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Burnham Sports look to bounce back
2:05pm Thursday 21st June 2012 in Sport
BURNHAM Sports will bid to bounce back from a cruel defeat at the hands of Southweald when they entertain Bentley at Millfields on Saturday.
Sports reached the brink of victory in their latest T.Rippon Mid-Essex League first division clash after fine individual performances by Jalal Ahmed and Joel Whittaker, but ended up losing by by a single wicket – having added 33 to the visitors’ total in wides.
Skipper Andy Stephens, unable to bowl for a third week because of a shoulder problem, said: “When you lose by such a narrow margin, you can go back and find a dozen reasons that made the difference.
“What really disappointed me, though, was the number of times we strayed with the ball.
“The league have brought in very strict rules regarding wides, but to bowl 33 was inexcusable.
“Throw in another five no balls and, essentially, we gifted Southweald almost a quarter of the runs that they required.”
Defending a tally of 162 – a respectable total given the softish pitch, slow outfield and extreme wind – Burnham had success in their grasp after reducing Southweald to 113 for seven and then 141 for nine.
However, the visitors’ last pair stood firm, with Sharma, batting at nine, making an unbeaten 35 to tip the scales in his team’s favour.
Defeat was particularly hard on Whittaker, who excelled bowling into one of the strongest winds ever known at the club.
Several times he had to abort running in, but, showing great persistence, finished with a haul of six for 48.
Wicketless in his first five-over spell, he took six for 28 in his second seven-over stint.
It was the second time in a month that the accurate medium pacer had finished with six wickets.
Ali Allchin (two for 34) also enjoyed some success but, ultimately, Burnham were left to reflect on bowling too many wides and no balls.
Earlier, Burnham had struggled to gain the initiative after losing the toss and being invited to bat.
Opening batsmen Dominic Whittaker (25) and Paul Green (15) began well enough but, having been 29 without loss, the home team stumbled to 62 for five.
Ahmed and Stephens turned things round with a sixth-wicket stand of 58, before the latter was run out.
Ahmed, playing his first game for almost a year after returning from Saudi Arabia, dominated the partnership and went on to finish with a fine 57.
Mixing caution with attack, Ahmed hit three sixes and five fours before departing attempting another big hit.