and finished with figures of three for 38. Allchin started indifferently but redeemed himself, claiming three for 32.

Andy Stephens and Ahmed shared the other four wickets.

Dominic Whittaker was typically athletic behind the stumps, while Robin Whittaker swooped low to take a superb catch in the gully.

This Saturday, Sports play away to Bentley - hoping to repeat the comfortable win that they enjoyed over them earlier in the campaign.

Meanwhile. Burnham’s 2nd XI were playing at home to Chignal and were frustrated to lose a tight contest by 22 runs.

Roger Perrin (12-4-23-2), Joel Whittaker (11-1-40-2) and schoolboy debutant Leroy Sande (3-0-5-2) got among the wickets as Chignal, batting first, were restricted to 145 for seven from their 45 overs.

David May (12-2-30-0) also kept the brake on, with the visiting team indebted to M.Cant (75) and R.Cant (49).

No other batsman managed more than six.

A target of 146 looked well within Burnham’s capabilities but only Whittaker - a forceful 56 that included eight fours and three sixes - and Rob Layzell (26) got into double figures.

Chignal also had the luxury of players from their defunct first XI side, with Hodgeson, who was bowling in the premier league last summer, taking five for 43.

This Saturday, the second XI play at home to Wickham, who are second in the division nine table.