Cricket is a Simple Game!

A Photo of a Metro Devils batsman in a Hat hitting the ball and a team photo of the devils back in 2017

 Dorset Dolphins v Metro Devils  – 1  Aug  2021

Download:  Dolphins V Metro Scorecard  –  Excel format

Well, perhaps that depends on who you ask and when! It is certainly true that captaincy is not easy and Hassan had to work very hard to get 10 players to Poole park for the Regional T20 semi-final on Sunday.

To arrive for the 12.30 start all those had needed to give up a relaxing Sunday morning to be on a train very early and Rob had been handed more stress as a stand-in captain. Some might think that it is easy to call “heads” and win the toss, but following this line did not work for Rob. It did mean he was spared the need to choose as Dorset asked the Devils to bat first. The pitch having been largely cleared of goose droppings, Rob started the batting with Ryan and Andy.

So ask Robert the Dolphins bowler taking on the second over of the match; it must be a very easy game as Andy is bowled first ball. If that was not simple enough look at the start of his third over – trapping the other opener LBW first ball and following up with another straight one to bowl the next player in.

This left Chris in his first match for the Devils facing a hat trick ball which he successfully defended. Robert finished his four over spell with the final over of the match going for just two runs to give him figures of 3 for 26 – an excellent spell of bowling.

So then to the backbone of the Devils’ innings Prem; who came in at three and batted into the eighteenth over scoring 57 not out. Yes, the hopeless scorer who was trying to double up as an umpire did loose count so sneaking the Devils a few more runs.

Prem’s innings included seven 4s and a fantastic 6 over square leg off none other than Robert. Prem also mustered the fielding well from his position behind the stumps and took the only catch of the match.

So is it an easy game – ask Chris on his debut. After seeing off that hat trick ball he batted carefully with Prem to put on 42 for the fourth wicket. I think he may have found the game puzzling when several minutes were spent checking the T20 rules after he was stumped off a wide delivery following a no ball.

The umpire said that clearly no run was being attempted, and that the ball was a “free hit” and thus the batsman had the no ball protection from a stumping. Perhaps this is a useful reminder that the game even if simple does require you to watch where you stand.

After eight overs the Dolphins had sixty-four without loss and Chris was thrown the ball for a spell of right arm over; a good length first ball was nicked by Andy and Prem held the catch. One ball, one wicket – what an easy game.

Not quite so easy by the end of the spell as an energetic bit of fielding handed the Dolphins 14 from one ball as they ran three before an overthrow to the boundary with a total on strike. Is it an easy game – for Rob the thought about that ebbed to and fro during the afternoon.

Would it have been good to win the toss, did I choose the right batting order; then when batting after helping his first legal delivery down to fine leg for 4 he had a strike rate of 133 before facing the final over and only getting a single off the final ball. 127 was not a big score and after trying his top four bowlers – Alan, Ryan, Andy and himself was it inspiration to ask Chris to bowl?

Steve, skippering Dorset may have just thought simple game all afternoon – win the toss, bowl quite tight that excellent spell from Rob and an even better 2 for 12 from 3 overs from Sam before Tim’s unbeaten 52 saw the Dolphins home with 9 balls to spare. They play Surrey in the final on 5th September.

Next up for the Devils their league matches – away to the Stags on the 22nd August and then the last game of the season at Highgate on the 28th.

Match report by Paul Toplis


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