Metro Unstuck on Sticky Wicket

Metro Unstuck on Sticky Wicket
16th May 2015

After, what on a Saturday feels like a crack of dawn start – meeting at King’s Cross at 8.30, Metro’s defence of their BCEW league title did not get off to a good start in Wakefield this weekend. Even getting to that start had been an effort for the captain as with many key players not available through injury raising any team had not been easy and there were two players on debut.

Getting off the train the team then felt the first chill of the day as they were exposed to the blustery wind and the lower temperatures of Yorkshire compared with London.
Arriving at the ground it initially looked as if a fantastic pitch was available but unfortunately this prepared strip had been set aside for another game; with Metro & Yorkshire set to play on a marked out area on an adjoining area of well cut grass that was rather soft and damp creating what was a very sticky wicket.

A prompt start was proposed and agreed so that after Yorkshire has put Metro in to bat the game was under way just after twelve thirty. The start was hard work; the new ball for this season has a slightly lower bounce and on this wicket was at times a struggle to get the bounce at all.

There were two no balls in the first over and a total of 19 in the Metro innings indicating this difficulty. It made scoring hard work – Rory and Mohammed both struggling to get the ball away and the total had only reached 30, with no boundaries, in the ninth over when Mo was bowled by Alex Towers – the first of his two wickets.

Yorkshire then tightened the screws with good fielding and that was to be the best partnership in the innings, the next being the only other of more than 10 due mainly to the first boundary of the innings. Fifty was reached with two wickets down, but the third fell shortly afterwards and then both of the other two experienced Metro partials were caught and bowled by Taf in the fourteenth over.

Devon Adams on debut did find the inning’s second boundary and he ended the day with the best strike rate in the side but the end came soon enough as Arif bowled a wicket maiden and then Nick, a total, bowled David Burt.
At tea of course the thought was – you never know how good a score is on a pitch until both sides had batted although with a full side Yorkshire were clearly favourites with so many overs left for them to bat. Metro’s bowlers did a good job of keeping the ball pitched up to minimise the no ball extras though the innings and a catch by the, ever youthful, Mr Brace at short cover off Mo’s first over with the score on 8 gave some hope.

After that the game was taken away as Rob Arrowsmith joined Taf at the crease and this pair put on 55 for the next wicket; with Taf’s top score of 36 including a sequence of three fours from consecutive balls. After he had pulled two strongly backward of square a fielder was placed there on the boundary only for him to calmly repeat the stroke with a switch hit through third man. Having had such a big influence in the game it was perhaps appropriate that he scored the winning runs with another pull this time almost exactly square of the wicket.

A great result for Yorkshire – for Metro the positives being the good performance of the two debutants and being able to catch an early train leading to an evening at home; now the planning needs to start for a more successful trip to Somerset in June.

Article by Paul Toplis