EAST Lancashire head into the final two games of the Lancashire League season boosted by the news that Andries Gous has re-signed for the 2017 campaign.

The South African wicketkeeper-batsman has returned home and won’t feature for the Alexandra Meadows men in their home game with Lowerhouse tomorrow or the season finale at Accrington next weekend.

But the 22-year-old will return next season and East Lancashire captain John Turner is delighted with the news.

He said: “We have signed him again for next year, he has gone home now but we managed to get it all done before he left.

“He has been good for us this season and our amateurs have played really well as well. That is what we want, we want the pro to be the cherry on top for us really.”

Turner also believes that Gous’ stint at Alexandra Meadows has had a positive effect on the club’s bowlers with Mini Bhada and Shahrukh Khan both close to 50 wickets for the season.

Bhada has 44 with Khan on 36, and with David Tuner weighing in with 23 there have been plenty of positives with the ball for Turner’s men.

The skipper added: “Andries has been great for us because he is a wicketkeeper batsman so we have had to look to the amateur players to bowl well and step up to the plate and they have.

“We have been a lot more consistent across the board.

“We have Mini Bhada bowling really well and Shahrukh Khan as well, and that has been really pleasing.”

Gous has scored 427 runs this season at an average of 28.46 with three half centuries. He has also taken 16 catches and five stumpings.

East Lancashire will be bringing Timothy David as sub professional for tomorrow’s match. David has been playing for South Shields this season in the North East Premier League and has scored more 1,400 runs in 26 innings this year.

And Turner’s men can head into the closing stages of the season with a realistic chance of securing third place in the table.

A win over Lowerhouse tomorrow would lift them to fourth and with Nelson finishing their campaign with a game against Burnley, back-to-back East Lancs victories could see them end in the top three for the first time since 2010.

And, having achieved two victories last weekend, Turner sees no reason why his side can’t finish with a flourish.

“Finishing third would be fantastic,” he added.

“It’s a competitive league and behind the top two everyone has beaten everyone else.

“We have been fairly consistent and we haven’t lost at home so if we can win our next two games then we can get third which would be great.

“I think we have under-achieved in the past two or three years but this year we have really stepped up and hopefully we finish well and then go into next season and look to improve again.

“We got two wins last weekend and took 24 points.

“We bowled very well on both days, in particular Shahrukh bowled well.

“We have played well this season and been good in halves of matches when we have needed to be which has helped.”