Bertus shines in creditable loss
MACCLESFIELD took plenty of positives from their defeat against 2014 Cheshire cup and National T20 winners Chester Boughton Hall at Victoria Road in their first home game of the season.
Following the previous week’s comprehensive victory at Neston, CBH were sure to provide a formidable test early in the Premier League season.
The mixed weather forecast gave the captains a tough decision at the toss, which went Chester skippers Dixon’s way. He elected to bat first after much deliberation.
Macclesfield’s opening partnership of Tait and Ward, brimming with confidence after bowling Neston out for just 56, set about the Chester batting line up, hoping to make use of the new ball in the overcast, damp conditions.
After a few close appeals and a couple of dropped catches, the breakthrough was eventually made, Chris Moores dismissing Rowland (42) thanks to another trademark diving catch from skipper Tom Parfett.
Following a few stoppages for rain, Chester’s Cheshire pairing of Goodwin and Moore moved the score comfortably to 154-1 off 29 overs.
They quickly went on the attack as Goodwin brought up yet another magnificent century against Macclesfield with a six down the ground.
Following an impressive show of ball striking from Moore and in particular Goodwin, including five sixes in an over from Sultan Raja, they eventually fell for 89 and 154 respectively.
Chester finished on 319-4 from 44 overs thanks to a late revival from the bowlers, particularly Birchall who finished with three wickets to his name.
In reply, Parfett demanded his batting line up to go out and play positively. At 7-2 following the loss of Birchall and Keen in the second over, the innings got off to a worrying start.
Bertus, facing his first ball in English league cricket – a hat-trick ball from seemer Linwood – he dispatched it for four.
This set the tone for his innings, as Knight and Bertus took the attack to the Chester bowlers, in particular Bertus, who raced to his maiden league half century.
The pair put on 134 runs from 110 balls until the leg spin of Jack Williams broke the partnership, bowling Knight for a textbook 36 from the opener.
Though Bertus reached a magnificent century, showing his quality against the Chester attack, the next few overs saw the middle order struggle to set themselves against some quality spin bowling and Macclesfield lost two quick wickets in Porter and Ward.
Skipper Parfett then joined Bertus with the score at 157-5.
They had a chance to challenge the imposing total with 34 overs still to bowl. The score moved to 196 as the left handed Australian departed to Williams for 131 from 111 balls, a fantastic start to his season.
Cross (30*) and Parfett (27) showed some fight at the end of the innings seeing the side all out for 241 with Williams taking 6-43 of 16 overs.
There were lots of positives to be taken from the performance despite the 78-run defeat to a strong Chester Boughton Hall XI.
●● Bollington United U16s team who have won Division One of the Stockport Metro League