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Cricket: Low Scoring Thriller!

Metro Cricket Team

Low Scoring Thriller in Cup Final Prelude

20th July 2019

After a pitch inspection that had the team waiting for news at Paddington the good news was that despite the heavy rain the pitch was suitable for play. The venue was well off the beaten track up a narrow, winding lane so the old sound to disturb play was the steam whistle and the gentle rumble from the nearby railway.

The day was dry with some pleasant sunny spells but not easy for cricket as there was a stiff and, at times, strong breeze blowing across the square. The home side won the toss and had no hesitation in asking the Metro nine to bat first.

The action began at ball four as Matt hit the ball high into the air and the bowler positioned themselves to catch it only for the ball to slip through their grip as the batsmen took a single. The bowlers kept things very tight and when Rory was offered a more demanding caught and bowled opportunity he hung on to dismiss Nick. He almost had a wicket maiden until bowling a wide – but he did make good use of the extra ball as Andy was given half out leg before.

This was to be important as in the next over and facing just his next ball Andy was dismissed by Ed. A promising partnership for the third wicket was ended when Matt was run out by a good throw in from the fine leg boundary as he tried to get back for a two without getting his bat down; this stand had added 21 runs and was the highest partnership of the innings as Somerset kept the pressure up by taking regular wickets.

The next was another run out: Prem was caught out backing up too far as Somerset fielded well to keep the pressure on the batsmen. Mark was then bowled by Ed before Mo, who scored fastest on the day, before hitting one shot too many in the air to be caught in the covers, followed shortly afterwards by Asif who was caught at point. Rory was left not out when Mujahaid was bowled by Somerset’s Rory and there were just 84 runs to defend in the Somerset innings.

Before that there was a very good tea that included fantastic scones and the traditional speeches that celebrated the spirit of the game. Asif then opened the bowling with Mo at the other end and there were four dots at the start of every one of the first four overs that left hope in Metro hearts as Mujahaid had caught Ed off Asif – so the score was just 11 for one.

Good fielding all round kept the scoring opportunities limited but the home side, with time and overs on their side, could just wait for the runs to accumulate slowly. Rory worked hard to pick up the next wicket with both halves of an lbw decision, before the over of the match from Mo – a double wicket maiden with Rory and Alan both clean bowled and the game perhaps hanging in the balance as forty-six runs were still needed with four wickets lost. Here Somerset grabbed their opportunity – benefitting from the wind making it hard for Andy to get the ball down straight while Rob was also striking the ball cleanly when the opportunity arose to reach the day’s top score of 27.

With eighteen overs completed the scorers were level and the game seemed over. Up stepped Mo to repeat his earlier feat, a second double wicket maiden – Rob was caught in the covers by Matt after an expert flick on by Andy before Rory ran in sharply from mid-wicket to catch Heidi. This could however only delay the inevitable as the batsmen ran through to win the game at the start of the next over – completing the run before the ball crossed the mid-wicket boundary.

So sadly, as slip up in the race for the league title, but much encouragement from the game to take to the cup final – especially Mo’s bowling, no extras in his 5 overs, 2 maidens, four for just seven runs!

Three O’clock and Time for Tea

Metro Cricket Team

Three O’clock and Time for Tea

29th June 2019

A very hot day so tea was very welcome just before three – even more so as the game was already over! It was as if all you had to do was snooze gently in the sunshine just for a moment and you had missed a magnificent Metro performance. The Lions had arrived in third place in the league with a game in hand over Metro; this result places Metro in a strong league position ahead of their cup semi-final against Sussex next Saturday.

So with very little cricket to report on all that can be done is to take a look at all the overs bowled from the scoreboard end. The match started from there and with Mo given the ball. The first ball went through to the keeper; the next struck the batsman on the legs and there a huge appeal – given leg before!  Of course a total had to come to the crease requiring the bowler to adjust the action to get in two bounces; a task well managed as another ball went through to the keeper. The next ball again straight and no need for an appeal as the stumps were hit. The visiting skipper, a low partial, was in next so still two bounces needed and two more great dots through to the keeper.

A purple balloon drifting across the ground delayed the start of the third over as the umpire spent a few minutes escorting it off the ground. Did the delay upset Mo’s line; perhaps it did as the ball was done leg and flicked away by the batsman but straight into the hands of Prem at forty-five. Another change of length needed for the bowler as perhaps the best visiting batsman arrived at the crease. He got bat on the first ball but only to hit it straight back at the bowler. The next ball had good bounce and perhaps hit both body and bat; an appeal as Hassan advanced from short mid-wicket to grab the ball. It was four down with just two runs scored. The over was finished very neatly with three good dot balls.

With such great figures Mo had to be given a third over and he started it as he had begun with five more excellent dots, with two beating the bat, only on the last ball did the other visiting opener manage to get it away for a single. So those numbers; 3 overs, 2 maidens, 4 wickets and just one run!

He was replaced for the next over by Amit who got off to a magical start; dot ball and then the opener edging one to Nick behind the stumps. Next ball the incoming batsman steers it into prem’s hands at square leg to leave Amit on a hat trick. Sadly, it was not to be as the final visiting total saw off the rest of the over = although without hitting the ball. Amit had a tougher task in his next over as he was bowling at a partial who thumped the only boundary of the innings through square leg and another couple through third man. On the last ball of the over an appeal for a catch behind was turned down, only for the batsman to stray out of his crease and get stumped. Amit finishing his two overs with three wickets for 10 runs.

