Low Scoring Thriller in Cup Final Prelude
20th July 2019
After a pitch inspection that had the team waiting for news at Paddington the good news was that despite the heavy rain the pitch was suitable for play. The venue was well off the beaten track up a narrow, winding lane so the old sound to disturb play was the steam whistle and the gentle rumble from the nearby railway.
The day was dry with some pleasant sunny spells but not easy for cricket as there was a stiff and, at times, strong breeze blowing across the square. The home side won the toss and had no hesitation in asking the Metro nine to bat first.
The action began at ball four as Matt hit the ball high into the air and the bowler positioned themselves to catch it only for the ball to slip through their grip as the batsmen took a single. The bowlers kept things very tight and when Rory was offered a more demanding caught and bowled opportunity he hung on to dismiss Nick. He almost had a wicket maiden until bowling a wide – but he did make good use of the extra ball as Andy was given half out leg before.
This was to be important as in the next over and facing just his next ball Andy was dismissed by Ed. A promising partnership for the third wicket was ended when Matt was run out by a good throw in from the fine leg boundary as he tried to get back for a two without getting his bat down; this stand had added 21 runs and was the highest partnership of the innings as Somerset kept the pressure up by taking regular wickets.
The next was another run out: Prem was caught out backing up too far as Somerset fielded well to keep the pressure on the batsmen. Mark was then bowled by Ed before Mo, who scored fastest on the day, before hitting one shot too many in the air to be caught in the covers, followed shortly afterwards by Asif who was caught at point. Rory was left not out when Mujahaid was bowled by Somerset’s Rory and there were just 84 runs to defend in the Somerset innings.
Before that there was a very good tea that included fantastic scones and the traditional speeches that celebrated the spirit of the game. Asif then opened the bowling with Mo at the other end and there were four dots at the start of every one of the first four overs that left hope in Metro hearts as Mujahaid had caught Ed off Asif – so the score was just 11 for one.
Good fielding all round kept the scoring opportunities limited but the home side, with time and overs on their side, could just wait for the runs to accumulate slowly. Rory worked hard to pick up the next wicket with both halves of an lbw decision, before the over of the match from Mo – a double wicket maiden with Rory and Alan both clean bowled and the game perhaps hanging in the balance as forty-six runs were still needed with four wickets lost. Here Somerset grabbed their opportunity – benefitting from the wind making it hard for Andy to get the ball down straight while Rob was also striking the ball cleanly when the opportunity arose to reach the day’s top score of 27.
With eighteen overs completed the scorers were level and the game seemed over. Up stepped Mo to repeat his earlier feat, a second double wicket maiden – Rob was caught in the covers by Matt after an expert flick on by Andy before Rory ran in sharply from mid-wicket to catch Heidi. This could however only delay the inevitable as the batsmen ran through to win the game at the start of the next over – completing the run before the ball crossed the mid-wicket boundary.
So sadly, as slip up in the race for the league title, but much encouragement from the game to take to the cup final – especially Mo’s bowling, no extras in his 5 overs, 2 maidens, four for just seven runs!