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Burrows shines as Cuts cruise past PHC

Leading the way: Burrows punches the ball for four during his side’s comfortable win at PHC Field (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

PHC Field (Willow Cuts won toss): Willow Cuts beat PHC by 95 runs

Soloman Burrows hammered a maiden Western Counties century and Chris Douglas fell just shy of his as Willow Cuts retained their Western Counties title with ease at PHC Field on Saturday.

Led by Burrows’s 101 and a dashing 92 from Douglas, Cuts piled up 298 for six in their allotted 50 overs and then dismissed PHC for 203 with one ball remaining.

Opening the innings and batting with a sprained thumb Burrows, who is studying in England and plays Division Two cricket for Southwest Manchester Cricket Club, featured in 171-run third-wicket partnership with Douglas that put the match beyond PHC’s reach.

The Bermuda Under-17 player made the challengers pay heavily after being dropped twice on the square leg boundary.

Burrows’s 132-ball innings contained three sixes and 12 fours, including one off the last delivery of the 40th over to bring up a well-earned hundred, a feat he fell 24 runs shy of a week earlier at the same ground against Warwick in the first round.

“It was nerve wracking but it feels good to get my first century,” Burrows said. “Going into the game my approach was to take my time and play each ball on its merit.

“Making 76 the previous week there was a lot to live up to. So I took the same approach, took my time and the runs came.

“I didn’t really centre any balls. But run wise it was one of my best knocks.”

Burrows was doubtful leading up to the match after hurting his thumb while training with the Bermuda Under-17 team.

“I sprained my thumb while wicketkeeping and the nurse wanted me to wait two weeks before I could resume playing,” he said. “But I told her I wanted to play and I did, although I couldn’t play wicketkeeper.”

Douglas, the only change to Cuts’ squad from the one that beat Warwick, was the more aggressive of the two batsmen as his 92 came off 79 balls.

The St David’s all-rounder put the PHC attack to the sword, his whirlwind knock littered with boundaries, including four in a single over off the bowling of Cal Waldron, the PHC player-coach, to reach his half-century in the 35th over.

Douglas was ultimately denied the century his electrifying innings deserved as he went for one big hit too many and was bowled by Randy Bean, the PHC seam bowler.

However, by then the damage had been done and a quickfire 24 from 13 balls from guest player Jacobi Robinson brought Cuts to the verge of 300 mark before the overs expired. Robinson’s pulsating innings included two sixes and a four.

Randy Bean was PHC’s best bowler with three for 29, while colts Tyrique Smith and Kacy Greene each claimed a wicket on their debut.

Chasing nearly 300 was always going to be a big ask for a youthful PHC side lean on experience, and after being reduced to 103 for six in the 25th over, the end seemed near.

However, the challengers’ tail wagged enough to delay the inevitable until the penultimate ball of the innings.

Greene and Corey Burgess shared in a 40-run partnership, the highest of the innings, for the eighth wicket, to frustrate the opposition and drag the match on further than many expected. Burgess scored 29 and Greene 31 before he was last man out, run out by a direct throw.

Burgess also added 39 runs for the seventh wicket with Randy Bean, who capped a fine all round display with a knock of 32.

Ellsworth Bean topped the PHC batting with 33 while Jaloni Albouy, the PHC captain, and Coefield Robinson, the guest player and wicketkeeper, also made decent starts higher up the order.

Robinson, Joseph Basden and Sheroy Fubler were the pick of the Cuts bowling with two wickets each.

“I think our players made a good account of themselves,” Albouy said. “I thought we did all right and if we had held a couple of chances they would have got at least a hundred less runs.

“Our lower order got some good runs and the top some starts, but if we would have had someone get stuck in I think we could have chased down the total.”