Macc cruise to first home win
MACCLESFIELD CC 1st XI entertained Sale CC 1st XI in their first home game of the 2017 season, in a match sponsored by Mopart UK Ltd, and emerged victorious with a nine-wicket win.
Winning the toss, skipper Rob Porter, asked the visitors to bat first.
Craig Melrose and Otis Palmes opened the bowling for Macc and the former took a wicket in his first over, aided by a sharp slip catch by Australian Tom Tudor.
At the other end, academy player Otis bowled fluently and was unlucky not to dismiss Sale’s other opener when a catch went down in the slips.
Macc didn’t have to wait long though for the next breakthrough, as Melrose bowled dangerman Brooke Guest for just 1, leaving the visitors, 8-2.
A partnership then developed between Spells and Siraj, the latter hitting three big sixes in the process.
This took Sale on to 60-2, before Birchall neatly dismissed Siraj for 24 with an athletic catch off his own bowling.
Melrose soon got in on the act again bowling Sale’s number five batsman, making the score 69-4.
Macc continued to bowl tightly and opener Mat Spells had to continue to bat well for Sale, as he wasn’t being given many freebies. After making a solid 41, he eventually succumbed to Birchall, edging to Tudor.
Otis Palmes then came back into the attack after Melrose reached his over allocation, finishing with superb figures of 3-25 off his 15 overs.
Palmes picked up a much-deserved wicket when wicketkeeper Jim Melrose took a brilliant one-handed diving catch.
This was Palmes’ first wicket for the first team, a superb achievement for the Macc Under 15.
At the other end, Birchall picked up his third wicket of the day to make it 95-7.
Palmes then took his second wicket, bowling Adams through the gate for 4, before Birchall bowled Nawaz and Clarke cheaply, completing his five-for (5-50) and ending Sale’s innings on 102 all out off 35.3 overs.
Palmes finished with excellent figures of 2-26 off his nine overs. It had been a very disciplined bowling display from all of Macc’s bowlers.
With the bat, the hosts got off to an unfortunate start, as Fin McCance (4) received a very good ball from left-armer, Nawaz, taking his off stump, leaving Macc on 8-1.
However, Macc’s overseas player, Tudor, ended any hope of more early wickets for Sale by steadying the ship.
Tudor and Birchall took the score on to 20-1 fairly quickly and were batting sensibly, whilst putting the bad balls away to the fence.
Once the pair past the fifty partnership, Macc could relax somewhat.
Both batsmen had been scoring at a similar rate up until this point, but then Birchall accelerated, hitting some powerful boundaries and reaching his half century for the second time in two games.
The two batsmen saw the job through, when Birchall swept a six over midwicket, giving Macc a much-deserved nine wicket victory. Birchall finished on 64 not out and Tudor 27 not out, in an unbroken stand of 95. Macc take 25 points from the game, to Sale’s 0, moving Macc into the top half of the table.
Macclesfield’s secondsunfortunately lost to Timperley.
After being 7-3 early on, Macc did well to post a score of 137 all out, mainly thanks to Adam Longshaw hitting a marvellous 77 not out.
In reply, Timperley lost wickets too sporadically for Macc to exert any real pressure. At 58-3, Macc had a slight chance of clawing back into the game, but another big partnership took Timper- ley to within striking distance of Macc’s modest total.
Timperley did lose a few wickets towards the end of their run chase however as the introduction of academy spinners, Miles Bradshaw (1-18) and Jack Massey (2-14), triggered a mini collapse, as 119-3 soon became 132-6.
However, the damage had already been done and Timperley won with 4 wickets in hand and plenty of overs to spare.
Tom Tudor, left, and John Birchall