Northants v Metro – 18 July 2021
On a very hot day of bright sunshine, Metro benefitted from time spent on practice as they held a good number of catches to win despite having lost the toss and been invited to bat.
Nick partnered Matt in a fifth opening pair for the team in as many games. This changed worked well as the pair put on 121 before Matt Dean was out for the first time in the season and his first score under 100 0nly 71, as he was well held at silly mid-on by a total.
Nick took on responsibility for the innings and reached 92 from 78 balls before he was the fourth out at 229. Hassan Arif saw off a hat trick ball from Hassan Ali as Rory got a first baller and here were a few runs for Mark Bond. So clearly almost nothing for anyone else as Metro declared after 30 overs on 245.
There was an excellent tea and then a hint of a breeze as Metro took to the field needing to find a way to get ten wickets to win the game.
To take you through those wickets:
The start was as good as anyone could have wanted as Mo’s first over went one, three dots and then an LBW. Mo was involved in the second wicket as Mark Turnham chipped the fifth ball of Amit’s first over to him at square leg. That was 23 for two. Then just three balls later Mo took an even better catch off Hassan’s second ball as the ball was hit low and hard to square leg where he took a great tumbling catch.
This is not all the Mo show but in his third over he knocked the stumps over with his second legal delivery and followed that up with a half out LBW. The next wicket was perhaps crucial as Nick summoned the energy to have his batting to bowl the fifteenth over. He was hit for a 6-second ball but got his revenge on David Howells three balls later as the batsman tried the same shot again but this time a bit lower and into Matt Deans arms at deep square leg. That left Northants 90 for 5 halfway through their allotted overs.
The next over Amit completed his three-over spell by bowling Gavin Griffiths off a little edge, and Metro was scenting victory. There was a great bit of teamwork for the next wicket as the ball was defended to the off side, bounced and was then flicked by Hassan before setting in Andy Law’s hands to give Rory a wicket.
The Mo & Amit combination was back for the next wicket but with bowler and catcher reversed as Amit took a good catch at silly mid-on. Three wicketless overs followed before Amit took another catch to give Gareth a wicket and leave just one wicket needed for a win and eight and a half overs to go.
They were not all needed as after some debate between the umpires a catch behind for Nick off Gareth picked up the last wicket.
This was the second match of the season against Northants, after the drawn game at home and hints at a good game to come when the sides next meet on 4th September in the BBS cup final.
It was Metro’s first league win to add to the win claimed over Lancashire who could not raise a team to travel to London for the league. Before the BBS cup final Metro complete their league fixtures with trips to Lancashire and Somerset but their next match is the DT T20 quarter-final against Sussex at Highgate on 31st July; a game followed by the Devils trip to Dorset for a T20 semi-final on the 1st August.
Match report by Paul Toplis
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