Cup frustration for Rainhill
Newton-le-Willows progress into semi-finals
Newton-le-Willows 267-4 (Rizwan Haider 107*, Ben Walkden 51; Sam Waine 1-32)
Rainhill 267 (Sam Kershaw 50, Tyler McGladdery 49; Siddiq Patel 2-41) Scores level; Newton-le-Willows won on the basis of losing fewer wickets
Rainhill suffered exit from the Ray Digman Trophy at the quarter-final stage in a dramatic finale that saw Newton-le-Willows progress on the basis of losing fewest wickets.
Rainhill won the toss and put the home side ino to bat. Nathan Hughes and Ben Walkden put on 52 for the first wicket, but Imliwati Lentur made the breakthrough for Rainhill when he dismissed Hughes for 31 and, moments later, Christopher Chambers was held by Paul Ford off the bowling of Richie Forsyth.
Newton-le-Willows recovered from 53 for 2, however - mainly thanks to the efforts of Rizwan Haider. He scored at a rate of a run per ball and forged a partnership with Walkden worth 103. Walkden reached his half-century before holing out to Richie Forsyth to give James Clarke a well-deserved wicket but new batsman Siddiq Patel showed some urgency, hitting a quick 37 as the visitors piled on the runs. Patel perished when he was caught and bowled by Sam Waine, but Haider finished unbeaten on 107 as Newton-le-Willows closed on 267 for 4 from their 45 overs.
It was a formidable target but Rainhill kept in touch with the run rate. Positive contributions from James Clarke (41), Tyler McGladdery (49), Sam Kershaw (50) and Adam Edwards (27) kept Rainhill very much in contention. However, Rainhill lost wickets as they charged towards the target and, in the final analysis, this was to prove crucial.
Rainhill were on 261 for 8 with eight balls remaining. Sam Waine was run out for 14, but incoming batsman Paul Ford hit the last ball of the penultimate over for 6. With the scores level, Rainhill needed a single from the final over to confirm their place in the semi-finals. However, Newton-le-Willows only needed one wicket and - with the first delivery of the final over - Rizwan Haider found the edge of Ollie Powell's bat and wicketkeeper Christopher Chambers held a straightforward catch. Newton-le-Willows had progressed by the narrowest of margins.
The manner of defeat was disappointing for Rainhill, who had battled well throughout. Credit should go to Newton-le-Willows for their playing their part in an eventful and dramatic match.
Umpires: Jeremy Clein, Norman Edwards
Scorers: Matthew Dickinson, Andrew Finney