Batsmen put Macc to sword
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.
●● Macclesfield’s Rob Porter was dismissed for just two runs against Cheadle on Saturday