Loss can’t take gloss off sea­son

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH - CRICKET

MAC­CLES­FIELD’S sea­son closed with a trip to Nantwich in what proved a dis­ap­point­ing end to a de­cent sea­son.

Heavy overnight rain, which per­sisted into the morn­ing, re­sulted in the square and out­field be­ing ex­tremely wet.

This meant the start time was de­layed by 45 min­utes and the overs re­duced to 47 overs per side.

Nantwich cap­tain Doyle won the toss and elected to bat first in what looked like tricky con­di­tions to bat in. The Nantwich open­ing bats­men looked to be pos­i­tive against Macc’s open­ing bowlers of Smith and Moores, with Simp­son strik­ing the first ball of the in­nings to the ex­tra cover bound­ary.

Smith then pro­duced the break­through hav­ing Simp­son (18) caught by Barron which brought Lan­cashire player Liv­ing­stone to the crease.

He was im­me­di­ately into his stride dis­patch­ing sev­eral enor­mous sixes into the ad­ja­cent fields and over the club­house.

Smith (2-54) stuck to his task and soon pro­duced a good de­liv­ery which nipped back and bowled Rim­mer (11).

Brown joined Liv­ing­stone at the wicket who had raced to his 50 at far bet­ter than a run a ball with pow­er­ful shots in par­tic­u­lar down the ground and over the leg side.

Set­ting a field for the Lan­cashire player was near on im­pos­si­ble as he un­furled an ar­ray of in­ven­tive sweep shots over the keep­ers head and huge blows way over the field­ers stand­ing on the bound­ary rope who could only stand and ad­mire.

Brown (20) be­gan to look com­fort­able at the crease as the score pro­gressed on to 113-2 be­fore the seam bowl­ing of Peal (1-53) ac­counted for his wicket as Smith took a good low catch div­ing for­ward at mid off.

The in­tro­duc­tion of Bir­chall into the at­tack ac­counted for next bats­men Cook-Sievewright (8), bowl­ing him with a quick, full de­liv­ery.

Ray Doyle then pro­vided sup­port to Liv­ing­stone who was show­ing no signs of slow­ing down as he raced to a hun­dred from just 60 de­liv­er­ies in­clud­ing eight max­i­mums.

Bir­chall then claimed his cru­cial wicket, shortly af­ter he reached his hun­dred, with a de­liv­ery that bounced and rushed the bats­men caus­ing the ball to hit high on the bat and was caught at long on.

Bir­chall (7-28) then pro­duced a su­perb spell of quick bowl­ing, hav­ing six of his seven vic­tims bowled, send­ing stumps cartwheel­ing.

Doyle (30) pro­duced some big hits late in the in­nings off the spin bowl­ing of Porter be­fore also be­ing bowled by Bir­chall.

From be­ing 180-5, Nantwich col­lapsed to 205 all out from just 32.2 overs, thanks mainly to the su­perb spell of bowl­ing from Bir­chall.

Macc openers Keen and Barron looked to pro­vide a solid plat­form as they be­gan their pur­suit of 206 for vic­tory.

Keen (12) looked to be pos­i­tive early on hit­ting bound­aries through ex­tra cover and mid on off the bowl­ing of Sy­d­dall (1-31) be­fore leav­ing one that jagged back and just clipped the off stump.

This brought Ber­tus to the crease in his fi­nal in­nings be­fore fly­ing back to Aus­tralia.

He also looked to be pos­i­tive and at­tack hit­ting a cou­ple of fours and a six in his cameo of 16 from 14 balls.

He then tried one shot too many as he looked to loft one over mid on off the bowl­ing of War­ring­ton only for the mid on fielder to stretch out an arm and cling on one handed.

Barron and next man Mars­den were then in­volved in a mix up with their run­ning which re­sulted in the lat­ter be­ing run out with­out scor­ing.

Barron (10) quickly fol­lowed, bowled by a de­liv- ery that nipped back from War­ring­ton which left Macc in a per­ilous po­si­tion at 44-4.

Porter looked de­ter­mined not to give his wicket away and Bir­chall at the other end man­aged to get away a cou­ple of bound­aries to stage a brief re­cov­ery.

War­ring­ton then bowled Bir­chall (11), as Bir­chall had done to him in the first in­nings, and soon bowled Par­fett first de­liv­ery with another ball that nipped back through the gate.

Porter and new man Cross then pro­gressed the Macc score from 60-6 up to 99 bat­tling through an ex­cel­lent spell of seam bowl­ing from War­ring­ton.

Porter was fi­nally un­done as he was caught off a de­liv­ery from War­ring­ton af­ter sur­viv­ing 59 de­liv­er­ies for his 27.

Cross (15) then chipped a re­turn a catch to the same bowler to take him to 77 league vic­tims for the sea­son.

The Macc in­nings then quickly came to a close, but not be­fore an ex­cel­lent lit­tle cameo from Smith who hit four con­sec­u­tive bound­aries off the bowl­ing of War­ring­ton as he was left un­beaten on 37 to boost the Macc score up to 162 all out from 40 overs, still well short of their tar­get of 206.

A dis­ap­point­ing way to end the sea­son for Macc with a loss in a game es­sen­tially won by a first class crick­eter, but a suc­cess­ful sea­son over­all as they fin­ish mid-ta­ble in sev­enth po­si­tion in the ECB Premier League.

This match was kindly spon­sored by East Cheshire Mort­gages.

Dar­ren Bolling­ton

●● Mac­cles­field were beaten at Nantwich but en­joyed a good sea­son over­all

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