The home skipper took the ball for the next over from the box end, the first after tea, his first ball was struck to mid-wicket for a single to give him a total to bowl at. Two dot balls through to the keeper followed and then an appeal for leg before – given! It was all over as this was out as Hassan had got a half out in his over from the other end just before drinks.

So it was that only 32 were needed for a win and Metro juggled the batting order around to give a batting opportunity to those who often spent time watching others. However after Justin got out Nick was sent in to finish things off which he did with a boundary through square-leg. There it was a game finished in under two hours with all very pleased to be able to benefit from the shade as tea was enjoyed by all.

Report by Paul Toplis

 

Cricket: It’s Still a Washout!!!

Metro Cricket Team

It’s Still a Washout!!!

19th May 2019

Shortly after Gareth had bowled the opposition number three through his legs to take the second wicket in his first over, to follow up a nick through to the keeper – it happened. Gloomy clouds had been gathering since the tea break started to replace the pleasant fluffy wide variety that had formed a counterfoil to the blue of the sky during the early afternoon. The start was just a few drops, almost invisible unless they showed on the scorer’s screen or papers.

Slowly the intensity increased and measures were taken to shield the records until at five to five the umpires brought the teams off.  At first everyone stood at the side of the pitch confident that play would restart quickly with no need to reduce the number of overs to be bowled, the rain almost stopped but then a heavier burst sent teams and officials scuttling for shelter.

The umpires were keen to try and get a result from a match that did seem to be finely balanced between the teams as Northants had been set 262 to win from 30 overs and had reached 42 for 2 after 7.4 overs following great opening spells from both Mo and Gareth. However there was no let up as all waited with hope and expectation – there were lulls and then heavier bursts and enough water had fallen to leave puddles.

It was with some reluctance that an hour after with the captains the umpires abandoned the match; Metro disappointed that this left them a wicket short of a bonus point with the visitors also keen to score the 8 runs they needed for another point.

Rory perhaps regretting his choice to allow them an opportunity to grab a final bowling point after he was dismissed for a rapid 52, from just 23 balls, when attempting to hit another boundary he overbalanced and trod on the stumps with one ball left in the thirtieth over. Chris Ross grabbed the opportunity with a second hit wicket to leave his next delivery as a hat trick ball as Metro did declare their innings closed.

The score had been built around a solid batting performance from all the top order led by Matt who scored 74 and good contributions, both from 35 balls, of 22 from Andy Law and 26 from Justin Hollingsworth on his Metro debut. Andy might have scored more if his runner had not blocked two of his square drives. They had faced a very good visiting bowling attack, with Mia, Asif and Dave Keeling all being both accurate and economical, while Mark T took 4 wickets in his eight overs. He had been forced to bowl more overs than perhaps expected after the amazing incident of the flying bat.

Metro had been restricted to 47 from the first seven overs and with Mark bowling the first total over the openers were looking to increase the scoring rate. After a wide and three singles had brought up the 50 Justin attempted a pull which was top edged but remarkably it was the bat not the ball then needed to be watched.

Dave G had positioned himself at a very short forty-five to try and cut down the leg side runs and was hit on the shoulder as the bat escaped wet gloves to fly through the air to hit Dave on the shoulder. He later came off to have an ice pack treatment and at tea went to the hospital for a scan and check up as he started to lose feeling in his hand. Fortunately the injury was not too serious and he should be able to play again next weekend.

The abandonment leaves Northants top of the league table; Metro next face Sussex on the first of June at Highgate to try and reverse the result of last year’s cup final to get a first league win of this year.

There have been completed friendlies as the Devils have travelled to both Berkshire and Surrey for games, and excellent teas, over the last two weekends. Good performances from emerging players have earnt them a win over the Stags and in a thrilling finish, that ended with an extra free final over that went for just seven runs, a tie against Surrey.

Report by Paul Toplis

 

Metro at ICC Trophy Tour!

ICC Cricket Trophy World Tour at North London Cricket Club

Metro Cricket Teams Demo Blind Cricket on the ICC Cricket Trophy World Tour!

The Trophy has been touring for 100 days around the world and now it is in the UK.

On Tuesday 21  May at the North London Cricket club at a closed event, The Metro cricket teams will be demonstrating Blind Cricket to youtuber Theo Baker and ICC representatives and the players will no doubt getting some well-deserved photos with the oh so shiny Trophy in the process!

Twitter : @cricketworldcup   @theobaker_ ‏  #CWCTrophyTour

Find out where the tour is going to next via their Website: https://www.cricketworldcup.com/trophy-tour 

ICC Cricket Trophy World Tour! Trophy at Stonehenge
ICC Cricket Trophy World Tour! Trophy at Stonehenge

 

 

Metro at ICC Trophy Tour!

ICC Cricket Trophy World Tour at North London Cricket Club

Metro Cricket Teams Demo Blind Cricket on the ICC Cricket Trophy World Tour!

The Trophy has been touring for 100 days around the world and now it is in the UK.

On Tuesday 21  May at the North London Cricket club at a closed event, The Metro cricket teams will be demonstrating Blind Cricket to youtuber Theo Baker and ICC representatives and the players will no doubt getting some well-deserved photos with the oh so shiny Trophy in the process!

Twitter : @cricketworldcup   @theobaker_ ‏  #CWCTrophyTour

Find out where the tour is going to next via their Website: https://www.cricketworldcup.com/trophy-tour 

ICC Cricket Trophy World Tour! Trophy at Stonehenge
ICC Cricket Trophy World Tour! Trophy at Stonehenge