Cricket: One Step Away?

Metro Cricket Team

11th July 2015

Yes; after a second very one sided Metro v Yorkshire match this season, Metro are in the BBS Cup final for the first time since they lost to Sussex in 2010. They will face Warwickshire who triumphed in a very high scoring semi-final game against Lancashire to reach a fourth final in three years; they have won the other three so will be tough opponents on the 22nd August.

Metro were able to field an unchanged cup team after the captain persuaded Amit to travel north before having to get to Hastings for a bowls tournament; the side delivered on the early morning jests that a quick win would be produced to make that journey at the end of the day happen at a reasonably sane time rather than being on almost the last train to the south coast. The team arrived early on a bright but rather windy day at a very pleasant and welcoming ground. The captains having agreed to adjust the boundaries, as they had been set rather short, the teams were waiting for the delivery of stumps; as it seemed Yorkshire had a set at almost every ground in the county apart from the one that mattered, to allow the game to start following Rory’s winning call of “tails” had Metro preparing to field first.

The start was only delayed by a few minutes, as a set of correct height if rather spindly stumps arrived, and just 13 balls later the away side were all smiles as Hassan pouched a high partial block to add to the keepers safe take of an edge to give Gareth a double wicket maiden with just one run scored. This was just the start of a miserable day for the home team – with only three of their batsmen scoring runs.

Their opener Arif did manage two crisp driven fours off one over from Gareth but apart from that they struggled as the score reached 13 for 5 early in the seventh over as Amin caught the home skipper off Charles’ bowling. Metro then had to wait over half an hour for another wicket as Tahir and Arif dug in and added another 29 before the first of Amit’s wickets saw Tahir caught with a superb diving effort by Mark Russell, who juggled the ball but held on very well, at backward point.

The question then was could the best home batsman Taf dig them out of a hole? No he did score 7 from 5 but then hit Hassan high down the ground into the safe arms of Matt. Mohammed wrapped the innings up as he finally dismissed Arif, the keeper diving to take a sharp chance, and then bowled the last man to send the teams into tea with both him and Gareth having taken three wickets.

Tea was a delight; with bread and dripping, and home made scones the highlights as Metro hoped that the target of 66 would not turn into a banana skin. The home team’s hopes perhaps flickered as the first over only went for one and Metro were thus briefly behind the required scoring rate.

Mo and Matt however both settled in quite quickly and the scoring rate accelerated. So although Mo offered a chance off the last ball of the fourth over that was juggled in the covers by the home captain but eventually grassed less than nine overs were needed to reach the target. The final Metro score was 69 with Matt unaware that by scoring the winning runs with his eleventh boundary he had hit a fifty from 32 balls.

Metro are next in action against Lancashire at Highgate on the 25th July – that game starting at mid-day for anyone wanting to enjoy an afternoon watching the team in action; while for those who cannot wait that long to watch a game the Devils are playing Hampshire in the development league next Saturday, that match starting at one.

– Report by Paul Toplis

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