Bowlers push Macc to vic­tory

Macclesfield Express - - SPORT - CRICKET PETER BARRON

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.

Matt Rat­cliffe

●● Ian Tait took three wick­ets for 15 runs for Mac­cles­field

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