Macc re­turn to win­ning ways

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH - CRICKET PETER BARRON

MAC­CLES­FIELD picked up a valu­able win in their home game against Grap­pen­hall in a key bot­tom-half of the ta­ble clash.

Los­ing the toss, Macc were put into bat first on a wicket which would prove to of­fer en­cour­age­ment for both bats­men and bowlers.

Macc’s openers, Peter Barron and Chris Thompson, set about the in­nings in a care­ful man­ner.

Af­ter a cou­ple of early bound­aries, the Grap­pen­hall bowlers soon found their ar­eas and scor­ing freely be­came a prob­lem with the oc­ca­sional ball also pass­ing the edge.

How­ever with the mix of the odd bound­ary, sin­gles and watch­ful­ness, the two openers built a solid, if not speedy, foun­da­tion for the in­nings. When Barron (37) was caught at first slip the score was 57-1 af­ter 20 overs.

Thompson then con­tin­ued to play a key an­chor role for Macc, show­ing great pa­tience and de­ter­mi­na­tion, giv­ing the Grap­pen­hall bowlers lit­tle im­pe­tus, whilst the in­com­ing bats­man, Nick Ber­tus, pun­ished any loose de­liv­er­ies for four or six. Ber­tus was play­ing well and was in the mood for some big runs.

He played sen­si­bly and as­sertively. He raced on to 30, tak­ing Macc past the hun­dred mark at drinks, still for the loss of only one wicket.

Af­ter drinks, Thompson was dis­missed for 31 when he was caught at cover and Macc were now 1152. This brought cap­tain, Tom Par­fett, to the crease and he sup­ported Ber­tus well, who brought up his 50.

The pair added 35 runs to­gether be­fore Par­fett (13) top edged a sweep shot to deep square leg and was caught on the bound­ary. Macc were now 150-3.

Bir­chall came in for the home side and started well. With plenty of overs left Macc were hop­ing for a score of 250.

How­ever, Grap­pen­hall’s bowlers did not give in and were re­warded with the key wicket of Ber­tus for 55, when he edged to the wick­et­keeper. Mo­ments later Fin­lay McCance was out and Macc were now 167-5.

Macc con­tin­ued adding runs, mainly through Bir­chall who was tim­ing the ball well. Un­for­tu­nately the hosts also kept los­ing wick­ets.

Bir­chall was caught ex­pertly on the bound­ary for a key con­tri­bu­tion of 32 and Liam Markie (12) was also caught af­ter hit­ting two big sixes, his first six com­ing off his first ball, which saw a good length ball dis­patched over long off!

In the end though Macc just couldn’t muster up another big part­ner­ship and were bowled out for 217 af­ter 54.4 overs, with Grap­pen­hall’s Pen­ning­ton be­ing the pick of the bowlers with fig­ures of 5-40.

In the field, Macc started very well through Ian Tait. Af­ter two weeks out with in­jury, Tait was rar­ing to go and his third ball of the in­nings was a fast yorker, bowl­ing the Grap­pen­hall opener for a duck.

The de­struc­tive James McCoy then started tak­ing the at­tack to Macc and moved the scor­ing rate on hand­somely for Grap­pen­hall. They reached 50 in­side the first 10 overs and were well placed.

How­ever that man Tait pro­vided the much needed break­through of McCoy (37) when he went af­ter one too many and hit one straight up, for wick­et­keeper Cross, who took a good catch.

Tait was then in busi­ness again as he re­moved Pen­ning­ton for a duck and now the score was on 54-3. Grap­pen­hall re­sponded well how­ever and be­gan to build a de­cent part­ner­ship, stem­ming the flow of wick­ets. Roy­lance and Green, bat­ted con­ser­va­tively but also found the bound­ary when they needed to.

They were well up with the re­quired rate and were the favourites to win when they took the score on to 136-3.

But just af­ter pass­ing fifty, Roy­lance (54) top edged a sweep to Markie off Sultan Raja’s bowl­ing and Macc were now back in the game.

Once Tait re­moved the dan­ger­ous Green for 40, the mo­men­tum swung back in Macc’s favour, with the score now on 138-5.

The re­quired rate was now climb­ing and Sultan Raja claimed two more scalps in quick time, one bowled and one aided by a smart catch from Bir­chall. Liam Markie picked up a wicket from the other end to add more pres­sure on the away team.

Fi­nally two more good catches in the deep, from Chris Moores and Liam Markie, off Raja’s bowl­ing, sealed vic­tory for Macc. Raja fin­ished with fig­ures of 5-50 as Grap­pen­hall ended on 172 all out off 45.4 overs.

Much was owed to Ian Tait as well, who bowled with con­trol, ag­gres­sion and ex­pe­ri­ence, claim­ing fig­ures of 4-57 off 20 overs. Macc take a big 25 points and look ahead to next week’s game against Bramhall.

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