Bowlers push Macc to victory
AN inspired bowling display gave Macclesfield victory at Bramhall in the Cheshire Premier League.
The home side won the toss and elected to field first.
Macc’s opening batsmen, Rob Keen and Peter Barron, started well taking 11 off the first two overs, but it wasn’t long before the Bramhall bowlers tightened up their lines and produced a number of dot balls.
Barron (8) was the first to go when he was trapped LBW off the bowling of Daniel Lamb, leaving the score on 19-1 off eight overs. Nick Bertus (4) was then caught at slip off Lamb not long after and Macc were now 25-2.
Porter and Keen looked to stabilise the innings for the East Cheshire outfit, but it was proving difficult on a very slow, spongy surface.
The pair managed to take the score on to 39 when Keen was caught in the deep for 16.
Macc managed to find some sort of partnership in the way of Porter and Birchall, who grafted well, the latter playing some aggressive strokes to move the score along.
Unfortunately Birchall was dismissed for 19, just as Macc were adding impetus to their innings. The score was now 73-4 at the mid-point of Macc’s innings.
Porter was next to go off the bowling of Littlewood. He had also battled to 19, but succumbed to a slip catch. Macc now had two new batsmen in the shape of captain Parfett and Finlay McCance. Parfett patiently made 13 but was given LBW off the bowling of Wilkinson, leaving Macc on 90-6.
McCance then became the anchor for Macc. As the remaining wickets continued to fall, he stuck it out on a wicket in which you were never in on. He ended up with 20 – a determined knock and top score of Macc’s innings, before receiving an excellent yorker from Lamb who claimed figures of 5-37.
Key contributions from James Cross (12) and Sultan Raja (13) down the order ensured
Macc limped up to 142 all out off 54.5 overs. Notably Bramhall’s spinner, Wilkinson, also bowled well, finishing with figures of 3-20.
Even given the conditions of the wicket, the general feeling was Macc were about 30 runs short of a par score at the interval.
In the field, Macc started brightly, when Ian Tait continued where he left off the previous week. With his third ball of the innings he induced the edge of Bramhall’s opener, Atiq uz-Zaman, who flashed at a rising delivery only to be caught at third man by Raja.
This brought Daniel Lamb to the crease who joined opener James Crisall. The latter was going very well, hitting frequent boundaries. The pair added 39, of which Crisall scored 28 –the highest individual score of the day.
It was Crisall who departed when he was trapped LBW by Tait. Then, with 100 needed for victory Lamb (5) played a bizarre stroke off Raja, reverse-sweeping the spinner on to his stumps.
This was soon followed by a wicket from Birchall who had Hughes caught behind for five, leaving Bramhall on 46-4.
The home side looked to rebuild and in similar fashion to Macc’s innings, they managed to push the score on to 70 at the midpoint of the innings, mainly thanks to West, who hit a quick-fire 18.
However, the introduction of Rob Porter proved to be a great move from Parfett.
With his first ball he had West caught in the deep, through fantastic work from Birchall who steadied himself after sprinting round from deep square leg to deep mid-wicket, holding on to an important catch.
Soon, it went from 70-5 to 75-6, which then became 75-7 and then 75-8 in the space of a few overs!
This marvellous spell of bowling from Porter put Macc on the brink of victory, with close catches from Parfett, Barron and Tait backing up the offspinner, whilst Raja bowled expertly from the other end.
Cantello offered resistance however, but was running out of partners, as he threatened to pull off a now unlikely victory.
Wilkinson (3) was then bowled by Porter a few overs later, leaving Bramhall on 87-9.
However the final wicket did not come so easily, as the stubborn Cantello refused to give his wicket away and was well-supported by Littlewood.
As Bramhall passed the 100 mark, Parfett brought Tait back into the attack. It proved to be another good move as with the eighth ball of his second spell, he removed Littlewood for 10, as Nick Bertus took a tremendous low-diving slip catch.
Tait finished with figures of 3-15 in what was another brilliant performance from the tall, fast bowler.
Meanwhile Porter’s match-winning spell, returned figures of 5-16, rewarding Macc with another 25 points as Bramhall finished on 103 all out from 45.2 overs.
●● Ian Tait took three wickets for 15 runs for Macclesfield