Macc left bot­tom af­ter Chea­dle loss

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH - MAC­CLES­FIELD CC

MAC­CLES­FIELD were back on the road with a trip away to Chea­dle at the week­end but re­turned home empty handed af­ter a loss which left them bot­tom of the table.

On a warm, sunny day, Macc won the toss and elected to field first.

Oli Mars­den and Bar­ney Cut­bill took the new ball and the Chea­dle open­ers started as they meant to go on.

Dan Brown hit the first ball of the in­nings straight to gully, but it was travelling at such a rate that Par­fett did well to even lay a hand on it, which stopped a cer­tain four runs.

The Chea­dle open­ers, mainly Brown, played ag­gres­sively, pun­ish­ing any­thing loose by whack­ing it to the bound­ary. The mar­gin for er­ror be­came less and less for the Macc bowlers as Brown’s con­fi­dence grew and grew.

Cap­tain Rob Porter in­tro­duced some spin bowl­ing into the at­tack in the shape of leg spin­ner Ciaran San­ders. San­ders started well and seemed to be slow­ing the rate, un­til Brown and opener Greg Dixon, who ably sup­ported Brown through­out, sud­denly took a lik­ing to him and scored a few more bound­aries, com­pound­ing Macc’s dis­mal start.

John Birchall and Sul­tan Raja of­fered some hope for Macc and were bowl­ing con­sis­tently.

Birchall in­duced some false shots from Brown, who was lucky not to chop onto his stumps on a cou­ple of oc­ca­sions. How­ever, Macc toiled and toiled but just couldn’t get the break­through.

Chea­dle brought up the 100 open­ing part­ner­ship and Brown con­tin­ued in his ruth­less fash­ion. A few overs later, he brought up an out­stand­ing cen­tury just be­fore the 30 over mark and didn’t look like get­ting out any­time soon, as Chea­dle boasted a 150 open­ing part­ner­ship.

Macc did even­tu­ally get their first break­through how­ever, when Har­lan Greig tossed one up only for Dixon (51) to mist­ime a shot down to­wards long on, where Birchall held on ad­mirably.

Chea­dle’s open­ing on­slaught had come to an end with the score on 1821. Not long af­ter Macc were cel­e­brat­ing again as Greig claimed the huge wicket of Brown – who had danced down the track and missed the ball, al­low­ing James Cross to whip off the bails.

Brown de­parted to a stand­ing ova­tion for a truly mag­nif­i­cent 133, with the score now on 192-2. This soon be­came 196-3 as Raja and Cross com­bined for an­other stump­ing for Macc, who were now start­ing to get a foothold in the game.

Chea­dle’s Fletcher threat­ened to take the game away from Macc again, as he hit some strong shots for six.

How­ever, Raja claimed an­other wicket with a very non­cha­lant one-handed catch off his own bowl­ing to dis­miss the Aus­tralian for 24. Birchall came back into the at­tack and re­moved Yousaf for a duck. Birchall and Raja were now bowl­ing very well in tan­dem, keep­ing things rel­a­tively tight whilst tak­ing wick­ets.

Raja (3-54 off 17 overs) claimed a third wicket as his left arm spin con­tin­ued to tie down the in­com­ing bats­men.

Chea­dle were now on 225-6 and sud­denly well on their way to be­ing bowled out.

The tail wagged some­what with Dooler bat­ting well to fin­ish on 20 not out but Macc weren’t to be de­nied as Birchall (4-58) claimed three more scalps and a fan­tas­tic run out from Par­fett/Cross meant the hosts were bowled out for 280 in the fi­nal over. .

Un­for­tu­nately, the mo­men­tum was short lived as Birchall was caught be­hind in the first over off the bowl­ing of Lancashire sec­ond team player, Nathan Buck.

Through Ber­tus and Mars­den, Macc fought back well and the pair added 60 be­fore Chea­dle claimed their next vic­tim.

It was a big wicket as well, as Ber­tus was bowled for 31 and had been threat­en­ing an­other big score.

From the very next ball, Rashid Amin bowled Greig and Macc were re­ally up against it when 60-3 be­came 86-5, as both Porter and San­ders couldn’t keep Amin’s (4-40) tricky swing­ing and seam­ing de­liv­er­ies out.

Mars­den and Par­fett bat­ted well to­gether and of­fered some hope of a draw.

Par­fett played some won­der­ful cut shots to the fence, while Mars­den con­tin­ued to look com­fort­able. The lat­ter moved passed his 50 but was un­for­tu­nate to be caught not long af­ter off a leading edge for 51, leav­ing the score on 128-6.

A cou­ple of overs later, Bar­ron was bowled for a duck play­ing an ugly sweep shot off the spin bowl­ing of Holmes.

James Cross came to the crease and hit some strong pull shots off the bowl­ing of Buck who had been rein­tro­duced into the at­tack.

With three wick­ets left and around 10 overs to go a draw was still pos­si­ble.

How­ever, Cross (18) was un­lucky to chop on to his stumps to see Buck claim his sec­ond wicket, leav­ing the score on 166-8.

Cut­bill was LBW to Holmes (3-33) not long af­ter and Par­fett, who had bat­ted with real re­silience and style, was un­for­tu­nately the last wicket to fall when he was bowled by Buck for a bril­liant 44. Macc fin­ished on 177 all out off 47.1 overs.

It was a dis­ap­point­ing day for the 1st XI, with the 103-run de­feat leav­ing them bot­tom of the league af­ter six matches. The side will be do­ing all they can to climb the table in their next game which is away at Toft on Satur­day.

Mean­while the 2nd XI won again, at home to Chea­dle. Craig Mel­rose was the pick of the bowlers with fig­ures of 5-22, ably sup­ported by Stu­art Parks (3-44), as Chea­dle were bowled out for 124 in­side 40 overs. Macc knocked it off two down, as McCance (49 not out) and Alex Grif­fiths (41 not out) shared an un­bro­ken 85-run third wicket part­ner­ship to guide the hosts to vic­tory af­ter 30.2 overs. The 2nd XI have now moved up to sixth in the table.

The thirds lost out in an en­ter­tain­ing game at home to table-top­pers Hasling­ton. Macc were chas­ing 206 to win and looked on course for vic­tory as Nick McAn­drew (85 not out) bat­ted su­perbly.

How­ever, two late-ish wick­ets meant Macc were bowled out for 197, los­ing by just eight runs.

●● Sul­tan Raja in ac­tion for Mac­cles­field against Chea­dle at the week­end

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