Slick openers run

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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

Pics: Dar­ren Bolling­ton

●● Ac­tion from Mac­cles­field Cricket Club

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