09:00AM, Friday 05 July 2019
Burnham got the job done against local rivals Cookham Dean on Saturday with a 74-run win at Whyteladyes Lane.
In a match dominated by the turning conditions of the wicket, Rizwan Nadeem’s men took the spoils as 19 of the 20 wickets fell to spinners.
Only two points separated the sides heading into the clash but defeat for Dean pitches them into ninth place in Home Counties Premier League Division 2.
Nadeem won a crucial toss for the visitors and elected to bat first. The skipper made 46 while Fahan Raja (25) got the visitors off to a solid yet circumspect start. Runs were hard to come by but the visitors just edged the opening exchanges.
However, once the spin of Sahan Nanayakkara (7-40) was introduced, the game appeared to turn in Dean’s favour.
Wickets fell at regular intervals as the ball turned sharply on the Cookham pitch.
When Nanayakkara took his fourth wicket on the stroke of lunch, Dean held the upper hand with Burnham on 108-5.
However, a fine post-lunch knock from Karun Kumar (28) saw the total creep up to 154 all out.
In difficult batting conditions Dean got off to the worst possible start, losing both of their openers in the first five overs.
Burnham’s spinners Farhaan Khan (5-28) and Raza Ali Dar (3-30) took control and the home side never looked like challenging their target of 155.
Yash Rastogi (20) and Wasim Ahmed (13) were the only batsmen who offered any resistance as Dean were all out for 80.
Patrick Castleden, Cookham Dean captain, said “it’s a disappointing result especially considering Burnham are local rivals and in a similar position to us in the table but they completely outperformed us on the day.
“Our reaction to a result like this will be a defining moment in the season. The challenge is to stay together as a team and rectify those problems quickly which have caused us to lose the last two games.”
Burnham captain Rizwan Nadeem was pleased with his side’s victory, heaping praise on Burnham’s young spinner Farhaan Khan.
“We won quite comprehensively,” said Nadeem.
“Started out quite well – I opened myself and when I got out we were 88-2, but then we had a mini-collapse in the middle order.
“Our bowlers did really well. The pitch was spinning square and I really want to credit our young spinner Farhaan Khan.
“He took 6-50 last week and took 5-28 this week.
“He’s only 17 years old and I honestly think he’s the best spinner in the league.
“The wickets are going to spin even more now it’s dried up. Before, when the wicket was wet, it was a seamer’s paradise.
“We have one of the best bowling attacks in the league and I’m pretty confident when we post over 200 runs that the game is ours.”
Burnham were due to play Stoke Green last night (Thursday) in the Julian Cup semi-finals.
Next up is a home clash against Wokingham tomorrow (Saturday), while Cookham Dean face a long trip to Oxford Downs.
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