Lancashire Knockout Cup Semi Final Ormskirk v Darwen 18-8-18
Darwen won the toss and elected to bat in a game reduced to 33 overs because of rain that delayed the start.
There was immediate success for Scott Lees when he had opener Mirza (0) caught by Gary Knight to leave Darwen one wicket down without a run on the board.
The success continued with the ball as 4 more wickets were taken before the score got to 53-5. The main architect of the batting downfall being Ryan Maddock who enjoyed a fine spell of bowling, finishing with 3 wickets for 22 runs.
The next spell of play went very much in favour of Darwen, led by their professional Calvin Savage. The big South African showed little respect for the bowling regularly finding the boundary and off 73 balls scored 62 runs before being dismissed to a very fine catch by George Lavelle off Ryan Maddock’s bowling. When he departed the score was 124 -6.
The penultimate partnership of the innings transformed the shade of the game. Tail-end batsman Kamran Anwar set about the bowling in style and in 20 balls scored an exciting 46 runs to include one 4 and an incredible half dozen 6s.
At the end of the innings Darwen finished on 181-8 to leave Ormskirk requiring a run rate of 5.5 an over to take the game and go on to the Final.
Ormskirk got off to a steady start and looked to be in reasonable shape at 66 -3 having lost Ian Robinson (10), Alex Rankin (23) and George Lavelle (11). That reasonable shape started to fall apart, however, as wickets fell quickly to some excellent bowling. The game slipped away as the score plummeted to 88-7. Andy Baybutt (20), Tom Hartley (1), Luke Platt (1) and Gary Knight (8) all found their way back to the dressing room and leave the last four batsmen to pick up the pieces.
Nicky Caunce and Ryan Maddock offered a ray of hope, putting on 32 runs before Ryan Maddock (10) was out to an lbw decision. Nicky Caunce raced to score 25 before being run out. This left Alex Mason and Scott Lees needing to score at over 10 runs an over to cross the winning line. It was beyond them. Alex Mason (1) was stumped and Scott Lees made a valiant 9*.
The main difference between the teams was in the strength of the batting. In reaching their total of 181, Darwen recorded 21 boundaries (fifteen 4s and six 6s), and for their part Ormskirk recorded 13 boundaries (twelve 4s and one 6). It is fair to say, however, that in the three departments of batting, bowling and fielding Darwen were, on the day, the better side and deserved the victory.
The best performances by the Ormskirk team were put in by bowlers Ryan Maddock and Tom Hartley. Ryan ended with 3 wickets for 22 runs off his 7 overs and Tom, although taking no wicket, conceded only 19 runs off his 7 overs.