Tag Archives: Gloucestershire

Soft Brexit? Hard Brexit? Soft Boiled Egg? Hard Boiled Egg?

Metro Devils Cricket Team

24th June

Ah those hard choices – the first of which on Saturday was for the Devil’s captain who won the toss and with a team of eight, including a debutant, had to choose to bat or bowl first. He elected to put the visitors, who had one more player, into bat.

A brief delay followed the toss waiting for the final Gloucestershire players to arrive. The game began on a day where the clouds were skidding past overhead quite fast on the breeze and the sun only flickered in brief spells, so perhaps with conditions to suit the bowlers. However, the three first choice bowlers in the side were played well by the Growlers opening pair who put on 79 for the first wicket, with no alarms.

It was not until Brenda was thrown the ball that a wicket fell – clean bowled from her fourth delivery, and then one brings two. In her next over, fifth ball, the same result. That was a high point for the home side as this brought the visiting skipper to the crease, who was joined by a new batsman only as the second opener retired on 52, so that by the time the Devil’s skipper bowled his third over and picked up another clean bowled wicket the score had moved on to 184.

The Devils were under pressure – relieved only a little by the retirement of the opposition captain as the Growlers pushed hard to take runs at every opportunity with their wickets in hand. It made for a frantic few final overs and three run outs for the home side before a declaration with the score on 226; with the visitors deciding not to put their retired batsmen back into the middle.

Tea followed, excellently organised by the home captain, in the absence of the regular catering team and the Devils had one of those choices – chase 227 from 26 overs to win, or bat out 26 overs for a draw – a losing draw, of course, in a Regional League match.

With Aemonn and Dave opening it looked as if the challenge of chasing down the total had been taken on. Growlers started well with a tight first over yielding just one run and disaster struck on the third ball of the second bowled by Marc, and perhaps one choice disappeared for the Devils. Dave let a ball go outside leg only for the blustery wind to bend it back in and caress the stumps or their base and the home team were three for one.

David and Aemonn dug in, with David hitting the ball well but was bowled when Dan, the Growler’s high-scoring opener, came on to bowl. There was then a brief flurry from the Devils as Everton hit a very brisk 17, all but one single in boundaries only to then offer a catch to who else but Dan. Brenda joined Aemonn and the choice of batting out seemed back in favour as runs were accumulated with few risks being taken and the next wicket did not fall until the start of the twenty-second over when she trapped leg before by, yes, Dan; Aemonn having retired on reaching 50.

So four down and twenty-nine balls to negotiate with three wickets in hand. However Joseph on debut misjudged his swing second ball and clipped the stumps bringing Hasmukh to join Roy with the momentum having swung to the visitors who now needed two more wickets from twenty-seven balls.

Roy was trapped LBW by Elise in the next over and so Aemonn had to return to the middle and now there were nineteen balls to bat out; single taken. Panic was now setting in for Gloucestershire as their minibus driver appeared and the departure time of six 0’clock had just passed so there was a rush on to bowl three overs, or less if possible, as fast as they could. Aemonn faced two, and Hasmukh four of the next over. Aemonn faced four in the next over and gave Hasmukh the last two.

So the choice was set, would it be yours – to have the hard hitting Aemonn on 59 from 53 balls to face the last over, or the soft hands of Hasmukh who had only faced seven. Regular followers of Metro cricket will recall the heroic defence shown by Hasmukh in snatching a draw from the jaws of a defeat at the cradle of cricket last season and so might have wanted to make use of this experience, especially with Dan bowling the last over.

They may have been right, who knows, as the Growlers were celebrating after just one ball as a swing and a miss to a straight ball brought him a fourth wicket to add to his 52 and a catch. So ended a close fought and very friendly game.

Two away games for Metro follow at Nottingham and then to Sussex for the BBS cup, while the next game at Highgate sees the Devils take on the Berkshire Stags.

Report by Paul Toplis 

Have We Been Here Before: Part 2 – Yes – we have!

Blind Cricket Metro Devils Team 2011

21st June 2015

Sunday morning at Waterloo with the station quite empty at ten o’clock; it certainly felt as if we had been here before with the last player in the team rushing up to the ticket barrier only just in time. This despite delaying boarding as several others had made use of the newly opened M&S store; or enjoyed hearing about the medals won at the Metro athletics the day before.

Passing the barrier was easy – it seemed too easy as there was no need to be at the front – the guard explained that although the train would normally split it was staying together at Woking this week due to engineering work on part of the line so the team could have boarded anywhere. At Farnborough the efficient cabs were waiting – but we have been here before as one driver had to wait as more retail therapy was undertaken at the station bar.

The early morning grey clouds had been blown away by the stiff wind that was to be a feature of the day and with blue in the sky the sun warmed the players as they went through their meticulous preparation under the watchful eye of stand in skipper Chris. Then there came the unexpected moment; as the captain’s briefing had only dealt with likely situations there had been, of course, no preparation for the daydream moment of a head appearing when called. Chris had to think quickly on his feet and decided that, with a T20 win possible whenever you bat, the Devils would try to impose scoreboard pressure on the home side.

He opened with Brenda and this pair delivered the start wanted by Metro racing to 92 from eight over before Chris had to retire having scored his 50 from 37 balls. The rate slowed a little as Andy joined Brenda in the middle and the well organised Surrey fielding put pressure on with Surrey’s totals – Hassan and Joshua both bowling good spells with several dots. However they were not able to take wickets so the next batting change came with Brenda’s retirement as she reached her 50 as the Surrey captain came on to bowl.

