Dan Kelly and Tyler McGladdery power Rainhill into quarter-finals
Birkenhead Park 90-8 (Sam Beadworth 21, Matty Langford 19; Daniel Kelly 4-12) Rainhill 91-2 (Tyler McGladdery 64*, Sam Kershaw 19*; Bailey Jones 1-32)
Rainhill beat Birkenhead park by 9 wickets
Rainhill progressed to the regional quarter-finals of the ECB Vitality Club T20 competition with a comprehensive home victory over Birkenhead Park.
The win, which sends Rainhill through to play Ormskirk, was earned courtesy of two outstanding individual performances. Dan Kelly (pictured, bowling against Southport) took 4-12 as the visitors were restricted to 90-8 from their 20 overs, while Tyler McGladdery hit a stunning unbeaten 64 as Rainhill chased down the target with ease.
Birkenhead Park won the toss, opting to bat. Dan Kelly had immediate success, bowling opener Chris Parker in his first over and following that up with the wicket of Birkenhead Park's number 3, Alex Harris. Captain Thomas Foster and Steve Hird tried to engineer a recovery from 6-2, but quick reactions from wicketkeeper Simon Brown led to Foster being stumped for 13. Dan Jordan was next in and he sdopted a positive approach but was out when he came down the wicket to attack a delivery from Jack Lowrie and was adjudged lbw. Hird was out moments later for 18 when, looking to hit Imliwati Lemtur over extra cover he instead found Rainhill captain Ben Edmundson. It wasn't the easiest of catches and Edmundson performed something of a juggling act before keeping hold of the ball at the fourth attempt. The new pairing of Sam Beadsworth and Matty Langford had difficulty finding boundaries but nonetheless took the score to 79 before Dan Kelly returned. Langford was caught by Edmundson to give Kelly his third wicket of the day, while Beadsworth edged to Sam Kershaw. Kelly finished with 4-12 from four overs, a display of seam bowling as good as any you will see in a T20 match at club level.
There was still time for another wicket to fall as Ben Edmundson persuaded Jonathon Crofton to have a swing, presenting a straightforward catch for Brown. The visitors reached 90-8 from their allotted 20 overs, presenting the hosts with what appeared to be an easy target. Rainhill were happy with their performance in the field; Birkenhead Park were probably not so pleased with their batting.
Opening the batting for Rainhill were Tyler McGladdery and James Clarke. They put on 21 for the first wicket before Clarke edged a ball from Bailey Jones to Thomas Foster. Sam Kershaw joined McGladdery, and what followed can only be described as a demolition job by two batsmen apparently deisgned for this format of the game. A fiery burst from the blatantly self-assured McGladdery saw him reach 50 in a mere 22 balls, an achievement that looked pedestrian for him against a largely unimaginative attack. He gained in confidence with every boundary hit, and few of those went along the ground: his unbeaten 64 from 28 deliveries included six sixes. In the face of such an onslaught there seemed little Birkenhead Park could do but admire the punishing strokes. McGladdery's innings owed nothing to impetuosity and will be a warning to quarter-final opponents Ormskirk.
Sam Kershaw's worthy contribution of 19 from 14 balls (including just the one six) helped Rainhill chase down the target in 9 overs. It was an imposing performance that should sevre as a confidence booster ahead of some crucial forthcoming matches.
Umpires: Alistair Davies, Richard Selkirk
Scorers: David Crossley, Dave Lee