Lancashire Lions Vs Metro 2021
Metro travelled to Manchester and stayed overnight, despite a worrying weather forecast to play their final league match of the season. This was a rearranged match as the weather had been very wet on the originally scheduled date.
They arrived at the historic Werneth Cricket Club in the north of the city greeted by skies where the blue was chasing away the clouds after heavy overnight rain. Werneth has hosted high-quality Lancashire League and friendly cricket matches so has had both Sir Garfield Sobers and Phil Mustard play on the square.
Perhaps this was to be Metro’s day as Rory won the toss and elected to bowl first against an under-strength Lancashire team with just nine players, including two low partials and three totals. Metro had a full eleven but was not quite at full strength with Hashy, Everton and Shiv joining Prem, the BCEW Regional batsman of the year, from the Devils in the starting line-up.
The ground had a Lords like slope from north to south with the square boundary slightly shorter to the north where the boundary was a high fence protecting a new housing development – Cricketer’s Close.
Some spectators were surprised that after Rory struggled to control the wet ball in the first over which went for eight with five extras that Damion started at the other end, as Mo is the regular opening bowler and had been limbering up.
The change worked after just four balls as Rory, behind the stumps, look an excellent tumbling catch down the leg side. There was no further success for the opening pair of bowlers, and Rory was hit for a great boundary eight, as the home side reached 32 from the first five overs. However, the first change at the far end of the ground from the Pavilion to bring on Nick worked well as with the last ball of the sixth over the number three was bowled.
This brought Amit and Andy together and they bowled with good accuracy and in Andy’s case on this occasion great success. He had one for one after Rory took a second catch to dismiss the club captain. His next over started with a six just backward of square between Mo at square leg and Prem at fine leg – but when the shot was repeated two balls later the ball was hit finer and Prem steadied himself for a catch.
With the opening batsman now out with just 54 scored Metro sensed an early end to the innings. Mo finally joined the attack in the eleventh over without success; but Andy kept up his wicket an over performance with a catch taken by Damion at short cover, to finish with 3 for 15.
After an early drinks break Mo bowled a wicket maiden in the fifteenth over and Rory then hit the stumps twice with his first two balls as he came back in the sixteenth to leave him on a hat trick ball at the start of the 2022 season. Metro had been set just 70 to beat.
With tea not quite ready there was a swift turnaround and the tone of the reply was set first ball when Damion caught up with a widish leg side ball to hit it for four through fine leg. He followed up with a shot through mid-off for another boundary and this combined with sharp running to add two to a wide and four more runs from the bat meant Metro had fifteen from the first over.
Nick and Damion showed no mercy in keeping up that scoring rate as Lancashire rotated their bowlers but no-one could stench the flow of run scoring. Nick hit a four off the first ball of the sixth over Metro had won with 73, Nick having 30 and Damion 28.
Roger Barker, who was umpiring, presented league winners medals to the team over the post-match tea as the players enjoyed that winning feeling. Enjoy the winter and look forward to more cricket in 2022 especially for the Devils who can expect a full season in 2022.
Match report by Paul Toplis
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