Pos­i­tive opener for Macclesfield

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH - CRICKET

EM­PHATIC wins for all three Macclesfield Cricket Club teams en­sured a pos­i­tive start to the sea­son.

The 1st XI travel to Ne­ston on a glo­ri­ous spring Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Fol­low­ing a warm up game the week pre­vi­ously against Con­gle­ton, Macclesfield ar­rived on the Wir­ral ex­cited to be back in the county’s top di­vi­sion af­ter their pro­mo­tion last year.

Wel­com­ing Nick Ber­tus, a 21-year-old bats­man from Syd­ney, to the club and with Tom Par­fett tak­ing over as cap­tain for his sec­ond stint, the squad re­mains very much un­changed from last year’s cham­pi­onship win­ning line-up.

Macclesfield won the toss and asked Ne­ston to bat first, hop­ing to take early wickets and put the home side un­der pres­sure.

Ian Tait and Jack Ward took the new ball and started their sea­son where they left off last year, bowl­ing su­perb lines and lengths on a pitch that of­fered some side­ways move­ment and some vari­able bounce.

Ward took two wickets in three balls in the fourth over to re­duce the home side to 2-2, and in the sixth over he dis­missed Ne­ston’s skip­per, Brad Donelan, leg be­fore wicket.

In the last over of his spell he took the im­por­tant wicket of Simon Stokes, caught by wicket keeper Cross, with the score at 22-4 af­ter 10 overs.

Tait then joined in the ac­tion, tak­ing a de­served two wickets in­clud­ing a sen­sa­tional div­ing catch by Par­fett field­ing at gully.

All rounder John Bir­chall re­placed Ward and in his third over took three wickets in four balls, tak­ing the Ne­ston score to 38-9.

The ex­pe­ri­enced Paul Stim­son at num­ber of 11 showed some fight and steered his side to a to­tal of 56 all out in 22 overs af­ter fall­ing to Bir­chall thanks to an­other div­ing catch, this time from Chris Moores.

It was a fan­tas­tic per­for­mance by the bowlers, sup­ported in the field by the whole side.

The Macclesfield open­ing pair of Ja­son Knight and Bir­chall con­fi­dently set about the low Ne­ston to­tal.

The pair took the attack to the Ne­ston spin­ners, find­ing the bound­ary reg­u­larly to chase down the to­tal in just 11.2 overs with­out los­ing a wicket.

Bir­chall fin­ished the game in style with a six land­ing on the roof of the pav­il­ion, to fin­ish on 38 and Knight 20.

This week­end the 1st XI wel­come Ch­ester Boughton Hall to Vic­to­ria Road, hop­ing to get some re­venge for last year’s heavy Cheshire Cup fi­nal de­feat be­fore they went on to be­come na­tional T20 cham­pi­ons. The game starts at 12.30pm.

The week­end was com­plete with the 2nd XI suc­cess­fully chas­ing down a to­tal of 217 in the last over with a wicket to spare against Ne­ston 2nd team.

The 3rd XI com­fort­ably beat an Ox­ton side and fol­lowed it up with victory against Chea­dle in the T20 cup com­pe­ti­tion on Sun­day.

All in all, the open­ing week­end of ac­tion proved a suc­cess­ful one for Macclesfield Cricket Club.

Andy Lam­bert

●● Macclesfield bowler Jack Ward con­tin­ued his fine form from last sea­son

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