Andy Jones' 59* earns another draw
Rainhill Recreationals drew with Hightown St Mary's
Hightown St Mary's 147-6 (Finn Mitchell 30*, A Graham Sr 29; Andy Jones 2-17) Rainhill 108-10 (Andy Jones 59*, Melvin Siju 16; Harry Morrin 4-5) Match drawn
For the second successive week Rainhill Recreationals played out a draw with Hightown St Mary's. This Rainhill hosted our friends from Heightown, but as our ground was unavailable the match took place at Hightown. The game was 12 a-side and for Rainhill there were four parent-and-junior pairs taking part. April Jones, Xanthe Page and James Tierney made their debuts for the Recreationals.
Prior to the match a 96-second silence was observed in memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Players from both sides also offered short tributes.
Hightown St Mary's won the toss and opted to bat. Rainhill's opening bowlers, Matt Diggins and Andy Jones, made life difficult for the opposition's top order, with Jones taking two early key wickets. He bowled Aaron Graham (0) and captain Laura Stringman (7) to finish his spell with 2 for 17. Andrew Graham and Nikhil Bhatnagar made steady progress, playing some intelligent strokes as they built a solid partnership. However, two wickets in two balls brought Rainhill back into the game: firstly, Ben Wilkinson trapped Bhatnagar lbw for 19 and then, with the first ball of the next over, Melvin Siju dismissed Graham for 29 in similar fashion.
Wilkinson struck again when he found the edge of Cameron Moore's bat and April Jones took an outstanding diving catch behind the stumps. April Jones then took a wicket of her own: Harry Morrin was the victim, our lbw for 9. Hightown St MAry's were on 105 for 6 at this point. Andrew Page's first over of medium pace should have taken a wicket but he wasn't able to take the catch off his own bowling. Anna Page's first over created several opportunities and there were two good lbw shouts. However, Finn Mitchell (who retired on 30) and then James O'Rourke (15 not out) and Vicky Cobain (5 not out) took the score on to 147 for 6. Before the end of the innings there was time for Xanthe Page to bowl her first over in senior cricket, from which no runs were conceded. Xanthe Page and Andrew Page opened the batting, although Xanthe retired after two overs (scoring one run, with which she was very satisfied). Matt Diggins showed his intentions when he smashed Luke Charnock to the deep square leg boundary but was then bowled by same bowler. Diggin's son, James, then came in to bat, but despite staying in for a while and resisting some probing bowling from Charnock and Like Fitzsimmons, he was eventually bowled by Charnock. Andrew Page was out next, also for four, when he was lbw to Charnock.
Andy Jones and April Jones were able to stay together for a while, although it was Andy who did most of the hitting. April, however, demonstrated good technique and was unlucky to be out when a delivery from Cameron Moore struck her pads. Andy batted on, retiring at 30 to give Tony and Ben Wilkinson the opportunity to bat together. Tony had an eye for the big shots but couldn't find the boundary and was eventually caught of the bowling of Harry Morrin. Morrin was near unplayable at times and he took the three further wickets of Anna Page (0), Ian Mosquito (0) and Joe Crossley (1) to finish with figures of 4-5. The last pair, Melvin Siju and the returning Andy Jones were not content to play out for the draw and between them hit 10 boundaries as they took the score past 100. It was not easy playing in the light rain and on a rather green pitch, but Jones and Siju stuck to their task. Rainhill finished on 108, 40 runs short of the target but having secured another draw.
The Hightown St Mary's player of the match, decided by captain Laura Stringman, was Luke Charnock for his three early wickets. Rainhill Captain Joe Crossley presented Rainhill's player of the match trophy to April and Andy Jones, for their combined performances with bat, ball and gloves. Photos from the game can be found here.