Rainhill into quarter finals after 57-run victory
Rainhill 133 (Mike Rotheram 29*, Jamie Harrison 29*; Sion Morris 2-28)
Colwyn Bay 76 (Vishal Kushwah 24, George Johansen 17; Jack Lowrie 3-16)
Rainhill beat Colwyn Bay by 57 runs
Rainhill moved into the quarter-finals of the ECB Club T20 Cup after a comprehensive victory over Colwyn Bay.
A glance of the scorecard suggests a straightforward win for the home side, but in truth there were times when the game was anything other than easy for Rainhill - not least when they found themselves on 49 for 4.
Rainhill won the toss and elected to bat first. David Atkinson and Sam Kershaw opened the batting but Colwyn Bay were able to make the early breakthrough, removing Atrkinson for 7. Kershaw stroked the ball around confidently, forming brief partnerships with Jamie Clarke, Ross Higham and Ben Edmundson on his way to 28. Seemingly well set to push on to a bigger score, Kershaw was bowled and Rainhill found themselves in a spot of bother at 49 for 4.
Edmundson, piloting the recovery, now had Mike Rotheram for company. The pair eased the nerves of Rainhill supporters with some timely cuts and cover drives, putting on 33 for the fifth wicket before Edmundson was caught on 26. The loss of the captain only served to give Jamie Harrison (pictured) the opportunity to showcase his obvious batting talent. Harrison, and to a lesser extent Rotheram, threw caution to the wind as they sought to post a competitive total. The strokeplay was daring, and often technically impressive; most importantly, it was effective and significantly improved the run rate. Harrison and Rotheram both finished unbeaten on 29 apiece, having shared a partnership of 51. Rainhill's innings concluded on 133 for 5.
Whether this total would be enough remained to be seen. Colwyn Bay were in confident mood after victory in the previous round against Northop Hall. On that occasion Vishal Kushwah had hit a splendid 92 from 50 deliveries and clearly he intended a repeat performance. Early wickets for Peter Kelly and Jamie Harrison had removed openers Sion Morris and Adam Campion, but Kushwah and George Johansen led the Colwyn Bay resistance - at least for a while. Kushwah looked like someone purpose-made for T20 cricket: a big hitter with bags of self-belief. He began positively, hitting two sixes out of the ground. However, Kushwah was almost spectacularly caught on the boundary by Mike Rotheram, prompting both applause and amusement from spectators. Shortly afterwards he skied an attempted pull shot just beyond the reach of Jamie Clarke. He was living dangerously.
The introduction of Jack Lowrie into the bowling attack paid immediate dividends as he took the key wicket of Johansen for 17. Kushwah's entertaining innings was ended soon afterwards when he was caught by wicketkeeper Simon Brown off the bowling of spinner David Atkinson. Advantage Rainhill.
Lowrie's sharp spell of bowling continued to create problems for the visitors and the young paceman was rewarded with two further wickets. Finishing with 3 for 16, his best figures of the season so far, Lowrie underlined his potential as a lead wicket taker. Faced with a mountain to climb, Colwyn Bay's lower order were unable to mount a successful recovery operation. Jamie Clarke and Ben Edmundson both took 2 for 6 as they bowled out the tail with relative ease.
Umpires: Alistair Davies, Chris Dunn
Scorer: David Crossley