Bats­men put Macc to sword

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH - CRICKET MAC­CLES­FIELD CC

MAC­CLES­FIELD made the short trip to Chea­dle on Satur­day look­ing to con­tinue their good form in the sec­ond half of the 2015 sea­son.

Chea­dle skip­per Sper­ring won the toss and elected to bowl first on what looked a seam­er­friendly wicket, in a game that was es­sen­tially a must-win match for the home side in or­der to avoid rel­e­ga­tion from the Premier League.

Keen and Barron opened up the in­nings for Macc and had to con­tend with an er­ratic open­ing spell from Chea­dle’s Aus­tralian Fo­tia and the con­trast­ing ac­cu­rate seam bowl­ing from Amin from the other end.

Both play­ers bat­tled to an open­ing part­ner­ship of 36 which was brought to end when Keen bot­tom edged an at­tempted cut stroke which the keeper, Bul­lock, caught well stood up to the stumps.

Barron strug­gled to find his usual flu­ency and soon fol­lowed, edg­ing a de­liv­ery from Fo­tia to first slip for five.

Ber­tus and Porter then at­tempted to con­sol­i­date the Macc in­nings as they looked to sur­vive on a seam­ing wicket, how­ever Porter (2) was un­done by a de­liv­ery from Brown look­ing to drive through the cov­ers and was again caught well be­hind the stumps by Bul­lock.

This wicket fell in a good pe­riod for Chea­dle, with five wick­ets fall­ing for just 20 runs, as Ward and Par­fett both fol­lowed in quick suc­ces­sion with­out trou­bling the scor­ers.

Find­ley (19) came to the wicket to join Ber­tus and bat­tled well, pick­ing up the odd bound­ary.

Ber­tus bat­ted pa­tiently into the 30s and then looked to play more ex­pan­sively, mov­ing onto 50 with some well cal­cu­lated shots over the in­field, in­clud­ing a fan­tas­tic six over ex­tra cover to bring up his half-cen­tury.

Find­ley then per­ished, stumped down the leg side bring­ing Cross to the wicket who of­fered good sup­port. Ber­tus con­tin­ued to find the bound­ary with ease and ac­cel­er­ated through the gears.

Cross then fell at­tempt­ing to dis­patch a full toss out of the park, only to be caught on the deep mid­wicket bound­ary.

Smith and Moores both fell with­out scor­ing which brought Macc’s num­ber 11 on the day, Raja, to the crease with Macc in a per­ilous po­si­tion at 120-9.

Raja (7*) pro­vided valu­able sup­port to Ber­tus, who was un­leash­ing shots all around the wicket, mov­ing on to 80 be­fore be­ing caught in the deep in at­tempt to find the bound­ary, which brought to an end a su­perb in­nings to give the Macc bowl­ing at­tack some sort of to­tal to de­fend. Macc fin­ished on 166 all out af­ter 43 overs.

Macc took to the field miss­ing their three front line seam­ers of Tait, Ward (in­jured) and Bir­chall, but were still con­fi­dent they could force a vic­tory.

How­ever, this did not ma­te­ri­alise as the Chea­dle openers took the game away from Macc on their own pro­duc­ing an ag­gres­sive open­ing stand of 120.

The break­through even­tu­ally came cour­tesy of Keen’s first wicket in the first team, pro­duc­ing a good de­liv­ery that nipped back through the gate to bowl Prince for 64.

Shortly af­ter, Keen (1-16) was re­moved from the at­tack, re­placed by the spin of Raja (4-60) who went on to pick up four wick­ets, in­clud­ing that of Dixon for 68, as Chea­dle at­tempted to fin­ish the game quickly, spoon­ing a cou­ple of catches to Par­fett at mid-off.

How­ever, the late flurry of wick­ets were all in vain for Macc in the end as Chea­dle went on to win by five wick­ets.

Macc picked up a dis­ap­point­ing six points to Chea­dle’s 25.

Macc will still look to fin­ish the sea­son as strongly as pos­si­ble, with fix­tures against Hyde next week at home and away at Nantwich for their fi­nal game of the sea­son.

Matt Rat­cliffe

●● Mac­cles­field’s Rob Porter was dis­missed for just two runs against Chea­dle on Satur­day

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