He struggled with his length delivering no balls to both batsmen as Gary raced to 28, getting the run rate up above 11 an over again, before he mis-timed a trademark on drive and was bowled by Lois – the wicket falling at 193. Aemon however had licence to hit out in this situation and with a mix of shots, including his favoured switch hit, scored 27 – almost overtaking Andy as the final total was an imposing 240.

There was plenty for Metro to consider over the high quality tea though; Charles had picked up an injury running so fielding plans had to be reviewed as he needed to keep; weakening the outfielding. As Surrey started with a left – right combination more pressure was put on the fielders, perhaps especially Brenda as she raced from side to side of the ground top stay on the mid-wicket boundary.

The Devils however kept the pair fairly quiet and bowled with few extras early on to keep the run rate under 10; it was starting to creep up when the wicket most wanted by the visitors fell as Lois just tickled Chris’s fourth ball through to the keeper; 89 for1. However that just brought Hassan to the crease eager to outscore Andy and determined to make a clear case that he should be Metro’s first choice to bat at 3 in the national league. He helped up the rate so that yes, at drinks, we had been here before as Surrey had matched exactly Metro’s 110.

The question was could they keep up the scoring rate especially as shortly after the break their captain had to retire on 50. Hassan just kept up the assault with shots played all round the park, leaving Surrey only just behind where the visitors had been after 17. His retirement shortly afterwards having reached 52 from 37 balls left just too much to do for the lower order Surrey players as Chris and more especially Charles kept it tight in the final three overs – with only 6 scored off the final over Surrey fell 23 runs short. That leaves the Devils to face Gloucestershire in a first semi-final at Highgate on Saturday 1st August.

On the evidence of this game all those who turn up as spectators for that match will be in for a real treat as the Growlers are riding high in the league this year and the Devils will now be confident that they can retain their T20 crown.

Before that all are welcome to the Chairman’s friendly on the 4th July; what better way to celebrate Independence day?

– Article by Paul Toplis

Have We Been Here Before: Part 2 Yes – we have!

Blind Cricket Metro Devils Team 2011

21st June 2015

Sunday morning at Waterloo with the station quite empty at ten o’clock; it certainly felt as if we had been here before with the last player in the team rushing up to the ticket barrier only just in time. This despite delaying boarding as several others had made use of the newly opened M&S store; or enjoyed hearing about the medals won at the Metro athletics the day before.

Passing the barrier was easy – it seemed too easy as there was no need to be at the front – the guard explained that although the train would normally split it was staying together at Woking this week due to engineering work on part of the line so the team could have boarded anywhere. At Farnborough the efficient cabs were waiting – but we have been here before as one driver had to wait as more retail therapy was undertaken at the station bar.

The early morning grey clouds had been blown away by the stiff wind that was to be a feature of the day and with blue in the sky the sun warmed the players as they went through their meticulous preparation under the watchful eye of stand in skipper Chris. Then there came the unexpected moment; as the captain’s briefing had only dealt with likely situations there had been, of course, no preparation for the daydream moment of a head appearing when called. Chris had to think quickly on his feet and decided that, with a T20 win possible whenever you bat, the Devils would try to impose scoreboard pressure on the home side.

He opened with Brenda and this pair delivered the start wanted by Metro racing to 92 from eight over before Chris had to retire having scored his 50 from 37 balls. The rate slowed a little as Andy joined Brenda in the middle and the well organised Surrey fielding put pressure on with Surrey’s totals – Hassan and Joshua both bowling good spells with several dots. However they were not able to take wickets so the next batting change came with Brenda’s retirement as she reached her 50 as the Surrey captain came on to bowl.

He struggled with his length delivering no balls to both batsmen as Gary raced to 28, getting the run rate up above 11 an over again, before he mis-timed a trademark on drive and was bowled by Lois – the wicket falling at 193. Aemon however had licence to hit out in this situation and with a mix of shots, including his favoured switch hit, scored 27 – almost overtaking Andy as the final total was an imposing 240.

There was plenty for Metro to consider over the high quality tea though; Charles had picked up an injury running so fielding plans had to be reviewed as he needed to keep; weakening the outfielding. As Surrey started with a left – right combination more pressure was put on the fielders, perhaps especially Brenda as she raced from side to side of the ground top stay on the mid-wicket boundary.

The Devils however kept the pair fairly quiet and bowled with few extras early on to keep the run rate under 10; it was starting to creep up when the wicket most wanted by the visitors fell as Lois just tickled Chris’s fourth ball through to the keeper; 89 for1. However that just brought Hassan to the crease eager to outscore Andy and determined to make a clear case that he should be Metro’s first choice to bat at 3 in the national league. He helped up the rate so that yes, at drinks, we had been here before as Surrey had matched exactly Metro’s 110.

The question was could they keep up the scoring rate especially as shortly after the break their captain had to retire on 50. Hassan just kept up the assault with shots played all round the park, leaving Surrey only just behind where the visitors had been after 17. His retirement shortly afterwards having reached 52 from 37 balls left just too much to do for the lower order Surrey players as Chris and more especially Charles kept it tight in the final three overs – with only 6 scored off the final over Surrey fell 23 runs short. That leaves the Devils to face Gloucestershire in a first semi-final at Highgate on Saturday 1st August.

On the evidence of this game all those who turn up as spectators for that match will be in for a real treat as the Growlers are riding high in the league this year and the Devils will now be confident that they can retain their T20 crown.

Before that all are welcome to the Chairman’s friendly on the 4th July; what better way to celebrate Independence day?

– Article by Paul Toplis