CRICKET: Belton Park win in tightest of finishes

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Belton Park 2nd 183-8

Burghley Park 2nd 181

An enjoyable friendly was played out at Burghley Park’s picturesque setting where Belton Park came out on top by two runs in a tense finish as Pandula Abeysekera held on to a boundary catch off the final ball of the match to take Burghley’s last wicket.

Belton’s father and son opening partnership of Richard Cocks (29) and Matt Cocks (23) provided a base for their innings with a partnership of 43 for the first wicket.

Wickets then started to fall at regular intervals with Fisher (2-26) the pick of the bowlers.

James Offer (53no) held the middle order together, punishing the bad ball with aplomb. He was supported by Tom Ward (20) and father Alan Ward (23), both producing powerful strokes to accelerate the total to 183-8 after 40 overs.

In reply, Burghley started well but lost wickets at crucial points, with R. Hibbitt contributing a rapid 37.

Belton coped well with utilising a makeshift bowling attack, especially when stalwart Andy Sheardown (2-3) had to stand down with a tight hamstring. Pick of the bowlers was 13-year-old Ben Johnson with an admiral return of 1-27 off his accurate eight overs, supported by the evergreen Abeysekera (2-26).

With the total at 158-9, it seemed Belton had the game in the bag but a valiant knock from G. Hibbitt (36) ensured the tightest of finishes to a most entertaining match.