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Hightown drama for Recreationals

Eventful friendly ends in Hightown victory

Hightown St Mary's 154-3 (Joe Wake 31*, Jim Mitchell 29*; Deepak Gupta 1-15) Rainhill 117 (Ashar Sohail 45, Deepak Gupta 20; Jow Wake 3-14)

Hightown St Mary's beat Rainhill by 37 runs Scorecard Rainhill Recreationals almost earned a draw in a late afternoon match at Hightown St Mary’s development team but fell just short.

Due to another match taking place earlier in the day between Hightown’s women’s team and Southport and Birkdale, the game had to be put back to 5pm and was played to a shorter format. Intiially it was planned to play a T20, but it was agreed that a three-hour timed match was possible.

Hightown St Mary’s suffered early setbacks as Deepak Gupta and Ashar Sohail both took a wicket in their first over – Sohail’s wicket came from his first ball. However, Hightown rallied and some strong batting down the middle order helped take them to a total of 154-3. Players retired regularly to give everyone the opportunity to bat. Arjun Bali picked up the wicket of Milo Peck while Ken Rustidge, making his debut, bowled with great energy but little success. Fielding was generally good, with Ian Mosquito making a direct hit in an attempted run-out and several good stops to prevent boundaries.

Opening the batting for Rainhill were Andrew and Anna Page. They batted defiantly and held out against some pretty disciplined bowling from Hightown’s talented young opening bowlers. Anna especially withstood some intense pressure – and an appeal for caught behind – and although she found it difficult to get off strike at times she tried to find the gaps, playing a couple of decent shots behind square. She eventually was out lbw for 2 to pace bowler Jamie O'Rourke. The stand was worth 9 from 8 overs – that may not seem impressive but, as far as we are aware, that sets a record for a husband-and-wife partnership for the club!

When the wicket fell Andrew retired, giving Ashar Sohail and Ken Rustidge the opportunity to play some shots. It took a while for them to get going but soon Ashar was playing some confident shots towards the boundary. Rustidge was also out lbw to O'Rourke for 6, but Ashar hit 45 and Deepak Gupta added 20 runs of his own. It looked like the game was heading for a draw - especially after the openers' stand - but it was all to come down to the last over. The partnership between Sohail and Gupta ended when the latter was bowled by Finn Mitchell. Joe Wake was introduced into the attack and he took two vital wickets, while Sohail was run out for 45 to set up a dramatic final over. Joe Crossley was facing Hightown St Mary's Joe Wake. If anyone can be relied upon to bat out an over it's Joe Crossley; however, with only a few balls remaining he was bowled to give the home side the win. Wake finished with the splendid figures of 3-14.

Sometimes in cricket the most important thing is getting a game on and yesterday was one such example. Many thanks to Hightown St Mary’s for hosting us and for the great spirit in which the game was played. We will meet them again in the near future in a “home” match (probably at Prescot) on 17th July.

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