Harsh reality check for newly promoted Rainhill

Rainhill were given a reality check on their first day in the top flight
Rainhill were given a reality check on their first day in the top flight

The first ECB Premier league game for Rainhill Spice Inn Cricket Club saw them at home against title contenders Lytham.

Rainhill confidently elected to bat but at 13 for 4 were in trouble.

Poor shot selection from the Rainhill top order gave Openshaw (3 for 23 off 9) wickets.

He was ably supported by Williams (3 for 25 from 11). A mid order revival from Veacock (35), Ford (26) and Qureshi (17) didn’t halt the rot and Rainhill were all out for 105 from 35 overs.

Expecting a quick victory, Lytham were aggressive from the first ball. This was the wrong tactic against Qureshi, Rainhill’s professional spinner.

A score of 18 without loss was soon 25 for 4.

Wickets fell regularly and at 55 for 6 any result was possible. Lytham’s captain Roberts benefitted from two easy dropped catches and went on to guide his team to a win.

Rainhill still had opportunities against the Lytham number 11 bat but again couldn’t hold on to their catches.

Roberts finished on 48 no and Qureshi bagged 8 for 45 from 19 overs. Lytham crept home for nine wickets in 38 overs. Rainhill’s fielding must improve if they want to remain competitive in the top division.

g Rainhill seconds lost the toss to Northop who elected to bat and made 166 for 8 in 50 overs. Sampson (54), Andrady 34 and kurukkal (32) led the way with the bat but were kept in check by Edmundson 4 for 30 from 10 overs. Rainhill had a strong batting line up on paper but this means nothing when you cross the boundary. Tilley (24), Higham (35), Hurst (32) and Yate (33 not out) all scored freely but never pushed on to ensure victory. Hodgson (5 for 24 from 8) cut short the chase and Rainhill held on for the draw, finishing on 131 for 9 from 39.

g Rainhill thirds made 131 in 44 overs after being inserted Northop Hall thirds, Khan making 64. Kennedy (5 for 20) and Kurukkal (5 for 39) doing the damage. Hodgson 72 not out and Kennedy 24 not out saw Northop to victory in 34 overs.