LMS team triumph over Earlestown Griffins
On a warm evening at Earlestown CC, Rainhill's Last Man Stands (LMS) team were looking to double their winning run against Earlestown Griffins following their dramatic encounter against Kings Club.
Griffins elected to bat on the astro turf track, having won the toss. As per LMS rules, Rainhill decided to bowl uphill for the first ten overs. Paul Millar opened the bowling and struck immediately with an edge caught behind by veteran keeper Si Brown. Rainhill kept up the pressure and in the second over Vinny Varghese took a fantastic catch in the deep off Matt Lawler’s first over.
Earlestown looked to take the initiative and batters Oliver Cosmai and Mark Almond began to play some fine shots especially off the pace bowling of Millar and Varghese.
Captain Neil Robinson’s first ball bowled Cosmai through the gate and the threatening partnership was broken. John O’Donnell came to the crease and Robinson bowled tightly
with several dot balls in the following two overs, however anything short of a length was dispatched.
Following bowling spells from Matt Lawler, Panchu Xavier and the very economic Steve Wallis, Earlestown were restricted to 154/3 off their 20 overs, which looked below par on this ground.
Under darkening skies Rainhill set about their run chase in earnest with Xavier and Varghese getting off to a fabulous start. Panchu hit four boundaries and two sixes in a much needed 24 ball 37 before being bowled by David Jenkins. This brought Steve Wallis in to bat and he provided the support to Vinny who was on top of anything that Griffins could muster with their bowling attack. Steve and Vinny were shrewd in their strike rotation and ran well for a great many singles, punctuated by some fine strokes that found the boundary, and Earlestown were forced into several fielding errors. Overthrows and wayward bowling by the home team allowed Rainhill to soak up any pressure and Vinny’s dominance with the bat was only thwarted by a wide full toss down the legside and Vinny was stumped by a sharp piece of wicket keeping.
Varghese’s 41 off 40 balls was priceless and took the pressure off the run chase. The chase did however apply pressure to Steve Wallis’ hamstrings and he retired hurt on 23 off 13. As rain fell excellent contributions with the bat from Kiran Nair (16 off 11) and Paul Millar (31 off 14) saw Rainhill home with three balls to spare.
Rainhill will look to make it three wins in a row on Thursday 26th May away at Sutton St Helens and judging by their strength in depth and momentum who would bet against them?