Weekend round-up of Rainhill's senior matches
Ist XI: Rainhill rise to Formby Challenge Formby 283-4 (Ankit Kalsi 107*, Sam Oldham 66; Jack Lowrie 2-65) Rainhill 284-6 (Tyler McGladdery 83*, Mike Rotheram 79; Ankit Kalsi 4-72)
Rainhill (20 pts) beat Formby (8 pts) by 4 wickets
Rainhill's 1st team bounced back from defeat at Orrell to successfully chase down 284 at home to Formby.
Having been put into bat, Formby made the most of the opportunity with professional Ankit Kalsi, playing only his second league match for the club, hitting an unbeaten run-per-ball 107. It was an absolutely brilliant innings from him. Sam Oldham (66 from 78 balls), Ryan Brown (49 from 33) and Ollie Sutton (34 from 32) helped the visitors amass a daunting 283 for the loss of four wickets. Jack Lowrie took 2 for 65, with Richie Forsyth also picking up a wicket and Imliwati Lemtur running out opener Calum Turner for 14. However, while it looked an impressive score it may have been the case that Formby declared slighly too early!
Mike Rotheram (pictured) and David Atkinson opened for Rainhill but Atkinson was out for just 9. Tyler McGladdery then joined Rotheram and they took the score to 119 before Rotheram was held by Ollie Sutton off the bowling of Ankit Kalsi for 79. It was one of the best innings Rotheram has ever played: he absolutely dominated, batted intelligently and took control. Once Rotheram had departed, Kalsi took centre-stage, taking the key wickets of Sam Kershaw, Rob McKeown and James Clarke, all of whom were out without reaching double figures. At 157 for 5, the target looked a tall order but Tyler McGladdery remained and new batting partner Imliwati Lemtur supplied some middle-order grit and some classy strokes. They scored at a rate of around a run per ball and McGladdery was in fine form, if not at his most aggressive. Perhaps sensibly, he wasn't trying to hit the ball out fo the ground - but at the rate they were scoring he didn't need to.
Lemtur fell to Ollie Sutton after contributing 43 quality runs, after which Richie Forsyth, batting in the unusual position of number 8, was able to make 37 from 36 deliveries while McGladdery finished on an unbeaten 83 from 87 balls. There's been a lot of talk about England chasing unlikely targets but this was every bit as exciting. It was a well-earned victory for Rainhill but if Formby can continue to play as they did they will surely be climbing the table. (Thanks to Richard Appleton for help with the match report. Opinions expressed are his.)
2nd XI: Rainhill frustrate Old Xaverians Old Xaverians 200-6 (Joseph Lyons 77, Kieran Hughes 33, Sam Waine 3-20)
Rainhill 186-9 (Phil Morgan 45, Sam Waine 33; Ian Formby 3-48)
Rainhill (8 pts) drew with Old Xaverians (9 pts) Scorecard
Rainhill held Old Xaverians to a draw thanks to a defiant, unbroken last-wicket stand between Paul Ford and John Ball. Old Xaverians won the toss and opted to bat. Joseph Lyons top-scored with 77 as the hosts decalred on 200 for 6. Sam Waine was the most impressive of Rainhill's bowlers, taking 3 for 20, but there were also wickets for Paul Valentine, Phil Morgan and Oliver Powell.
Rainhill's run chase got off to a less than perfect start, with three early wickets falling. Adam Edwards (32) and Phil Morgan (45) came together with the score at 17 for 3 and were able to engineer a recovery, adding 76 for the fourth wicket. Sam Waine also pitched in with 33 and Oliver Powell with a useful 20, but three quick wickets reduced Rainhill to 157 for 9. With Old Xaverians needing one wicket for victory, the tenth-wicket pairing of Ford and Ball withstood some determined bowling and held out for the draw. They also added a further 29 runs but were ultimately 15 short of pulling off what would have been a sensational victory.
3rd XI: Cup Exit at Ormskirk Ormkirk 199-7 (Josh Bell 66, Kiran Naidoo 44; Sam Addy 3-26) Rainhill 93 (John Paul Joy 18, Sam Addy 14; Harry Ehlen 3-24) Ormskirk beat Rainhill by 106 runs Scorecard
Rainhill exited the Mike Leddy Cup at the second round stage following defeat at Ormskirk on Sunday. Batting first, Ormskirk reached 199 for 7 from their 40 overs, with Josh Bell top-scoring with 66. Kiran Naidoo added 44, while Sam Addy took 3-26 for Rainhill.
Rainhill's run chase never really got going. While a few batters played themselves in and made a good start, none were able to establish themselves and assert control. Rainhill were all out for 93, with Harry Ehlen taking 3 for 24 for the victors.
4th XI: Four wicket victory over Maghull
Maghull 132 (Finn Boylan 48, Liam Noble 19; Amber Bowie 3-11) Rainhill 133-6 (Steve Wallis 60, Ashar Sohail 15; Stephen Henfikse 3-32) Rainhill (20 pts) beat Maghull (6 pts) by 4 wickets Scorecard Rainhill won at home against second-bottom Maghull.
Maghull batted first and lost opener Najeem Mohamed early when Deepak Gupta struck. Bill Powell (19) and Finn Boylan (48) batted positively for the visitors but they suffered a middle-order collapse and were eventually all out for 132. Amber Bowie (3-11), Steve Wallis (3-18) and Oliver Wallis (2-30) did most of the damage. On a hot afternoon it was difficult for the players and Rainhill's players found it tough to keep going after making useful starts. However, opener Steve Wallis batted throughout the innings for Rainhill, finishing on 60 not out - fantastic in the circumstances. Ashar Sohail also made 15 as Rainhill finished on top in a low-scoring game. For Maghull, Stephen Henfike was the most successful bowleer, takeing 3 for 32 from 6 overs. (Many thanks to Deepak Gupta for help with the report.)
Recreationals: Rainhill earn Frodsham draw
Frodsham 193-2 (M. Clement 50*, R. Davies 50*; Jude Swamy 1-33)
Rainhill 91-9 (Jude Swarmy 26, Ollie Unsworth 12*; Chris Fennell 2-11) Rainhill drew with Frodsham
The Recreationals drew with Frodsham having narrowly failed to hold out for the draw in their previous match against the same opposition.
Ormskirk posted 193 for 2, with half centuries for Clement and Davies. Rainhill were arguably unlucky not to take more wickets, but Andy Jones and Jude Swarmy took one apiece.
Early setbacks meant that Rainhill didn't ever look like chasing down the target, but some defiant batting from Joe Crossley (5 not out) and Ollie Unsworth (12 not out) avoided Frodsham recording the "double" over Rainhill. Matches between the two sides are usually good-natured and eventful, and this was no exception.