Rising star takes 3-14
1st September 2020
Alder 95 (Alasdair Keogh 20, David Wright 15, Steve Bell 3-10, Sam Addy 3-14) Rainhill 96-5 (Vinny Varghese 37*, Mark Ellis 29*, Liam Founds 3-10)
Rainhill won by 5 wickets
Rainhill's Sunday Xi picked up their first win of the season with a battling performance against Alder at Prescot's Burrow's Lane ground.
It was a match that at several points looked as though Alder were the more likely winners, but a determined batting partnership between Mark Ellis and Vinny Varghese, as well as some superb bowling and fielding, earned Rainhill the victory.
Alder batted first and their openers, Alasdair Keogh and David Wright, looked purposeful and confident. Keogh looked in good form and hit four boundaries on his way to a quick 20, before he was bowled by Neil Robinson. Graeme Bowen then came to the crease and a partnership between him and Wright proved a frustration for Rainhill as the duo batted sensibly and kept the score ticking over.
After Alder had posted 50 for the loss of one wicket, Sam Addy was introduced to the attack. Alder's batsmen had little answer to the questions posed by his spin and, deceived by a ball reminiscent of THAT delivery with which Shane Warne bowled Mike Gatting in 1992, Wright succumbed for 15. Bowen was superbly caught by Steve Bell off the bowling of Mark Ellis for 13, and suddenly Alder were 56 for 3 with the momentum now turning towards Rainhill.
Addy struck again soon afterwards as he caught and bowled Majo Oommen for 1. Addy's accuracy not only took vital wickets, but crucially also slowed the run rate. Alder's middle and lower order struggled, although Liam Founds (10) showed resolve and some steely determination and Royal George scored a useful 10 - but good bowling and impressive fielding (especially the catch by Tony Wright to dismiss Asdaq Sayed) ensured Alder were bowled out for a moderate 95 after being 55 for 1 at one stage.
Sam Addy was instrumental in turning the match in Rainhill's favour, but Neil Robinson (3 for 24) and Mark Ellis (1 for 12) also played a key role. Steve Bell (3 for 10) helped to dismiss the tail, including the dangerous George.
A target of 96 might have seemed a easy one to chase down, but Alder had other ideas. Their opening bowlers, Liam Founds (3 for 10) and Asdaq Sayed (2 for 16) created all kinds of difficulties for Rainhill's batsmen and a top order collapse ensued. The wickets of Cook (0), Robinson (2) , Sam Ellis (1), Wright (8) and Brown (5) all fell within the first ten overs, leaving Rainhill staring down the barrel with the score at 20 for 5. There was no question that Alder were in the ascendancy when Vinny Varghese and Mark Ellis came together.
After a few nervous moments, Varghese and Ellis began to build a useful partnership. Varghese showed his intentions early on, smashing Sayed for a huge 6. Alder varied their bowling attack, but the longer the duo occupied the crease the more confident they looked. A mixture of sensible batting, good running between the wickets and one or two flamboyant shots created an unbeaten partnership worth 76 - in the circumstances, quite a remarkable achievement.
Rainhill would like to thank Alder for the match and the spirit in which it was played.
Player of the Match: Sam Addy