It’s too lit­tle too

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH - ROBERT KEEN

CHESHIRE COUNTY CRICKET LEAGUE

MAC­CLES­FIELD took on Nantwich at Vic­to­ria Road this week­end and on a warm, hu­mid day came off sec­ond best.

Macc won the toss and elected to have first use of a good look­ing bat­ting wicket.

The new open­ing pair of Bir­chall and Keen started brightly for Mac­cles­field with a 50 open­ing stand dom­i­nated by the pow­er­ful hit­ting of Bir­chall.

Keen (8) was first to fall to the spin of Grif­fiths, caught at the wicket, with the score on 61.

This brought Ber­tus to the crease to join Bir­chall who had raced along to his half cen­tury, pun­ish­ing any de­liv­ery slightly short of length.

Ber­tus looked in good touch un­til he was un­done by a slower de­liv­ery caught at mid off, off the bowl­ing of cur­rent Lan­cashire player Liv­ing­stone.

Fur­ther quick wick­ets be­gan to fall for Macc with both Porter and Par­fett fall­ing with­out scor­ing, which saw Macc col­lapse from 61-0 to 88-5.

Jack Ward (spon­sored by East Cheshire Mort­gages) and James Cross pro­vided some back­bone to the Macc in­nings, putting on a valu­able stand of 50 to boost the Macc to­tal up to 135.

Ward then fell for a gritty 19, top edg­ing a slog sweep in at­tempt to pro­vide some ac­cel­er­a­tion into the in­nings.

Cross con­tin­ued to play with cau­tion mixed with some con­trolled ag­gres­sion where the op­por­tu­nity arose strik­ing two sixes in in­nings of 38, be­fore be­ing run out in an un­for­tu­nate mix up.

The Macc lower or­der of Smith (9), Moores (15*), Raja (8) and Cut­bill (14) dug in and dragged Macc up to a to­tal of 191 all out in 54.5 overs.

This pro­vided the Macc bowl­ing at­tack with some­thing to de­fend but they knew they would have to be on top of their game and take all chances that came their way.

De­spite an en­cour­ag­ing first few overs from Macc open­ing bowlers Ward and Moores, the break­through did not ma­te­ri­alise.

A com­bi­na­tion of missed chances in the field and some loose bowl­ing eased the pres­sure on the Nantwich open­ing bats­men, who cruised along to a 150 run open­ing stand.

Macc skip­per Par­fett used six bowlers in at­tempt to mix things up and bring a wicket.

How­ever, when the break­through was even­tu­ally made by Porter hav­ing Simp­son (85) caught on the bound­ary edge, the game had long gone.

With the score at 190-1, it was fit­ting that Raut hit the win­ning runs for Nantwich in a stylish un­beaten knock of 108.

Nantwich won by nine wick­ets in­side 37 overs, tak­ing 25 points to Macc’s six .

Macc fared no bet­ter on Sun­day when they trav­elled up to Dids­bury in a Cheshire Cup clash which saw the away side bat first.

On a tough bat­ting track, Macc could only muster 142 with only Keen (32) and Par­fett (26) able to get go­ing on a sur­face con­ducive to spin.

With a heav­ily weak­ened Mac­cles­field bowl­ing at­tack, Dids­bury then knocked off the to­tal with ease with the loss of just one wicket.

One bright note for Macc was the bowl­ing of 15-year-old Rob­bie Peal who bowled with great con­trol on his de­but for the first team.

Over­all, a dis­ap­point­ing week­end for Macc at the half way point in the sea­son.

They now look for­ward to a T20 tie at Urm­ston on Thurs­day evening, and a home game against Ne­ston in the league on Satur­day.

Dar­ren Bolling­ton

●● Ac­tion from Mac­cles­field Cricket Club’s game against Nantwich at the week­end

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