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Burnley celebrate Worsley Cup win
MICHAEL Brown led Burnley to Foster’s Worsley Cup glory last night as the Turf Moor outfit out-gunned Haslingden in a memorable final.
The former Middlesex, Hampshire and Surrey batsman took over as chairman of his hometown club when he quit the professional game through a series of injuries two years ago.
He doesn’t play all that often nowadays – but when he does he invariably makes an impact either with advice in the field or with the stock tool of his trade, the bat.
And he showed he still has the X Factor that earned him deals with three of cricket’s leading lights as he led Burnley to an insurmountable score in front of a big crowd who braved a series of sharp showers through the day.
Brown’s brilliant 82 from just 41 balls – including 24 from the final over of the innings – helped Burnley pile-up 289-8 from their 50 overs, the highest score in any of the seven previous Worsley Cup meetings of the sides.
Not that the giant score was down just to Brown. Qasim Ali also made a glorious 82 to really get Burnley rocking after Dan Pickup and Chris Burton had started well after Bharat Tfripathi won the toss and elected to bat when play got under way 20 minutes late.
Burton was the livelier of the two openers and hit an entertaining 34 before he was caught off Jack Sudworth.
Pickup fell 10 runs short of a deserved half century to a smart Lee Ingham catch, one of three excellent efforts he claimed, while Tripathi was trapped pillar and post leg before by Graham Knowles for six.
Brown was a class apart, though. His innings was measured and chanceless and his late assault simply brutal as he propelled his men to their monster score.
Haslingden didn’t bowl particularly badly but Burnley have looked the real deal in this year’s competition and once again stepped up to the plate when it mattered most.
The Haslingden reply had to get off to a good start but Graham Lalor was a Burnley man on a mission.
He removed both Jack Taylor and Knowles with balls that seemed to stay low and Burnley were in the ascendancy.
But Brenton Parchment is class and was in the mood for glory.
He was patient at the start of his innings but freely accelerated and while he was dropped twice – both tough chances – you got the feeling that he could well be the man to lead Haslingden to glory.
He looked set until the first ball after the drinks interval when he was bowled by Rasool with a delivery that stayed low. It was a fine innings – but Haslingden still needed more. Ingham was trapped leg before by another shooter and the enterprising Muneeb Ahmed was caught on the edge by Ali off Kelly and the pressure was on.
Phil Hayes had been measured in his innings but was looking increasingly like Haslingden’s final hope as the run rate crept up.
He made the game’s fourth half-century but when he tried to cut loose off James Capstick, Steve Brunt held a pressure catch down by the beer tents.
It meant a lot to Burnley and Brunt was mobbed by joyous fans when he back-peddled to hold the ball and Burnley were on their way.
Alex Marcroft made 14 but he was bowled by Capstick in the 41st over with the score on 186 and time was fast running out for Haslingden to salvage victory from the most unlikeliest of positions.
Jordan Shannon’s lusty blows took Haslingden beyond 200 but they were still some way shy and running out of wickets.
As it was, Capstick mopped up the tail to win the final.
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