Tag Archives: Metro Devils Team

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


Cricket Report : The Hundred?

Metro Devils Cricket Team

The Hundred?– who the devil needs a hundred; not the Metro Devils!

26th May 2018

In fact they only needed 91 legal deliveries to achieve a six wicket win over Hampshire at the cradle of a cricket on a sunny, breezy Saturday afternoon. The team were keen to start early and so get back to London for the Champions League final – so having arrived on time after a long train journey in a train full of festival and Goodwood racegoers; persuaded the home side to start a few minutes before one. Hassan demonstrating his key captaincy skill for a second game as he called heads to win the toss and immediately ask the home side to bat.

Hampshire vs the Metro Devils
Hassan Khan bowling alongside one of David Daniels Batting from the @HampshireVICC v @MetroVISports Devils match at BroadHalfPenny Down on Saturday

Hampshire were fresh from a match where they had only lost one wicket and started solidly until trying to take a quick single to Ryan, back in the side for the first time in several years, whose throw from square leg ran out the non-striker. The Devils bowlers, backed up by good fielding kept things tight without taking another wicket until drinks were needed after 10 overs with the score 63 for 1. The pattern of the game was similar for the next 10 overs as 67 runs were added for the loss of just one more wicket; shortly after drinks Jack Kirby bowled Mark. Matt Greenhough and Clarke Reynolds then added 50 before Clarke had to retire for a very hard earned 50 as despite pain in his groin, he ran all but 12 of them.

After the second drinks break the game changed as the need for the home side to score faster to give them a total to defend led to a flurry of wickets. Dave Samuels picked up two, one to fine catch by Hassan, Chris Lewis one and there were three more run outs with only Ben Good in the lower order scoring more than two. Clarke returned in Hassan’s final over after the third run out and added three to his score before Hassan bowled Paige to give the Devils a target of 164 from 25 overs.

The photos in the gallery below by Photographer Paul Jacobs/PictureExclusive.com  

The decision to field first seemed to be a particularly good one as the tea on offer at the break was excellent and could be much better enjoyed if there was an opportunity for a break after eating for digestion. The Devils who had to be restrained at tea and prepared to go out immediately after the break were Ryan and Everton as Hassan wanted to have a left hand, right hand batting combination at the start.

This plan did not work as after one well struck blow over square leg that fell just short of the boundary Ryan trod on his wicket and the skipper found himself in the middle before the end of the first over bowled by his opposite number. The Devils did have the advantage of playing a side lacking in sight in the field, and with Clarke struggling with his injury. Fielding soon became even more of a challenge for Hampshire as Patrick had to go off with a recurring knee injury less than fifteen minutes into the innings. This was good news for Everton who was able to score boundaries almost at will as the score rattled along at around 10 an over. That was until the eighth over when Dave Daniels pinned Hassan down with a string of dot balls ending with a wicket. That was 73 for one.

In the next over Everton had to retire on 53 that included twelve boundaries in just twenty-five balls, and with Jack bowled in the same over – there was a brief glimmer of hope for Hampshire that they might be able to follow the Devils lead and bowl out their opponents. Dave Samuels saw off Dave D’s second over so that after 10 overs the score was 101 for 3. Chris was at the crease with Dave and this pair batted well to add 71 and secure a win for the Devils, although there was a find wicket to fall as Mark Oliphant bowled Chris with two needed and might have two in two as Asif skied the next ball but Matt was unable to hang on to the chance. Sadly after that there were two wides to end what had been a most enjoyable game of cricket.

Next weekend Metro host Somerset in the national league at Highgate on Saturday and then the Devils travel to Berkshire again on Sunday – this time for a south and west T20 quarter final.

report by Paul Toplis


Cricket: Have We Got Good News For You!

Metro Devils Cricket Team

Whatever your views on the hot topics of the day – Brexit or a looming general election we can bring you some guaranteed good news, the cricket season has now started. Metro Devils took on Hampshire at Highgate on Saturday and next Sunday, 7th May, Metro travel to Warwickshire and the Devils to Kent.

A familiar looking Devils side were led by Asif, as the burden of on field captaincy is being shared around the squad this year, were made up to a full XI by Dogan making his debut on a pleasant early summer afternoon. The first decision for the skipper was to allow a late start so that the Hampshire skipper could join their other nine players at the start.

This was followed by winning the toss, or perhaps some would say Hampshire losing it, and the visitors being invited to bat. It was soon clear why they had wanted their skipper in action from the start as supported by Dave “woody” Allen an opening stand of 93 was reached inside 9 over before Ryan had to retire on exactly 50, including 9 fours and having faced just 26 balls.

However the scoring continued briskly with good running between the wickets until Dave misjudged the call on a drive straight down the ground which was gathered near the boundary by DS and thrown in well to achieve a run out while a third run was being attempted.

At this point the Devils were able to slow the run rate, helped by starting to pick up wickets at fairly regular intervals – starting with a second run out as Gary gathered a defensive prod off his own bowling to run out Matt who had backed up too far looking for a quick single for the total on strike. Dave was out LBW to Asif, after being trapped the first time by Chris, and then the visitor’s vice captain was bowled by DS. The innings was wrapped up by Gary taking a second run out to prevent a run being taken off the last ball of the innings.

Tea had been taken during the first innings as the late start had made timing difficult so it was a short turn around as the Devils went out to try and chase down 211 to win from the remaining 24 overs. They were wary as last season a collapse had seen Hampshire almost win the equivalent game but could not have made a better start against the visiting skipper. After two legal deliveries the run rate was a huge 27 an over as Everton worked one to fine leg for two, then hit at boundary after two wides and a no ball.

Sadly, all good things come to an end although 11 off the completed over was still well ahead of the rate required, and from here it was mostly downhill for the Devils. Dave Allen started with a maiden then in his second over bowled Chris with just 15 runs on the boars.

The score had only crept up to 20 in the sixth over when Everton swung with too much enthusiasm and hit his wicket. This brought Gary in and he batted fluently to score 31 from a stand of 42, with several good drives down the ground before he was run out by a very sharp bit of fielding and a great throw in by Dave A. The same fielder was soon in action again diving forward to end Dogan’s stubborn occupation of the crease and that with just 72 scored and plenty of overs left.

It took a late flurry led by DS but supported by Aemonn who put on an unbroken stand of 65, after Alan had been bowled by Ben Good, to ensure a third batting bonus point. Dave was a little disappointed that he did get to 50 – he was not aware how close he was as he ended the innings in fine style with two drives through cover in the last over.

If there was a man of the match award then on this occasion surely it would have gone to Dave Allen for 46 runs, a catch, a run out and then bowling figures of 4-1-1-28.

Stat Attack: Metro devils runs scored

Third Man 17 runs with one boundary
Off side, point to extra cover 16 runs with two boundaries
Straight , mid off to mid on 27 runs with one boundary
Leg side, mid wicket to square leg 23 runs with two boundaries
Fine Leg 45 runs with seven boundaries

Report by Paul Toplis