Slick openers run
CHESHIRE COUNTY CRICKET LEAGUE MACCLESFIELD ....... 164-5 MARPLE ........................ 163
MACCLESFIELD took the plaudits with victory against Marple after the Stockport side suffered a batting collapse brought on by the twin threat of opening bowlers Ian Tait and Jack Ward.
On a warm summer’s day at Victoria Road, Macclesfield won the toss and elected to field first against Marple.
Macc continued where they left off with the ball last week against Chester Boughton-Hall, with Ward (sponsored by East Cheshire Mortgages) taking the big wicket of former Cheshire player Andy Hall early on, when he nipped one back, resulting in the right hander leaving the ball onto his stumps.
Meanwhile, Tait was bowling quickly and accurately and made it 9-2 when he induced an edge from Marple’s other opener, James Morgan.
Macc’s opening bowlers continued to bowl superbly and another big wicket fell when Marple’s captain Mark Bennett top edged a pull shot off Ward to Will Smith at mid-on, who took the catch comfortably.
Macc then exerted more pressure on Marple with Tait claiming another wicket leaving Marple on 32-4.
As the score slowly moved on to 55-4, Ward struck twice in two balls to remove Young and then Harbinson, who was bowled for a first-ball duck, meaning Macc were right on top with Marple struggling on 55-6.
After a stylish knock from Jake Warner (20), Ward then reached a second five wicket hall in consecutive games, as he had the former Macc player caught in the gully region, leaving the score on 77-7.
However, even though Macc were taking wickets and in the ascendancy, the number five batsman (Makin) was still in and with capable batting partners left, Macc still had a lot of work to do.
The left arm bowling of Chris Moores accounted for the key wicket of Wood, who was trapped LBW off a ball swinging back into the right hander.
This was a timely breakthrough after a 28-run partnership that was threatening to develop into something bigger.
This left the score on 105-8. Macc now felt they could finish the innings off soon.
However, Makin continued to look solid and added much needed runs, whilst number 10, Joe Cash freed his arms in a quick-fire 24.
This culminated in an attacking 58-run partnership which was eventually ended by a fine catch from Barney Cutbill at mid-on, off the bowling of Porter.
Thankfully for Macc, no more runs were added as Porter bowled Greasley, meaning Marple finished on 163 all out off 45 overs; a score Macc would definitely have taken at the start of the innings.
The dangerous Makin ended on 63 not out and the pick of Macc’s bowlers was again Jack Ward with figures of 5-63.
Macc’s run chase got off to an edgy start with, Rob Keen (9) and then Nick Bertus (0) both caught behind off the bowling of Sam Harbinson (2-55), leaving Macc on 11-2.
Peter Barron and Jack Ward went about consolidating, whilst adding some runs, in a 45-run partnership.
Ward struck some powerful boundaries before edging to first slip off the bowling of Andy Greasley (2-38), which left the score on 56-3.
Not long after, Rob Porter was also caught at first slip off the bowling of Greasley after an attempted sweep shot hit his pad and then the back of his bat and looped kindly over the wicketkeeper’s head for Hall to take a diving catch. Macc were now on 72-4.
This brought captain, Tom Parfett, to the crease and with Macc as only slight favourites at this point, Barron and Parfett batted sensibly to stop anymore wickets from falling.
The pair moved the score up to 100, punishing any loose deliveries and rotating the strike against the spinners. Barron, meanwhile, played the
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