BBS Primary Club Heinrich Swanepoel Memorial Cup 2021
Metro hung onto the BBS Primary Club Heindrich Swanepoel Memorial Cup, despite some suspect handing, on the trip up to Northampton County Ground for the 2021 cup final.
Metro had held the trophy for two years after taking the trophy with its new name for the first time against Somerset in 2019. However, during the game, their hold failed as their opponents’ safe hands took eight catches to dismiss Metro 24 runs short of the total needed for victory.
In an exclusive, our well-placed source can reveal, one of the three nick behinds taken did come off the body, not the bat! Amit stood in disbelief as he was given entry to the Primary Club and had almost to be dragged from the wicket by his runner. The small misjudgement was only admitted later our source can reveal. Gerald held two other catches – Hassan to leave Metro in trouble at 13 for 3 and the final wicket of Damion who made 90 and ensured an exciting end to the match.
After the game Metro’s impressive league cricket was celebrated as they received the 2021 BCEW National League cup having secured the title before playing their final game which is away in Manchester on 19th September. So just one cup to bring home, not the prayed and hoped for double – that will have to wait for another season.
Playing in their first-ever BBS cup final Northants got off to a good start by winning the toss, Metro will need to work on improving this aspect of their game as this has been an all too frequent result this year. Opting to bat Northants started with their Hassan and the dangerous David Howells.
First blood went to Northants on the pitch as Hassan scored 11 from the opening over bowled by Amit. Metro roared back into the game with Mo and Rory bowling; Mo delivering a double-wicket maiden in his second over as Matt caught David at mi9d-off and then Hassan took a sharp chance to dismiss Mark Turnham.
The Ali brother then came together and batted carefully before Hassan was trapped LBW as Justin bowled a wicket maiden in his second over. So after 10 overs at 47 for 3 Metro were looking good but Gerald and Asif put on a 90 run partnership in the next 10 overs before Hassan and Mo combined again to dismiss Gerald.
This slowed the scoring rate again the remaining overs went almost exactly like the first 10 with Northants adding 50 for the loss of three wickets; Mo took at catch off Damion and Rory had the Northants skipper out hit wicket and then a final over nick through to Justin behind the stumps.
On a good pitch, it seemed that a chase of 188 ought to be within the capability of Metro with Damion adding strength to the batting that had scored 233 against Somerset. There were huge cheers as David Keeling’s first ball was smashed to the mid-wicket boundary by Matt. Dave was bowling looping deliveries with a lot of spin and got his revenge two balls later as Matt repeated the pull but up into air to give a fairly simple catch to Asif.
He teased all at the ground with a juggle but clung on to boost Northants in the field. Things got worse for Metro as Dave took a wicket in each of his first three overs, with David Howells catching Justin and that first nick behind by Hassan.
With Damion at the crease, things did look a bit brighter as the Metro worm overtook the Northants one in the seventh over and stayed ahead for the whole game. Nick and Damion gave Metro their best partnership of 59 before David took as second catch in Dave Ks’ fifth over, after the surprise of finding he had not taken a wicket in his fourth.
As he completed his second spell of three he was back in form, taking to one wicket that fell to simply good bowling as he bowled Mark. That is not to say that the Northants bowling was poor, simply that shot selection and offering catches contributed to all the other wickets.
Well that is apart from the horrible mix up that saw Rory run out, Matt running for Damion had no interest in a two with the ball heading to Asif; but Rory had turned and started before being sent back but was unable to make his ground as the wicket was broken.
Nine down but Ahmed saw off the final two balls of the over and with six left including three total overs and two from weaker partial bowlers the next over was key. Asif got one to bounce outside off stump and a tiring Damion could onto edge it to huge cheers from Northants.
It was a game played in a good spirit with some final individual performances, Damion’s 90 from 65 balls; Asif’s 82 from 64 balls and 5.1 overs, maiden and three for 12, Mo’s 6 overs, 2 maidens three for 11, but overshadowed by David Keeling’s 6 overs, five for 22. That places him second on the list of stellar cup final bowlers, ahead of Dave Samuels 5 for 25 from 1997 and the remarkable Heindrich’s 6 for 7 in 2001.
There was a consolation award for Matt Dean as BCEW partially sighted batsman of the year before a trip out to drop sorrows and plot for the Lancashire game and the 2022 season.
The Lord Gave And The Lord Has Taken Away – Job 1:21
Match report by Paul Toplis
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