Sale hang on to deny Macc win
MACCLESFIELD 1st XI were in action away at Sale CC on Saturday in another gripping contest.
Macc were asked to bat first as Sale won the toss.
John Birchall and captain Rob Porter set about the task of opening up the batting very patiently, waiting for the bad ball and picking up the singles.
The pair gradually increased the run rate and brought up the away side’s first 50 opening partnership since the first day of the season.
The first wicket fell with the score on 74, as an entertaining knock of 44 off 52 balls by Birchall came to an end, as deep midwicket took a good catch on the boundary.
Porter and incoming batsman Tom Tudor went about things in a similar fashion, taking Macc past 100 just after drinks.
The captain then put his foot down, accelerating the scoring rate, bringing up his fifty in the process.
Tudor began going about his work calmly as the pair put on 61 before Porter was bowled for a very well played 64, leaving Macc on 135-2.
The Australian then injected more pace into his innings, hitting many a boundary, as he went past 50 for the third game in succession.
Peter Barron pushed the singles round as Tudor continued to find the boundary in devastating fashion and with frightening regularity.
The score raced past 200 as Tudor closed in on his maiden Macc century. Barron departed for 18 and unfortunately not long after so did Tudor as he was bowled for a quite incredible 94 off just 73 balls.
Macc then lost another wicket and added a few more runs before Porter declared on 240-5 off 46 overs.
In the field Macc started brightly, through the bowling of Chris Moores and Tom Key. It was the latter who got the first breakthrough, inducing an edge off Cannon, leaving Sale 1-1.
Macc then had to wait awhile before their next wicket arrived. When it did though, it was that man Key again.
Another swinging delivery resulting in another edge to keeper Jim Melrose, to leave Sale on 55-2.
Soon after Key claimed another wicket, as Brooke Guest, played a false shot to mid on for just four. Despite the loss of three wickets, Sale were still up with the required rate and opener Gyves was still in and continued despatching the ball to the boundary too often for Macc’s liking.
He past his 50 in quick time but a smart fielding change by Porter saw the danger batsman dismissed as he chipped a fullish delivery straight to Porter off Key, for 54 off 52.
This left Sale on 87-4 and up against it.
The introduction of Porter’s spin was the undoing of Burgess and Watkin, leaving the hosts on 120-6 just after drinks. However, Australian, Jez McFarlane was still in and looking dangerous.
The score moved up to 146, when Tudor took a stunning, one handed slip catch off Oliver Marsden, that left most players and spectators speechless, wondering if they’d leant on the fast forward button.
The ball had travelled in the blink of an eye to second slip only for Tudor to somehow pluck it out of the air at full stretch above his head. A tremendous catch.
Very next over another sharp piece of fielding did for Wellings, as Porter flicked the ball onto the stumps after fielding his own bowling, leaving the non striking batsman stranded.
With Sale now on 148-8, and plenty of overs to go, Macc surely were going to claim the 25 points? McFarlane had other ideas however and still managed to keep up with the required rate, whilst Adams supported him.
The pair were frustrating the Macc bowlers and didn’t offer up any real chances for the away side.
They took the score past the 200 mark, and still had enough overs to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat.
Macc bowled tightly in the latter stages however and the required rate kept increasing.
The visitors then took the wicket of Adams for 17 as he snicked off to Porter off the bowling of Tudor, leaving Sale on 203-9, with around three overs to go.
Macc just couldn’t get the final wicket to claim victory however as Sale hung on for a well deserved and gutsy draw, finishing on 215-9, with McFarlane ending on a brilliant 81 not out for the hosts.
The pick of Macc’s bowlers was Tom Key with super figures of 4-70 off his 15 overs.