It’s Still a Washout!!!
19th May 2019
Shortly after Gareth had bowled the opposition number three through his legs to take the second wicket in his first over, to follow up a nick through to the keeper – it happened. Gloomy clouds had been gathering since the tea break started to replace the pleasant fluffy wide variety that had formed a counterfoil to the blue of the sky during the early afternoon. The start was just a few drops, almost invisible unless they showed on the scorer’s screen or papers.
Slowly the intensity increased and measures were taken to shield the records until at five to five the umpires brought the teams off. At first everyone stood at the side of the pitch confident that play would restart quickly with no need to reduce the number of overs to be bowled, the rain almost stopped but then a heavier burst sent teams and officials scuttling for shelter.
The umpires were keen to try and get a result from a match that did seem to be finely balanced between the teams as Northants had been set 262 to win from 30 overs and had reached 42 for 2 after 7.4 overs following great opening spells from both Mo and Gareth. However there was no let up as all waited with hope and expectation – there were lulls and then heavier bursts and enough water had fallen to leave puddles.
It was with some reluctance that an hour after with the captains the umpires abandoned the match; Metro disappointed that this left them a wicket short of a bonus point with the visitors also keen to score the 8 runs they needed for another point.
Rory perhaps regretting his choice to allow them an opportunity to grab a final bowling point after he was dismissed for a rapid 52, from just 23 balls, when attempting to hit another boundary he overbalanced and trod on the stumps with one ball left in the thirtieth over. Chris Ross grabbed the opportunity with a second hit wicket to leave his next delivery as a hat trick ball as Metro did declare their innings closed.
The score had been built around a solid batting performance from all the top order led by Matt who scored 74 and good contributions, both from 35 balls, of 22 from Andy Law and 26 from Justin Hollingsworth on his Metro debut. Andy might have scored more if his runner had not blocked two of his square drives. They had faced a very good visiting bowling attack, with Mia, Asif and Dave Keeling all being both accurate and economical, while Mark T took 4 wickets in his eight overs. He had been forced to bowl more overs than perhaps expected after the amazing incident of the flying bat.
Metro had been restricted to 47 from the first seven overs and with Mark bowling the first total over the openers were looking to increase the scoring rate. After a wide and three singles had brought up the 50 Justin attempted a pull which was top edged but remarkably it was the bat not the ball then needed to be watched.
Dave G had positioned himself at a very short forty-five to try and cut down the leg side runs and was hit on the shoulder as the bat escaped wet gloves to fly through the air to hit Dave on the shoulder. He later came off to have an ice pack treatment and at tea went to the hospital for a scan and check up as he started to lose feeling in his hand. Fortunately the injury was not too serious and he should be able to play again next weekend.
The abandonment leaves Northants top of the league table; Metro next face Sussex on the first of June at Highgate to try and reverse the result of last year’s cup final to get a first league win of this year.
There have been completed friendlies as the Devils have travelled to both Berkshire and Surrey for games, and excellent teas, over the last two weekends. Good performances from emerging players have earnt them a win over the Stags and in a thrilling finish, that ended with an extra free final over that went for just seven runs, a tie against Surrey.
Report by Paul Toplis