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McKeown shines against league leaders

Rob McKeown hits thrilling unbeaten 69 against Leigh

Rainhill 119 (Rob McKeown 69*, Luis Duffy 18; Kasey Bentham 2-19)

Leigh 123-4 (Daniel Hatton 45*, Siddharth Bhattacharyya 36; Deepak Gupta 2-29)

Leigh (20 pts) beat Rainhill (4 pts) by 6 wickets


Rainhill's 2nd XI fell to a home defeat against league leaders Leigh, but the game was most notable for a heroic unbeaten 69 from Rob McKeown.

Leigh won the toss and put Rainhill in to bat. Rainhill openers Luis Duffy and Owen Groom made a steady start but, having played himself in against some challenging bowling Duffy was caught behind the stumps by Daniel Hatton to give delighted bowler Kasey Bentham her first wicket of the day. Rainhill then suffered a mini-collapse as Groom (run out for 6), Paul Valentine (caught by Hatton off the bowling of Jack Whitehead for 3) and Ste Pennington (bowled by Bentham for 0) were dismissed in quick succession. When the Whitehead-Hatton combination worked again to remove captain Mark Viggars for 2, Rainhill had sunk to 37 for 5.

In serious trouble, Rob McKeown (pictured) virtually single-handedly took the game to Leigh with a defiant but aggressive personal innings. Punishing anything loose and much that wasn't, McKeown raced to an unbeaten 69 from a mere 80 balls while wickets were falling around him. None of the Rainhill tail managed a score in double figures but, crucially, the lower-order batsmen were able to stay with McKeown and allow him to play his shots. Eventually, and inevitably, McKeown ran out of partners and Rainhill were all out for 119, but it was a quality contribution and, in the circumstances, quite a remarkable knock. It was his second half-century of the season and one of which he should be justifiably proud.

A target of 120 did not seem sufficient against a team in Leigh's current form and so it proved. However, the run chase was far from a procession and Leigh did not have it all their own way with Deepak Gupta, on debut for the 2nd XI, removing both openers while Owen Groom and Luis Duffy took a wicket apiece. Daniel Hatton led by example for the visitors, top-scoring with an unbeaten 45 from as many balls, helping his team over the line for a six-wicket victory.

Umpires: John Veacock

Scorers: David Crossley, Louisa Reffell

Match ball sponsor: Black Swan Tax

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