4th and 5th July 2015
Yes; sadly indeed as Metro’s league game against Somerset was called off this weekend as a mark of respect from BCEW following the untimely death of Metro member and BCEW chairman David Townley; so the team travelled to their Heindrich Swanepoel memorial cup match against Northants on Sunday saddened by this news.
It seemed as if the weather was reflecting the team’s grey feelings with dark coloured low cloud surrounding the ground and despite the forecast rain looked likely as the two teams started the day with a few moments of silence followed by a hearty round of applause in “DT”s memory.
Looking for their first cup triumph since the cup was renamed and wanting perhaps to win more keenly than ever this year for “DT” Metro started well by winning the toss and electing to bowl – a potential advantage being sought in the event of any rain delay which would be expected to make chasing easier. Northants made a solid, if rather slow start to the match with Mohammed in particular being very hard to score off – after starting with a no ball he bowled 24 “dots”, with two maidens, and just two wides before another run from the bat was taken off him.
He was well supported by other bowlers in restricting the Steelbacks to just 41 off the first ten critical overs. Critical because that would be the minimum number to make a game if the rain interfered. The run rate was increased after that as the score doubled by the end of the fifteenth for the loss of one wicket as Gavin fell LBW to Amit. After that Metro put the squeeze back on with a fine performance from all in the field – catches for Mark Bond, Matt Dean and Amit meant the score was 130 for 6 just after the twenty-sixth over; and then three well taken run outs took three wickets for one run before Rory bowled the number eleven with the score on 140; he finished with 3 wickets taken for just 12 runs conceded, and five balls of the 30 overs unused by the home side; whose top scorer was Gavin with 42.
During the first innings a few minutes had been lost to rain – falling while the forecast on the web was still refusing to predict rain and then 20 minutes were lost after just one legal ball had been bowled of the Metro innings; so there was a fear that a game could not be played and a bowl out might result. The umpires were however very keen to get in a game and so just two overs were agreed as lost with Metro thus asked to score 133 from 28; but still with that need for 10 overs to be played. The Steelbacks knew that only taking wickets would win them the game, if the rain stayed away, so started with their best bowlers. Metro’s openers Matt and Mohammed were equal to the task and set off scoring at more than 10 an over – before they were both out lofting drives to the home captain for caught and bowled; so with Hassan then unfortunate to play on facing the other opening bowler the score was 74 for 3 after seven overs. The sky remained dark and grim as Mark Bond joined the Metro captain in the middle and pushed the score on to 98 from 10 as at last the cloud lifted and warm sunshine flooded the ground. It seemed that perhaps this was a sign that the pain and sadness felt at “DT”’s passing should be turned, by all, into the sort of positive enthusiasm he brought to life in general and blind cricket in particular.
Anyway the appearance of the sunshine strangely seemed to sap the energy from the home side as with an unbroken partnership of 52 Metro easily reached the winning target with plenty of overs to spare. Yorkshire await next Saturday and the London team will be keen to reverse their early season league defeat in Wakefield and book themselves a cup final place for the 22nd August.