Amazing Ashar's awesome knock
Ashar Sohail hits 132 against Gregson
Gregson 237-6 (Joe Sumsion 74, Dave Hughes 52; Deepak Gupta 2-56) Rainhill 201 (Ashar Sohail 132, Jed Williamson 36; Paul McAllister 3-34) Gregson won by 36 runs Scorecard
Rainhill Recreationals lost to Gregson CC of Lancaster on Sunday, but all post-match talk was not of the result but the astonishing performance of a talented young cricketer. Ashar Sohail (pictured) hit an incredible 132 in Rainhill's innings of 201. He faced 102 balls, and his contribution included 13 fours and 5 sixes. Opening the batting, Sohail was the last man out - run out by Simon Lee - and while the run chase was ultimately unsuccessful Sohail's enormous talent and confidence were obvious for all to see. It was Sohail's first century, made all the more remarkable because of how he built his innings. With other Rainhill batters struggling against Gregson's bowling attack (loanee Jed Williamson was the only other to reach double figures), Sohail threw caution to the wind and demonstrated the range of shots within his arsenal - particularly the reverse sweep.
Rainhill won the toss and opted to field. Rainhill pace bowler Deepak Gupta took the wickets of Jim McInnes (21) and Simon Lee (12). Opener Dave Hughes was out to Williamson shortly after reaching his half-century and, two balls later, Josh Holland was trapped lbw by the same bowler. Sohail then bowled Zach Earnshaw for 3, leaving the hosts on 111 for 5. Unfortunately for Rainhill, Paul McAllister and Joe Sumsion were determined to score quickly and Sumsion in particular played some exquisite shots, and one or two brutal ones, to the boundary. McAllister was run out for 23, after which Sumsion and Matt Sutton (26 not out) took the total to 237 for 6 before declaring. Big-hitting Sumsion finished on 76 not out from a mere 42 deliveries. Rainhill started brightly but opener Richard Appleton was out, lbw, for 6. Sohail and Williamson then shared a second-wicket stand of 109 as they piled on the runs; the partnership was finally ended when Williamson was bowled by Paul McAllister. Deepak Gupta and Sohail were able to take the score past the 150 mark and it seemed that Rainhill may pull off an unlikely victory. Unfortunately, once Gupta departed - lbw to McAllister - the lower-order batters weren't able to stay in for long and Sohail rapidly ran out of partners. Still he continued to spray the ball around the ground but his monumental effort ultimately proved to be in a losing cause.
Hopefully we will see a lot more runs from this exceptional young man in the near future. Many thanks to Gregson CC, who perfectly embody the spirit of recreational cricket. We look forward to playing them again next year.