THIS top of the table clash saw Rainhill triumphant but they made hard work of it.
Birkenhead elected to bat on the white wicket but had their top order ripped out by the seam from Williams (3 for 32) and Veacock (1 for 11).
Although their top order kept out Qureshi, losing wickets at the other end wasn’t in their script. At 37 for 4 Qureshi relentless line and length was to get its reward and Birkenhead collapsed to 64 for 9. Lui (42) was joined by Harris and they defended by attacking everything.
Harris’s undefeated 53 coming from 44 balls allowed Birkenhead to get to 147 all out from 45 overs and left Rainhill regretting dropped catches. Qureshi finishing with 5 for 48 from 22.
Rainhill got off to a steady start but lost 4 quick wickets in a couple of overs. It could have been 38 for 5 but a dropped catch by gulley gave Qureshi an extra life and allowed him to go on to get 33. When he was joined by Ford, (52no) they both attacked anything short or wide. Their partnership was vital to Rainhills success and they passed the target in 40 overs for the loss of 6 wicket. Houghton bowled unchanged for his 4 for 51 from 20.
Meanhile, Rainhill’s second XI beat Ainsdale in a close game, while the third side lost to Southport and Birkdale.