Oliver Powell's 73 and Sam Addy's 5-16 earn away victory
Rainhill 195 (Oliver Powell 73, Mike Mercer 36; Shaz Safdar 3-40)
Ainsdale 86 (Jacob Lucas 32, Peter Wildish 13; Sam Addy 5-16)
Rainhill (25 pts) beat Ainsdale (4 pts) by 109 runs
Rainhill's 3rd team continued their unbeaten start to 2022 with a comprehensive victory over Ainsdale.
Having been put in to bat, Rainhill lost captain Matt Lawler early on - bowled by Shaz Safdar for 0. However, opener Neil Robinson (27) and Mike Mercer (36) shared a stand of 52. Two wickets falling in quick succession gave Ainsdale some encouragement, but Jeff Fitzhenry and Oliver Powell then shared a stand that firmly swung the match in Rainhill's favour. They added 107 for the fourth wicket, with Fitzhenry contributing 32 and the more belligerent Powell making a fantastic 73 - his top score to date in any competition. Powell's dynamic innings featured 14 fours and a six and came from just 71 balls.
When Powell was finally out, edging a Luke Jones delivery to wicketpeer Ken Wright, Rainhill were well set on 172-4. Fitzhenry followed him back to the pavillion a few minutes later when he was bowled by Safdar. Jones took two further wickets, but Rainhill were satisfied with their total of 195-6 from 45 overs.
Ainsdale started well with Peter Wildish (13) and Jacob Lucas sharing an opening stand of 40. The partnership was broken when Stevie Pennington held a fine catch off the bowling of Mike Mercer to dismiss Wildish. Lucas batted on valiantly but the introduction of spinners Sam Addy and Steve Bell into the attack had an immediate impact. Addy bowled Phillip Thomas (4) and Ben Holl (0) before, following a spell in which Ainsdale had briefly rallied, he dismissed Lucas in similar fashion for 32. After Lucas's departure no-one was able to offer any meaningful resisatnce as Bell (3-10) ripped through the middle order, while John Paul Joy (103) and Addy took the final three wickets to give the visitors a 109-run win. Addy's best-ever figures of 5-16 were testament to as impressive a display of spin as you're likely to see at this level.
Scorers: Zak Wildish, David Crossley