Burger hungry for Radlett success
RADLETT captain Shane Burger is ready to for an exciting run in as the club look to prevail in the tightest title race since the Home Counties Premier League started in 2000. Burger, aged 25, will have a cyst removed as soon as he returns home
RADLETT captain Shane Burger is ready to for an exciting run in as the club look to prevail in the tightest title race since the Home Counties Premier League started in 2000.
Burger, aged 25, will have a cyst removed as soon as he returns home to Johannesburg in September to prepare for the South African first-class season. The injury has meant he has been bowling off a short run up this summer but his swing bowling has been of high quality. With the bat, Burger has suffered a disastrous slump with only 249 runs in 13 innings. Last year the Gauteng all-rounder averaged 60.64 in the league, hitting 667 runs in 14 innings, including three centuries, in Radlett's gallop to third place.
Radlett, one point behind the leaders Tring Park, host one of this summer's seven title contenders, Henley, at Cobden Hill on Saturday, knowing that victory will bring glory a step closer. Burger said: "Anyone can win the title. It depends on who can put wins together during the run-in."
The return of Middlesex all-rounder Gareth Berg to the side from last weekend's county duty will strengthen Radlett's chances against Henley, who are benefiting from the skills of the former Gloucestershire captain and all-rounder Mark Alleyne and two current Hampshire seam-bowlers, David Griffiths and Billy Taylor.
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Burger is hopeful that Berg will be involved but has praised the way the side have coped without their star to launch a thrilling title challenge. He said: "Obviously we would like Gareth back. If he is in the team, we have to fancy our chances. There's no doubt about that but if you look at it, he hasn't played much, only five matches, and we've done pretty well without him."
Radlett have proved unpredictable to play against with runs and wickets spread through the side. Though the consistent Burger leads the bowling with 19 wickets, the back-up of seam and spin has been effective. The loss of Hertfordshire batsman Steve Lowe for a job in Hong Kong two weeks ago has left the young Middlesex batsman Kabir Toor as the most consistent run-maker, with 372 at an average of 41.33. Recent centuries by Simon Randall, on his debut, and Paul Barker, at number seven, have underlined the side's batting depth.
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Last Saturday's Home Counties League game at Welwyn Garden City was rained off at lunch with the home side on 116 for no wicket in 30 overs. The draw means that both Hertfordshire clubs will almost certainly remain in the division for next year, opening the door for an unprecedented third representative from the county, either Potters Bar or Bishop's Stortford on current form.
Radlett host Henley on Saturday, then head to Tring Park on Saturday, August 23. They face Falkland in their final home fixture on Saturday, August 30 and finish in a dramatic clash away to 2007 champions Oxford on Saturday, September 6.