Lead­ers dealt blow at Macc

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH - CRICKET

MAC­CLES­FIELD took on league lead­ers Hyde at Vic­to­ria Road on Satur­day and clinched vic­tory to dent their op­po­nent’s ti­tle as­pi­ra­tions.

Macc skip­per Par­fett won the toss and elected to bowl first on a wicket with an even cov­er­ing of grass which looked to be a very seamer friendly pitch.

Tait was back in the Mac­cles­field ranks to bol­ster their bowl­ing at­tack and started ex­tremely well, claim­ing Dear­den’s wicket with the first de­liv­ery of the in­nings, caught at mid-wicket mis­cu­ing an at­tempted pull shot.

Tait (4-41) found an ex­cel­lent line and length, and was well sup­ported by C. Moores (1-18) at the other end who was find­ing plenty of seam move­ment.

Next to go was Sawas (6), on his re­turn to Vic­to­ria Road, edg­ing a de­liv­ery from Tait that was safely pouched by Porter at first slip. Duffy (0) was the next man in but Tait soon in­duced his out­side edge and Keen took a very sharp catch at third slip.

Tip­per (13) joined Berry (12) at the crease, the lat­ter fall­ing af­ter a loose drive off the bowl­ing of Moores re­sulted in him be­ing caught by Ber­tus at sec­ond slip.

Tip­per be­gan to look more com­fort­able and hit some pow­er­ful strokes to the fence un­til Tait re­moved him with a caught and bowled.

At 35-5 Hyde were in se­ri­ous trou­ble and in need of a part­ner­ship to steady the in­nings. Brierley came to the wicket to join Fitzsim­mons who be­gan to un­leash some well cal­cu­lated, ag­gres­sive strokes, be­ing par­tic­u­larly pun­ish­ing through and over the ex­tra cover re­gion.

Fitzsim­mons moved onto a well made 50, with Brierley (6) of­fer­ing good sup­port at the other end with­out scor­ing.

The in­tro­duc­tion of Bir­chall (1-35) into the bowl­ing at­tack ac­counted for Brierley, find­ing a thin edge through to wicket keeper Cross. Next man in Whit­taker (15) con­tin­ued to pro­vide good sup­port to Fitzsim­mons (80) with Macc spin­ners Porter (2-30) and Raja (2-19) bowl­ing very tightly in tan­dem.

Hyde moved steadily onto 120-6 as they looked to ac­cel­er­ate to­wards the end of their in­nings.

Whit­taker then fell in search of a bound­ary, caught by Ward off the bowl­ing of Raja at deep square leg. Wil­liams and All­cock both came and went in quick suc­ces­sion in search of quick runs.

Last man Woods looked to pro­vide sup­port to Fitzsim­mon, who launched a cou­ple of sixes late on in the in­nings to boost the Hyde to­tal up to 150.

Fitzsim­mon was last man to fall for a well crafted 80 as he at­tempted another six off the bowl­ing of Porter which Keen safely pouched at deep mid-wicket.

Hyde fin­ished up on 150 all out, just shy of us­ing their al­lo­ca­tion of 55 overs.

Macc be­gan their in­nings know­ing the to­tal was well within their grasp – how­ever, it would take plenty of pa­tience and skil­ful bat­ting on a tricky bat­ting wicket.

Keen (13) and Barron started well, mov­ing the to­tal onto 25-0 from the first 10 overs be­fore Keen fell to the spin of Woods.

Ber­tus joined Barron and the pair bat­tled hard and pro­duced an im­por­tant part­ner­ship to take Macc past the 50 mark.

Barron be­gan to pick the scor­ing rate up, strik­ing an el­e­gant cover drive to the bound­ary off the bowl­ing of Whit­taker.

How­ever, Whit­taker (2-98) soon had his man as he trapped Barron (26) LBW to a de­liv­ery that was angling down the leg side.

Porter (0), Ward (4) and Bir­chall (7) all soon fol­lowed for Macc which left them at 90-5.

Ber­tus (58) moved onto his 50, strik­ing two big pull shots for six with one thump­ing into the club house win­dows. He was then ad­judged LBW at­tempt­ing to sweep a quicker ball off the spin of Woods (6-53) which left Macc slightly more ner­vous. Par­fett strode to the crease and found his tim­ing im­me­di­ately.

Cross (1) looked to score some quick­fire runs, how­ever could only man­age to edge an at­tempted cut shot off Woods to the safe hands of Berry at first slip.

Par­fett was hit­ting some lovely bound­aries and now looked like Macc’s last hope if they were to get the last 25 runs re­quired for vic­tory.

C. Moores (4) ably sup­ported Par­fett and picked up the odd sin­gle to keep the strike ro­tated. How­ever, a mis­judged quick sin­gle to mid-off brought his down­fall. Macc’s num­ber 10, Raja (0), was then trapped LBW from Woods sec­ond ball which brought Tait (0*) to the crease, in what could be his fi­nal game for the Mac­cles­field first team.

With seven runs re­quired for vic­tory, Par­fett (35*) launched a mag­nif­i­cent six over the leg side off Woods to bring Macc to within touch­ing dis­tance of vic­tory.

Par­fett then man­aged to squeeze a de­liv­ery out from Woods be­hind square on the off side to take Macc over the win­ning line in a nail bit­ing fin­ish.

A great cap­tain’s in­nings to see his side to vic­tory by one wicket, show­ing plenty of char­ac­ter in the face of ex­treme pres­sure from the Hyde play­ers. This win con­sol­i­dates Macc’s mid-ta­ble po­si­tion in the ECB Premier League as they picked up the full 25 points to Hyde’s six.

Dar­ren Bolling­ton

●● Mac­cles­field cricket ac­tion

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