Double Header – Different Fortunes
5th August 2018
A weekend of two games for those: Everton and Hasmukh with the stamina to play at home on Saturday and then take a two-hour trek to Yorkshire on Sunday. In this wonderful sunny summer just being outside in the sun is pretty exhausting for those standing and officiating; it is very physically demanding for those playing.
So the baking summer continues but to add some variety the Devils failed to win a toss; and hence had a difficult task to try and win against Dorset’s eight players at Highgate on Saturday. The sun was at times covered by some thin cloud and a soft gentle breeze helped to keep the temperature a little under control but the heat was still exhausting particularly for those in both teams with lots of running to do; Sam and Stephen for the dolphins and Brenda for the devils,
At the start though it was Everton being pushed hard by DS as they rattled up 98 in just 9 overs before he departed on 50 – although limiting his running by getting nine boundaries. DS departed shortly after drinks with 132 on the board; including a boundary swept very fine by Hassan off his first ball. There was then a fantastic cameo innings from Asif – at one point he had 20 from just seven balls with four boundaries and another all run four restricted to three only by short running. It was backing up too far by his runner that did for Hassan as the ball went to the away captain who threw in accurately to claim the first wicket. Tim, taking a break from keeping to bowl, then first slowed the scoring rate before he grabbed two wickets; first trapping Asif leg before and then bowling Jack.
At this point maximum batting points had been secured with 212 on the board from under 20 overs. At the second drinks break Chris and Brenda were asked to score quickly which they did as there were just two dot balls in the next three overs as their partnership reached 49 before the innings was declared closed leaving 29 overs to try and take seven wickets for a win.
Potentially the final feast at the scorebox for 2018 was enjoyed by all and then it was over to the devils’ bowlers; a first over from Asif was followed by joy for the home side as Jack picked up a wicket clean bowled with his first ball. That was though a false dawn as the other opener supported by the total at three scored easily in making 51 from 64.
DS was brought into the attack and bowled first a maiden followed by a wicket ball to dismiss the total. Hopes of picking up wickets rose again but the two Stephens, with a “v” and a “ph” put on 101 before the skipper had to retire. A final twist came as Jack came back into the attack after the bowling restrictions were over and bowled a brilliant over taking three wickets for three runs.
He started with the ploy of wide, then straight to get two batsmen bowled and then tempted the last man to pull to square leg where Everton took a safe catch. However this meant one of the two retired batsmen could return to see out the final three overs. There was one ball skied high into the air that Brenda got underneath but could not grab and signs of flagging fielders as the visitors ran a 7 and a 5!
The result leaves the devils on top of the league table with Surrey second and both teams having one to play; Surrey face Hampshire which is perhaps an easier game than for the devils who have Gloucestershire away.
The next Metro cricket is therefore the away Metro fixture in Lancashire where a win may well result in a league title win; the team will be hoping for a happier trip than on Sunday.
With rail travel reasonably smooth, after some tube problems, although on a packed train so that a seat was like gold dust the team arrived in good time to find Yorkshire waiting with a full team and two twelfth men. An early start was agreed at 12.30 and Yorkshire opened the batting – having been put in -with their Durham recruits against the Metro totals. There were perhaps a couple of half chances as the ball was soon being sprayed to all parts of the ground.
None of the Metro bowlers could keep the scoring rate below eight an over – although Gareth got close and shortly after drinks trapped the high partial LBW but the score was already 124. Nathan then farmed the strike and gave a great display of power hitting as he scored 148 with seven 6’s and thirteen boundaries before finally Matt Dean was able to grab a catch a square leg. Matt then looked for the ball to be thrown to him for the next over and picked up a caught and bowled while conceding just five runs; the fewest from any over. Yorkshire tucked heartily into their tea feeling pleased with a good batting display.
Perhaps much of the second half should be glossed over – an appeal for a total catch was turned down first ball to Matt but then in the second over, bowled by Metro member Lois, he tried a cheeky dink to third man from the first ball but only deflected the ball onto the off stump. With Rory bowled on the last ball of that over – there was more pride a stake than real hopes of a win.
Andy Law batted for most of the innings scoring 34 with two boundaries and the total was just over 100 when Amit was last man trapped LBW at the end of the nineteenth over. Lois finished with three for five from three overs.
That result meant that at T20 finals this year there would be none of the clubs thought of as the strongest as Sussex had lost to Lancashire and Warwickshire to Somerset on Saturday.
However the BBS cup final awaits Metro and Sussex on the 1st September – keep an eye out for news of a venue which should be announced soon.
Report by Paul Toplis