Sale hang on to deny Macc win

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL -

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.

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