The Hundred?– who the devil needs a hundred; not the Metro Devils!
26th May 2018
In fact they only needed 91 legal deliveries to achieve a six wicket win over Hampshire at the cradle of a cricket on a sunny, breezy Saturday afternoon. The team were keen to start early and so get back to London for the Champions League final – so having arrived on time after a long train journey in a train full of festival and Goodwood racegoers; persuaded the home side to start a few minutes before one. Hassan demonstrating his key captaincy skill for a second game as he called heads to win the toss and immediately ask the home side to bat.
Hampshire were fresh from a match where they had only lost one wicket and started solidly until trying to take a quick single to Ryan, back in the side for the first time in several years, whose throw from square leg ran out the non-striker. The Devils bowlers, backed up by good fielding kept things tight without taking another wicket until drinks were needed after 10 overs with the score 63 for 1. The pattern of the game was similar for the next 10 overs as 67 runs were added for the loss of just one more wicket; shortly after drinks Jack Kirby bowled Mark. Matt Greenhough and Clarke Reynolds then added 50 before Clarke had to retire for a very hard earned 50 as despite pain in his groin, he ran all but 12 of them.
After the second drinks break the game changed as the need for the home side to score faster to give them a total to defend led to a flurry of wickets. Dave Samuels picked up two, one to fine catch by Hassan, Chris Lewis one and there were three more run outs with only Ben Good in the lower order scoring more than two. Clarke returned in Hassan’s final over after the third run out and added three to his score before Hassan bowled Paige to give the Devils a target of 164 from 25 overs.
The photos in the gallery below by Photographer Paul Jacobs/PictureExclusive.com
The decision to field first seemed to be a particularly good one as the tea on offer at the break was excellent and could be much better enjoyed if there was an opportunity for a break after eating for digestion. The Devils who had to be restrained at tea and prepared to go out immediately after the break were Ryan and Everton as Hassan wanted to have a left hand, right hand batting combination at the start.
This plan did not work as after one well struck blow over square leg that fell just short of the boundary Ryan trod on his wicket and the skipper found himself in the middle before the end of the first over bowled by his opposite number. The Devils did have the advantage of playing a side lacking in sight in the field, and with Clarke struggling with his injury. Fielding soon became even more of a challenge for Hampshire as Patrick had to go off with a recurring knee injury less than fifteen minutes into the innings. This was good news for Everton who was able to score boundaries almost at will as the score rattled along at around 10 an over. That was until the eighth over when Dave Daniels pinned Hassan down with a string of dot balls ending with a wicket. That was 73 for one.
In the next over Everton had to retire on 53 that included twelve boundaries in just twenty-five balls, and with Jack bowled in the same over – there was a brief glimmer of hope for Hampshire that they might be able to follow the Devils lead and bowl out their opponents. Dave Samuels saw off Dave D’s second over so that after 10 overs the score was 101 for 3. Chris was at the crease with Dave and this pair batted well to add 71 and secure a win for the Devils, although there was a find wicket to fall as Mark Oliphant bowled Chris with two needed and might have two in two as Asif skied the next ball but Matt was unable to hang on to the chance. Sadly after that there were two wides to end what had been a most enjoyable game of cricket.
Next weekend Metro host Somerset in the national league at Highgate on Saturday and then the Devils travel to Berkshire again on Sunday – this time for a south and west T20 quarter final.
report by Paul Toplis