Ber­tus shines in cred­itable loss

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH - MACCLESFIELD CC

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.

En­ter

Nick

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

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