Sunday XI come out top in T20
Vinnie Varghese's majestic unbeaten 66 guides Rainhill to victory
Old Parkonians 137-2 (Alex Bradshaw 64*, Tim Berkson 42*; Stuart Brown 1-4) Rainhill 141-3 (Vinnie Varghese 66*, Matt Lawler 48; Jonny Beaver 1-17)
Rainhill beat Old Parkonians by 7 wickets
Rainhill's Sunday team emerged triumphant in a T20 encounter with Old Parkonians, thanks to a superb all-round contribution from Vinnie Varghese (pictured, batting at Prescot).
The format of the match was shortened on account of forecasts of heavy rain later in the afternoon. The teams may not have been used to playing regular T20 cricket, but both impressed with the bat and put on some fantastic entertainment.
Old Parkonians, having won the toss, opted to bat. Opener Fletcher Handley was out quickly, caught by Steve Bell off the bowling of Vinnie Varghese for 0, but Alex Bradshaw and Tim Berkson were able to build a solid partnership. In spite of some tight bowling from Varghese (who bowled 4 overs for just 8 runs) the pair were soon into their stride and took the score beyond 100. It wasn't just a question of big hitting but of finding gaps in the field and intelligent running. Berkson retired on 42, after which Tim Ray came to the crease. Stuart Brown struck to remove Ray for 6, but the late wicket couldn't prevent Old Parkonians posting an impressive 137 for 2 from their 20 overs. Bradshaw finished on 64 not out.
A target of 138 was not the easiest for a team unaccustomed to playing the T20 format and Rainhill got off to a poor start, losing two wickets almose immediately. Matt Lawler and Vinnie Varghese came together and, after negotiating some tough bowling, made steady progress against opening bowlers Mark Rayner (1-22) and Frankie Hughes (1-18) before accelerating the run rate with some ambitious strokeplay. Good understanding between the batsmen was key as they marched towards the tartget but, with the finish line in reach, Jonny Beaver deceived Lawler with a delivery that found his pads. However, Varghese hit a boundary to ensure Rainhill took the victory with 7 balls to spare.
It was a good-natured match between two talented sides and Rainhill would like to thank Old Parkonians for their hospitality, playing the game in the right spirit and for agreeing to play a shorter form of the game.