The photo above is of the Good, The Metro team with Rory holding the BCEW National League Cup!
To start with the good news – on Saturday the Metro team collected their medals and Rory the BCEW National league cup – won before the final league game had been completed as Metro had an unassailable lead over second-placed Somerset. The Metro Devils will also be collecting BCEW South & West league winners’ medals and that trophy whatever the result in their final match of the season against Gloucestershire next Sunday.
Then to the bad news; Sussex Sharks held their nerve to win a low scoring game that was, at times tense, but in which neither team used their full allocation of 30 overs. The game was played at the Kent County ground at Beckenham; as noted by Mike Brace a very appropriate venue for the 40th BBS cup final as it was the place where both visually impaired cricket has strong roots and where the Primary Club was started. The Club received their BCEW “Hall of Fame” induction at the lunch break before their representatives helped in presenting the awards at the end of the day.
The pitch was a great surface to play on, the weather kind – if anything perhaps a little too warm, camera crews were on hand filming a Metro promotional video when Rory lost the toss and Metro had to bat first. The start was not what was wanted as Nick was caught off the last ball of the first over, and Andy Law also fell cheaply but the runs were flowing from Matt’s bat with a series of drives through the off side and down the ground while tucking anything wide on the leg side to the fine leg boundary as he and Simon put on 54 for the third wicket.
Disaster then struck in the eighth over bowled by Dave Daniels as Matt in hitting the ball hard and fine past the keeper hit wicket, having scored 51 from just 29 balls with 10 fours. This sparked a collapse of true English proportion as in the next over from Dan Field both Ryan and Simon were caught leaving Dan on a hat-trick. Mark Russell saw off a maiden from Alex Towers, who was to bowl Rory in his next wicket maiden for an amazing two over spell. Meanwhile, although Dan did not complete a hat-trick he did dismiss Alex caught and bowled; so that four wickets had fallen as the score moved from 83 to 84.
Sussex now faltered a little as Mark Russell and Hassan put on 38 before a mix up saw Hassan run out before Alex was given the ball again to take another wicket, Rob the only LBW dismissal of the match before Dan Field picked up Amit to take 4 wickets for 13 and get himself on the cup final honours board. Although 180 had been defended against Warwickshire in the cup quarter final 126 seemed too few to defend on the beautiful, true playing surface, which you know was true.
Sussex knowing the required run rate was very low were able to bat carefully against Metro’s two main strike bowlers Rory and Rob, the latter bowled out his 6 overs for just 16 with only eight of those off the bat while Rory bowled five overs for 19 although 18 were off the bat. There was a spark of hope for Metro for when these two combined with Rob catching Dave Daniels at fine leg with 14 scored.
Thirty more had been added before another wicket fell as the other opener, Joe Harrison, edged Amit to the keeper. Andy Dalby-Welsh came out to join the Sussex skipper and this pair carefully batted through taking just the runs on offer until they accelerated at the end with a boundary to bring up the 100 and three more as they reached exactly the 127 needed with Andy 29 not out and Dan on 45 which took him to the man of the match award, with Dave Daniel’s crucial wicket getting him the total man of the match award.
So finally, the ugly cricket correspondent confirms this is the last match report for 2018 as Metro are not at T20 finals day. Enjoy the winter including the England VI tour of India and Sri Lanka and start looking forward to the 2019 season.
Report by Paul Toplis