Kershaw 50 salvages draw
Rainhill earn draw at home to Orrell Red Triangle
Orrell Red Triangle 247-5 (Richard Everett 66*, Ammer Mirza 58; Peter Kelly 2-51)
Rainhill 153-6 (Sam Kershaw 51*, Tyler McGladdery 49; Dileepa Jayalath 4-37)
Orrell Red Triangle (8 pts) drew with Rainhill (4 pts) Scorecard
Sam Kershaw hit a defiant unbeaten half-century as Rainhill fought to earn a draw against Orrell Red Triangle.
Put into bat by Rainhill, Orrell's openers Ammer Mirza and Andrew Baybutt played with confidence from the outset and put on 69 for the first wicket. The breakthrough eventually came when Mike Rotheram held a catch to dismiss Baybutt for 30, but the wicket did not halt the flow of runs and Mirza continued to expertly find gaps in the field. Mirza passed 50 and was beginning to build a useful partnership with Richard Everett when he edged a delivery from Imliwati Lemtur to Ben Edmundson at slip.
Everett began slowly, but he soon began to build an innings and was supported firstly by Mark Waddington - who hit two sixes and two fours in a single over - and then by Matthew Wareing. Waddington's colourful innings was over when Edmundson held another brilliant catch, while Wareing was expertly stumped by Simon Brown. Tom Jones was next in - and next out, bowled by Liam O'Toole for 7.
At this point Orrell were 173-5. Everett and captain Sam Heeley, determined to put runs on the board quickly, acclerated and added a further 74 without loss. Declaring on 247-5, Everett finished with an unbeaten 66 and Heeley on 30 not out. There could be no denying that Orrell had batted well and that the target set was a formidable one.
Rainhill's opening pair of Tyler McGladdery and Mike Rotheran started the innings as if it was a T20 match. With Rainhill easily exceeding the required run rate, for a while it appeared as if Orrell may have declared too soon. McGladdery's merciless approach brought frequent boundaries and the pair put on 57 for the first wicket before Rotheram was out, lbw, to Dominic Hayes. Rob McKeown was next in and he too played some positive shots, but Rainhill's charge was brought to a dramatic end when McGladdery, on 49, attempted a shot over mid-on. He skied his effort, which was caught by a gleeful Terry Leaford running a considerable distance to take the catch. The significance of the wicket was clear from the reactions of Orrell's players.
McGladdery's 49 had come from 38 balls but, once he was out, the nature of the game changed entirely. Fluent strokeplay was replaced with dogged defiance as Orrell's bowlers stuck to their task well. Wickets continued to fall: firstly, McKeown fell victim to an astonishing catch from Mark Waddington for 23, while Dileepa Jayalath picked up the crucial wickets of Ben Edmundson (8), Imliwati Lemtur (0) and Dan Kelly (5). With the score on 120-6, Rainhill looked in real trouble.
At this point Simon Brown came to the crease and defiantly held out against some superb bowling, especially from spinner Jayalath. Kershaw played in similar style, but could not resist sending the occasional short ball to the boundary. The successful resistance ensured a draw and, with time running out, Kershaw made certain of his second half-century of 2022 with a couple of perfectly-timed drives. It was not the result Rainhill were looking for but Kershaw's innings was intrumental in salvaging something from the match. Credit should also go to Brown, who batted sensibly in accumulating 4 from 39 balls.
Umpires: Peter Crook, Phil Luxon
Scorers: Verity Haslam
Match ball sponsor: Black Swan Tax Advisers