Edge edge out Macc in opener

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH - PETER BAR­RON

AF­TER a week of glo­ri­ous sun­shine, the typ­i­cal Mac­cles­field cli­mate re­turned on Satur­day, just in time for the first game of the 2016 Cheshire County Cricket League.

Mac­cles­field wel­comed Alder­ley Edge to Vic­to­ria Road for the sea­son opener, in a match spon­sored by The Chilli Banana Thai Restau­rant Mac­cles­field – and the word ‘chilly’ was cer­tainly be­ing used from 2pm on­wards!

Af­ter a minute’s si­lence held in mem­ory of Rick Davis (for­mer panel um­pire and Alder­ley Edge fix­ture sec­re­tary), who died sud­denly in Mac­cles­field Gen­eral Hospi­tal last month, the two sides soon be­gan their new cam­paign.

Alder­ley won the toss and elected to field first. Lan­cashire all-rounder Jor­dan Clark took the new ball for the vis­i­tors along with Tom Fore­man.

Af­ter a few early bound­aries from John Birchall and Peter Bar­ron, Clark struck twice in his open­ing spell, first by trap­ping Birchall (13) LBW and then a few overs later re­mov­ing Bar­ron (21) who dragged a pull shot onto his stumps.

This left Macc on 55-2, with the Aus­tralian, Nick Ber­tus, and debu­tant Oliver Mars­den now hav­ing to steady the ship some­what.

The pair man­aged to add a fur­ther 27 runs be­fore last sea­son’s over­seas hit a full toss to back­ward point in an un­for­tu­nate dis­missal. Ber­tus had made 29, show­ing glimpses of some of his ex­pert tim­ing from last year.

Mars­den con­tin­ued to look com­fort­able and new cap­tain Rob Porter, helped to push the score along. Macc were in a strong po­si­tion come the drinks break and soon reached 134-3 with plenty of overs to go.

How­ever, a col­lapse en­sued, which saw Mars­den (30) play on to his stumps off the spin of Char­lie Reid, Porter caught on the bound­ary for a very en­ter­tain­ing 31 and James Cross given LBW. Macc were now in a spot of bother at 136-6.

That soon be­came 1518, as the re-in­tro­duc­tion of Clark (4-54) claimed the wick­ets of Par­fett (5) and McCance (6).

En­ter Bar­ney Cut­bill, who re­minded the Macc faith­ful what he is all about.

He took on Clark who was fired up and look­ing for his fifth vic­tim.

Cut­bill dug in be­fore hit­ting Clark for six over deep square leg, while adding bound­aries off the other bowlers.

He moved on to 22 off 25 balls, be­fore be­ing caught on the bound­ary, but it was his fight­ing spirit which added ex­tra im­pe­tus to Macc’s in­nings and this was ev­i­dent in the fi­nal 23-run part­ner­ship be­tween Chris Moores (15 not out) and Sul­tan Raja (16), who both fought ad­mirably and showed stylish stroke-play to take Macc up to 201 all out off 50.5 overs.

Alder­ley started their in­nings brightly with a few early bound­aries through Calum Rowe (15) and Alan Day (22).

But Birchall claimed the first scalp of the sea­son for Macc when he had Rowe caught be­hind off a sharp catch from Cross, who had moved up to the stumps.

For­mer Macc player Khalid Sawas then came to the crease and hit three classy bound­aries and was look­ing dan­ger­ous.

How­ever he be­came Mars­den’s first wicket for the East Cheshire club when he was caught by Cut­bill at mid-off. This left Alder­ley on 34-2.

That man Clark then came to the crease and built a part­ner­ship with Day. Clark worked hard, ap­plied him­self and didn’t look like giv­ing his wicket away.

Day and Clark hit the oc­ca­sional bound­ary but mainly pushed the sin­gles around and added a valu­able 50 part­ner­ship for the third wicket.

Chris Moores changed the script though when his left arm seam bowl­ing turned the game mo­men­tar­ily. Day first of all mist­imed a drive to mid-off, where Cut­bill hung on again, and then he claimed the wicket of Wilkin­son for a golden duck, trap­ping him LBW with a su­perb swing­ing de­liv­ery, back into the right han­der.

That meant Alder­ley were 89-4 and in need of a cou­ple of big part­ner­ships if they were to start the sea­son with a vic­tory. And that is what hap­pened.

More ex­pe­ri­ence in the shape of firstly Wor­rall (35) and se­condly Cur­rie (20 not out) sup­ported Clark com­mend­ably over the next 15 overs.

Clark con­tin­ued to look com­fort­able against Macc’s at­tack and his part­ners didn’t let the pres­sure build.

When Wor­rall de­parted off Mars­den’s bowl­ing the score was 137-5 and when Clark fi­nally went for a match-win­ning 75 off the bowl­ing of Cut­bill, Alder­ley were 183-6 and al­most home.

Macc pushed right un­til the end search­ing for an­other break­through, but Alder­ley just had too much qual­ity bat­ting left. Char­lie Reid (14 not out) hit the win­ning runs af­ter 41 overs, mean­ing Macc’s first game ended in de­feat, but a de­feat filled with much op­ti­mism. Alder­ley took the 25 points, to Macc’s eight.

●● Bar­ney Cut­bill hit 22 off 25 balls for Mac­cles­field

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