Devils Defeated By Belligerent Bulldogs
9th May 2015
The 2015 Metro home cricket season started later than planned, the Metro game against Northants having not taken place, with the visit of the RNC Bulldogs from Hereford to play the Devils. The day was one of those disappointing early summer days where the sun never manages more than a few tempting warm moments, the sky stays stubbornly grey with on this occasion the wind at times making it feel more like March with strong gusts blowing across the field. The only good weather news was that it did stay dry all afternoon.
The Devils were keen to get back to winning ways after their game in Gloucestershire and the start of the day was a good one as the Bulldogs captain called heads only to see the coin land showing tails and Dave elected to bowl to give Devils the best chance of a win. After a typically tight opening over from Alan Turnbull conceding just two extras the first runs off the bat came with a crisp cover dive fielded by Brenda as the away side looked to build a solid start.
They did this pretty well loosing just one wicket until the tenth over when a brilliant diving catch by Andy Law off the bowling of the Devil’s captain removed the second opener, with the score on 64.
The Bulldogs middle order then accelerated the scoring from this good base – captain Tom Rogers looked set to reach 50 until he was caught by Chris Lewis running from his keeper’s position toward the gulley and Dan Sergent did reach 53 from just 28 balls as the score rattled up to 185 from 22.3 overs when he had to retire. Alan and Asif bowled well to concede just 7 more as RNC closed their innings on 192 for 5.
The Devils bowling performance improved on that at Gloucester with extras restricted to 40. After an excellent tea the run chase started with the Devils needing to score at 8 an over to win and perhaps suffered from the pressure that chasing can create as they failed build the sort of solid start that the opposition had.
The scoring rate was kept up but at the expense of loosing early wickets including two run outs to reach 38 for 3 from 5 overs. Chris Lewis and Andy Law set about rebuilding with a 74 run partnership for the fourth wicket that also kept up with the required run rate, but when Chris was bowled after a fine innings of 27 at almost a run a ball the Bulldogs bowlers started to regain control and slow the run rate. After Andy Law and David Burt had been dismissed Metro needed 58 from just under eight overs with Gary Moritz and Asif at the crease, so hopes were high that a win might be possible.
However Gary was struggling to find his best form and was hitting the ball up perhaps a bit too much offering catching chances to RNC – eventually he was well caught by their total keeper with the score on 150 at the end of the nineteenth over. At that point Asif took control of the innings to ensure that a draw was secured as RNC scented a possible victory. He defended stoutly facing four of the remaining overs to leave Devils on 168 for 7 at the close.
A disappointing day generally – although if a “man of the match” was to be awarded this would be for Chris Lewis for that top batting score, a fine catch and taking 2 wickets for 24.
Devils next game is away to Kent on 7th June while Metro hope to start their season away in Yorkshire next weekend.
Article by Paul Toplis