Leaders dealt blow at Macc
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.
●● Macclesfield cricket action