Metro v Lancashire – 3 July 2021
Again the weather was miserable with spots of rain as players arrived for the BBS cup semi-final against Lancashire. An early start was wanted – due to some evening event in Italy! – and in fact as the rain cleared and a little sun shone through the small patches of blue that had appeared the match did start just before one.
Rory had won the toss and again elected to chase after the success in Somerset. Mo had no difficulty holding the ball and opened with a typically good spell of one for three – despite the cordon of totals not grabbing the first over opportunity he had a nick through to the keeper in his second over.
Metro backed up the bowlers with good fielding and restricted the visitors to just 25 for two from 10 overs as their other opener also nicked through to the keeper in Justin’s first over. Justin then completed an LBW for the visiting captain, stretching back to Rory’s opening over, his spell finishing as 3 overs, 1 maiden two for six and the score on 48 from 14 overs.
Metro missed a run out opportunity when there was no one to back up Hassan at the bowlers end as Mark fielded well in the covers, and Lancashire built steadily, and then attempted to accelerate the scoring in the final few overs. Wasim was injured running hard to complete a second bye when on strike, but recovered to have the energy to take a two to deep cover a couple of balls later and complete a 100 partnership.
However he fell in the next over, the penultimate of the innings, skying Amit to Damion at square leg. With all the front line bowlers having completed their over Nick bowled the last over completing it with a caught a bowled and with the target to reach the cup final set at 170.
Nick and Justin opened in the absence of Matt and Lancashire were thrilled with the start of the innings as Nick chipped the last ball of the first over to mid-on where Tahseen took a good catch. With Andy caught at short cover in the fifth over Metro were 16 for two, and scoring more slowly than the visitors had.
This all changed with Damion coming to the crease, blasting four leg side boundaries from his first six balls and generally hitting the ball very hard. He was finding running hard and was given a runner but still continued to deal mainly in boundaries as he contributed 41 to the third wicket 50 partnership.
Shortly after reaching that milestone he chipped another catch to Tahseen, and not long after that Mark gave Tahseen a third catch, so when Justin skied one to cow corner and was caught at the start of the fifteenth over Metro were 84 for 5. The team not halfway to their target and with five batsmen back on the bench, so the pressure was on Hassan and Mo.
They responded well – taking the runs on offer and being careful in their running not to offer run out opportunities. Mo scored a lot of runs through the covers; including the ninth of the fours in his 50 which came up in the twenty fourth over.
At that point Metro were feeling more relaxed as there were now only twenty-three more runs needed and six overs to play including three total overs. Those overs were not bowled as Mo completed an early victory with a clip through the leg side for his twelfth boundary; in an unbroken 87 run partnership.
This earns Metro a third BBS cup final in a row, this year at the Northampton County ground on 4th September against the Northants Steelbacks who beat Sussex in the other semi-final.
Match report by Paul Toplis
Congratulations to the Metro Blind Sport Cricket team who secured a place in a third BBS cup final in a row, Well done to you all
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