Metro Devils v Dorset Dolphins – 11 June!
They were essential for both sides at Highgate on Saturday as Darrel’s injury for the visitors gave Alan an opportunity while Shiv came into the Devil’s side when Everton was unable to make it to the match.
Dorset arrived having scored 233 batting first in their last match against Hampshire and is his exclusive post-match interview the Devil’s skipper said, “Dorset are a force to reckon with and I believe if they had won the toss, they’d put us in and either chased hard or batted out for a draw.”
That plan was frustrated as the queen came up smiling following a call of tails by the visitors. The Devils still started one short as Mark Bond was delayed by the travel chaos of the tube not running north of Archway and did not arrive until the end of the first over.
He was there to keep but Prem stepped into the breach and so it was he who took the nick behind off Rob McKenzie – his 20th fielding dismissal before Mark arrived; another storming start for the home side to leave the Dolphins 5 for 1.
The opening bowlers found the gusty wind and left-right batting combination hard work and gave away 11 wides in the first four overs. Ahmed also struggled in his first over but did get one dead straight to dismiss the dangerous Dorset total.
There was a mid-pitch conference that led to the visitors asking about over rates, but the bowling did generally improve after that although the visitors had a great spell on either side of the drinks break.
Despite their number four retiring hurt they put on 85 for the next wicket, when Mark bowled their skipper for 22 with the score on 121. Steve had become the 49th player known to have reached 1,000 BCEW career runs in that knock although he is still a few short of that milestone for Dorset.
The home side had kept the run rate under control despite Tim the Dorset opener scoring well at one end – not a chanceless innings as there were two catches offered to square leg and the rugby-playing Ryan Jones was probably disappointed not to take the second one; but when he retired there was a lull in the scoring until Ryan took two wickets in an over to bring Sharnie and Alan together.
Alan made great use of his opportunity with a rapid quarter-century; at the innings break, a target of 179 had been set.
After an excellent tea and some kind words, not including the post-match exclusive insight of “Chaps we have absolutely have to switch on, it was hot, it was tough I know, but let’s work on being switched on, as well as our lines and lengths for next week.
“The chase was underway. Despite being offered the same challenge of a left-right combination of batters the visitor’s bowlers kept their lines well and Robert bowled the home skipper in his second over with the score of 24.
Chris now joined Ryan and “Ryan and Chris were majestic, driving, pulling and sweeping”, putting on 90 together before they retired with their 50s either side of drinks with 50 more needed as Prem and Anil took up the challenge. It looked as if Prem might guide the devil’s home, but he was bowled still 19 short with 6 overs left.
Was there perhaps an opening for Dorset? Tim came on to bowl and with just one off the bat, the next over was heading to be a good one for the visitors. However, Amit then offered a simple caught behind chance which was taken by the keeper and with Mark coming in and smashing his first two balls to the square leg boundary the match was effectively all over.
There was just time for Mark to run out Anil as he thought the ball had been steered into the gap at third man only to see it being held by the wicket keeper. This allowed Shiv to be at the crease as victory was sealed with three overs to spare.
So on to the 20/20 cup quarter-final against Surrey next Sunday.
Match report by Paul Toplis
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