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Tyler-riffic performance in T20 opener

Tyler McGladdery hits stunning unbeaten 135 from 68 balls in T20 win over Maghull

Rainhill 237-5 (Tyler McGladdery 135*, Ben Edmundson 42, Tom Connelly 2-49)

Maghull 90-6 (Joe Campbell 29*, Mohammad Nawaz 20*, Jamie Harrison 4-15)

Rainhill secured an emphatic vistory in their first T20 match of 2021 thanks to a dominant performance away to Maghull on Thursday evening.

The visitors eased into Round 1 of the NatWest Club T20 competition, helped by a sensational innings from opener Tyler McGladdery (pictured).

Having won the toss, Rainhill elected to bat. McGladdery and captain Ben Edmundson scored freely from the outset, with both players looking in confident mood. They had constructed a partnership of 101 before Edmundson was stumped by Paul McKenna off the bowling of Adam Burton. Edmundson will have been disappointed not to have gone on to make a bigger score, but his contribution of 42 from 27 balls had helped to put Rainhill in the driving seat.

The loss of the captain did not affect Rainhill's momentum and neither did it halt McGladdery's aggressive, and highly effective, strokeplay. Sam Kershaw, coming in at number 3, also played positively and while McGladdery was launching sixes to all areas of the ground Kershaw also got in on the act with some tidy boundaries of his own. The pair put on 87 for the second wicket; the partnership was ended when Declan Devine sent down a delivery Kershaw was only able to edge behind to the grateful McKenna. Kershaw's knock of 32 had come from only 23 balls.

With the score on 188-2 and McGladdery unbeaten on 91, the question was not so much whether the in-form batsman would reach his century but how big a score he might achieve. In the final few overs Maghull's Tom Connelly was able to take the wickets of Ross Higham and James Clarke, but McGladdery dominated the strike and had little trouble dispatching Maghull's bowlers to the fence. At the end of Rainhill's 20 overs, the visitors had amassed an incredible 237 runs for the loss of four wickets, with McGladdery finishing on an equally improbable 135 not out from a mere 68 balls. His dazzling innings included eight 4s and eleven 6s.

McGladdery's knock is the highest individual score ever recorded in the LDCC's section of the Natwest T20 Club competition. The previous record belonged to Leigh's Tom Foster (now of Birkenhead Park) who hit 118 in 64 balls against Highfield in 2018.

Set an unlikely target of 238, Maghull got off to the worst start possible as Jamie Harrison ripped through their top order oin his way to impressive bowling stats of 4 for 15. Spinner Peter Kelly also got in on the act, removing Macaulay Lawrenson for 7. With the home side reduced to 14-5 it looked like the game was effectively over as a contest, but Maghull refused to throw in the towel. Joe Campbell and Declan Devine resisted Rainhill's probing bowling to build a partnership worth 30 and, once Devine had been bowled by James Clarke for 14, Mohammad Nawaz joined Campbell at the crease and helped take the score to 90 with no further loss of wickets. it was to Maghull's credit that they were not bowled out and were able to post a modest score after a dreadful start to their innings.

In the next round Rainhill will face the winners of tonight's clash between Colwyn Bay and Northop Hall.

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