MACCLESFIELD CC 1st XI were back in action at home to Warrington CC 1st XI on Saturday, on a boiling hot day at Victoria Road, in a game sponsored by The Chilli Banana Thai Restaurant, Macclesfield.
The hosts won the toss and elected to field first. The Warrington opening batsmen added a few early runs, mainly behind square of the wicket, keeping Macc’s slip fielders interested.
The first wicket came courtesy of Craig Melrose as Roden played a false shot only to hear the death rattle as Melrose bowled him for 22, leaving the visitors on 38-1.
Not long after, Warrington slipped to 52-4 and then 76-5, as Melrose and Chris Moores offered no let up with the ball, backed up with some sharp catches behind the wickets.
However Warrington’s overseas player, J. Els, supported by Houghton (13), offered some resistance as they took the score onto 125-6, when the latter was out caught and bowled by off spinner, Rob Porter.
Macc continued to take wickets, whilst Els continued to pick up runs from the other end.
Fearing he’d run out of partners though, he played a big shot off Porter which was well caught at long off by Andy Moores, scoring a superbly crafted 83.
Macc took the last wicket immediately with Porter bowling Soni for a golden duck, dismissing the visitors for 173.
Porter claimed excellent figures of 4-30 off 10 overs, whilst Melrose finished with great figures of 3-66 off 15 overs.
In reply Macc got off to a shaky start as John Birchall and Porter were both dismissed off the bowling of Soni for one and seven respectively, leaving Macc on 17-2.
Macc’s overseas player, Tom Tudor, started to go about things positively however, striking a few nice early boundaries to ease the pressure on the hosts.
Himself and Peter Barron (11) took the score on to 60-3, when the latter was caught at gully.
This brought Oliver Marsden to the crease, and he played some attacking strokes and punished anything loose to move onto 24 in no time.
However, in keeping with the game, just as a batsman looked set and comfortable, a wicket fell. Marsden was caught behind for 24, off the bowling of Els, leaving Macc on 87-4.
Two more quick wickets fell, leaving Macc in trouble at drinks on 96-6.
Melrose came to the crease and stopped the flow of wickets.
Meanwhile, Tudor continued to play calmly at the other end despite the recent flurry of wickets.
He past his fifty and a partnership was starting to develop for the pair.
They continued to bat responsibly however, knowing one wicket could change the momentum of the game again.
They took the score past 130, and then 140. The end was now in sight and Melrose delivered a couple of big maximums and Manhatten overs, to take Macc within striking distance.
Melrose won the game with a huge six, to finish on 47 not out off 46 balls, while Tudor played a match-winning knock of 77 not out off 85 balls.
The unbroken 80-run partnership was a delight to watch, centred around resilience initially and then a display of beautiful batting and powerful shots.
Macc won by four wickets with plenty of overs to spare, taking the 25 points to Warrington’s eight, leav- ing the hosts seventh in the table, just past the halfway point in the season.
Next week Macc are in action away to Sale CC. Game starts at 1pm.
Craig Melrose shone with ball and bat
Tom Tudor scored a match-winning 77 off 85 balls