Paul Millar's 65 sends Rainhill into second round
Old Xaverians 100-8 (Matthew Barnes 21, Danny Bowers 19; Paul Valentine 3-15)
Rainhill 103-3 (Paul Millar 65, James Clarke 18; Sean Patten 3-13) Rainhill beat Old Xaverians by 7 wickets Scorecard
Rainhill's 2nd team reached the second round of the T20 Chrysalis Cup following a comfortable victory over Old Xaverians.
Paul Millar, called into the team at the eleventh hour after Dan Woodward had withdrawn, produced a vintage display with a decisive contribution of 65 from 45 deliveries. The magnitude of the knock can be measured by the fact that only one other batsman in the game reached 20. Millar's batting stole the show, but Rainhill's performance in the field had already given the visitors the advantage.
Paul Valentine (3-15) grabbed three wickets and Phil Morgan (2-5) picked up two from their respective four-over spells as Old Xaverians crumbled to 73 for 7 before recovering a little to finish their 20 overs on 100 for 8. Matthew Barnes (21), Danny Bowers (19), Ian Formby (13) and James Robson (13) played themselves in but were unable to gain the upper hand. Aside from the unrelenting accuracy of Morgan and Mike Mercer (1-12), Rainhill's fielders impressed, with two run outs and catches - form James Clarke and Mike Rotheram - at crucial moments. Facing a moderate target of 101, Millar's uncompromising approach ensured that Rainhill were always well ahead of the required run-rate. He shared an opening partnership of 86 with James Clarke, who was out for 18 when Sean Patten (3-13) was released into the attack. Patten bowled Sam Williamson for 7 and then, with the score on 99, took the wicket of Millar himself. However, by this point the match was effectively over and Adam Edwards hit the winning runs with over five overs remaining to set up a second round encounter with New Brighton.
Millar's 65 contained 12 boundaries - as many as all other players combined - and included 9 fours and 3 sixes.
Umpires: John McClennan, Matthew Pennington
Scorers: David Crossley