Tyler McGladdery hits 83 as Rainhill win season opener
Orrell Red Triangle 152 (Dominic Hayes 31*, David Naylor 24, Peter Kelly 4-45) Rainhill 155-2 (Tyler McGladdery 83, James Clarke 44, Camerton Sharp 2-39)
Rainhill won by 8 wickets
Points: Orrell Red Triangle 3 pts, Rainhill 20 pts
Rainhill’s 1st Xi began the new season with a signal of their intentions in an emphatic 8-wicket victory at Orrell Red Triangle.
After the shortened 2020 season, the fact that a full competitive league season lies in front of us came as something of a relief to many. The players from both Orrell and Rainhill were visibly pleased to be playing once again – a prospect made even more attractive by the fantastic sunshine and pristine ground (credit should go to Orrell’s groundsman Michael Abbott for his outstanding work). Rainhill, however, were in no rush to bat and having won the toss elected to field. The visitors made an early breakthrough when Jack Lowrie (2-36) bowled Orrell opening batsman Matthew Hayes for 2. Orrell then rallied a little as Richard Everett joined Ammer Mirza at the crease and the duo steadily began to build a promising partnership. Mirza played positively and Everett looked in determined mood, but two run-outs in quick succession proved their undoing. Orrell found themselves in a bit of trouble at 39-3.
Peter Kelly (4-45) then struck to remove Andrew Baybutt for 0, while home captain Sam Helley was out for 8 - stumped by Simon Brown off the bowling of Liam O’Toole (2-52). The situation looked grim for Orrell at 48-5 but to their credit their lower order put up a fight with Tom Jones (22), Josh Fallows (21), Dominic Hayes (31*) and wicketkeeper David Naylor (24) contributing valuable runs. An eighth wicket partnership between Naylor and Hayes yielded 46 runs for the home side, much to Rainhill’s frustration. When Peter Kelly dismissed Cameron Sharp to wrap up the innings, Orrell had reached a total of 152 from 53.5 overs.
In response Rainhill openers Tyler McGladdery and James Clarke impressed as they scored quickly and batted sensibly to deny Orrell the early wicket. The two left-handers built a formidable partnership with McGladdery taking a more aggressive approach, hitting two sixes and ten fours in his innings of 83. It would be wrong to suppose that Rainhill’s innings was characterised by big hitting: the running between the wickets was key to a partnership that would eventually be worth 148 runs.
Just as it looked Rainhill’s opening pair would see the team home, Cameron Sharp took McGladdery’s wicket. It had been an outstanding knock, and on this form McGladdery looks set for a great season. With Rainhill needing just two runs for victory, Sharp struck again: Clarke, looking to hit the winning runs, only found the grateful hands of Orrell fielder Dominic Hayes. Clarke’s 44 had come from 108 balls, including six sixes. The late wickets proved academic as David Atkinson hit a boundary to steer Rainhill beyond the target of 153. On paper this looks like a straightforward victory but in truth it was a hard-earned win against a talented Orrell side who refused to throw in the towel.
Rainhill's next game will be at home to Wigan on Saturday 1st May.
Umpires: Paddy Brown, Peter Crook
Scorers: Verity Haslam, Andrew Finney
Match ball sponsor: Black Swan Tax