In-form Macc in

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL - PETER BAR­RON

MAC­CLES­FIELD Cricket Club’s busy week­end sched­ule started last Thurs­day with a trip to lo­cal ri­vals Bolling­ton, in their first T20 group stage game.

Macc bat­ted first post­ing a to­tal of 157-5, with Craig Mel­rose hit­ting some huge sixes in a very en­ter­tain­ing 43.

In re­ply Bolli were never too far be­hind the rate, de­spite only hav­ing 19 overs to chase Macc’s to­tal due to a slow over rate.

Jack Ward struck a pow­er­ful 34 and cap­tain, Rick Hough, added a quick­fire 23 in the lat­ter stages to bring the hosts back into the game.

Macc still were just about in con­trol though and Rob Porter’s 3-20, plus more Macc wick­ets, put the hosts un­der pres­sure.

Bolli hung in there how­ever and when they were awarded 10 penalty runs go­ing into the fi­nal over, for Macc’s slow over rate, the game was in the bal­ance, as Bolli needed 4 to win while Macc re­quired 1 wicket to bowl Bolli out.

En­ter John Bir­chall, who pro­vided the per­fect an­ti­dote to claim the win­ning wicket via a fast, leg stump yorker, mean­ing Macc won by a nail-bit­ing 3 run mar­gin.

On Satur­day, it was back to the league, and Macc trav­elled away to Up­ton CC on the wir­ral in a rain af­fected game. Macc were asked to bat first and due to the de­layed start the match was re­duced to 35 overs per side.

Rob Porter starred with the bat for Macc, scor­ing 73, as the vis­i­tors posted a score of 161-6.

Up­ton started the run chase off well and at 40-0, they looked the more likely to win. How­ever Macc came back with 5 quick wick­ets through Oli Marsden (2), Rob Porter (1), John Bir­chall (1) and a smart run out by Bir­chall to leave Up­ton on 60-5. This left Macc just over 10 overs to claim the last 5 wick­ets, but Up­ton’s re­sis­tance to not lose any­more wick­ets proved too strong as they limped to 95-5 off their 35 overs. Macc take 17 points to Up­ton’s 10.

On Sun­day, Macc played Bolling­ton once again, this time at home in the Cheshire Cup.

Macc won the toss and de­cided to bat first, on what looked like a very bats­man friendly wicket.

And this proved to be the case as all of Macc’s bats­men were in the runs. Aus­tralian Tom Tudor bat­ted su­perbly for his 70, whilst Alex Grif­fiths (49) and Oli Marsden (46) both looked very stylish for their very valu­able con­tri­bu­tions.

Macc reached a com­mand­ing 225-5 off their 45 overs.

In the field Macc found it dif­fi­cult to take wick­ets but were keep­ing Bolli just be­hind the re­quired run rate.

At 130-2, af­ter Bar­rass had played beau­ti­fully for his 56, the game en­tered its fi­nal 15 overs.

Jack Ward bat­ted very ma­turely for his fifty and Macc needed his wicket if they were to win this game.

And Tom Tudor was the man to pro­vide that mo­ment as Ward was bowled for an ad­mirable 62. Wick­et­keeper James Cross (30) was the next cru­cial wicket for Macc as Oli Marsden also added wick­ets to his ear­lier runs.

In the end, with wick­ets tum­bling and the re­quired rate con­stantly in­creas­ing, Bolli were just left with too much to do.

The vis­i­tors fin­ished on 212-7, off their 45 overs, with Tom Tudor claim­ing fig­ures of 3-22 in the clos­ing overs, as Macc progress to the next round of the com­pe­ti­tion.

Macc are back in ac­tion this week­end when they take on Ox­ton CC on Satur­day at Vic­to­ria Road in a 1pm start.

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