It’s a Washout!
Metro Devils vs Gloucestershire Growlers
5th May 2019
A washout that was not just rain but hail too at about six-fifteen; the fourth time that rain had interfered with the Devils match against the Gloucestershire Growlers bringing it to an end. The home side was very disappointed as this meant their fantastic performance could not end as a win, with just 24 runs required and plenty of overs to spare. This was however not quite the washout of the week before when Metro had not been able to start their defence of the National League title in Yorkshire as the game was called off on Friday evening. A rearrangement is hoped for.
So to return to this Saturday where the match between two well-matched teams began with the home skipper, Hassan, hardly able to get out quickly enough a decision to field first after winning the toss. The home side had two debutants Prem Sellathurai and Mujahaid Zabit while the visitors included one very familiar face in their team – Aemonn having joined the Growlers over the winter. A winter that was still present as a shower delayed the start until almost one thirty.
Once able to start the Devils made the early running with the skipper taking a diving catch at short cover in Jack’s first over, this wicket being followed just two overs later by that of the away skipper bowled to leave the visitors on 17 for 2 at the first bowling change. A couple of overs later after two batsmen had been clean bowled Aemonn was facing Asif’s hat trick ball; which he was able to block. A few overs later he did not block but skied the ball straight up, surely aware of the risk giving who was bowling, as Ryan was able to run down the pitch and take a brilliant diving catch, perhaps an early contender for “catch of the season”; with just 60 runs on the board.
The next wicket to fall also involved Ryan who gathered a wild return from Hassan to complete a run out just one ball before thunder and lightning brought a ten-minute break in play that reduced the game to 50 overs. The next few overs were the best for the visitors as their opener, Dan, reached 50 before having to retire; and the Devils then regained the upper hand as Jack took his third wicket. This left the visitors desperately running hard to grab as many runs as possible. Rob and Dave Samuels both picked up wickets and then, Ryan having moved off the boundary to short cover, secured a run out as one risk too many was taken – leaving Dan on 62 and a target of 151 to win from 23 overs.
With rain still threatening and the temperature distinctly chilly tea was hurried as sitting outside was unpleasant and the devils were very keen to start their run chase. Metro openers Prem and Ryan raced, at times literally – as Ryan could certainly run three while Prem ran two and was not far short of running two while Prem ran one, to 76 from eight overs before another twenty-minute rain break before the umpires were satisfied that the ground was dry enough to play safely again. Ryan reached his 50 with a drive through cover for two off a no-ball with 83 on the board just one over later. Hassan joined Prem before being forced off injured to be replaced by Ahmed as the continued chill had forced Mujahaid, among others, to change from his kit into warmer clothes leaving a limited choice of substitutes. The Growlers were still unable to slow the scoring rate which remained at about ten an over until the final storm came leaving Prem on 31 scored at a run a ball.
The next cricket at Highgate sees Northants playing Metro on the 18th, while in other news the delayed 2018 T20 cup finals saw Somerset emerge as winners by beating Yorkshire and Northants on another chilly, but at least dry, day in Wolverhampton.
Report By Paul Toplis