Tag Archives: paul toplis.

League Championship Celebrated & Confirmed in Style

Photo of the Metro team on the Cricket Pitch at the Northampton County Ground

Lancashire Lions Vs Metro 2021

Download: Lancashire Vs Metro  –  Excel format

Metro travelled to Manchester and stayed overnight, despite a worrying weather forecast to play their final league match of the season. This was a rearranged match as the weather had been very wet on the originally scheduled date.

They arrived at the historic Werneth Cricket Club in the north of the city greeted by skies where the blue was chasing away the clouds after heavy overnight rain. Werneth has hosted high-quality Lancashire League and friendly cricket matches so has had both Sir Garfield Sobers and Phil Mustard play on the square.

Perhaps this was to be Metro’s day as Rory won the toss and elected to bowl first against an under-strength Lancashire team with just nine players, including two low partials and three totals. Metro had a full eleven but was not quite at full strength with Hashy, Everton and Shiv joining Prem, the BCEW Regional batsman of the year, from the Devils in the starting line-up.

This was the second trial of live match commentary, which can be found on the Metro YouTube channel in the Cricket Match -Audio Commentary Playlist.

The ground had a Lords like slope from north to south with the square boundary slightly shorter to the north where the boundary was a high fence protecting a new housing development – Cricketer’s Close.

Some spectators were surprised that after Rory struggled to control the wet ball in the first over which went for eight with five extras that Damion started at the other end, as Mo is the regular opening bowler and had been limbering up.

The change worked after just four balls as Rory, behind the stumps, look an excellent tumbling catch down the leg side. There was no further success for the opening pair of bowlers, and Rory was hit for a great boundary eight, as the home side reached 32 from the first five overs. However, the first change at the far end of the ground from the Pavilion to bring on Nick worked well as with the last ball of the sixth over the number three was bowled.

This brought Amit and Andy together and they bowled with good accuracy and in Andy’s case on this occasion great success. He had one for one after Rory took a second catch to dismiss the club captain. His next over started with a six just backward of square between Mo at square leg and Prem at fine leg – but when the shot was repeated two balls later the ball was hit finer and Prem steadied himself for a catch.

With the opening batsman now out with just 54 scored Metro sensed an early end to the innings. Mo finally joined the attack in the eleventh over without success; but Andy kept up his wicket an over performance with a catch taken by Damion at short cover, to finish with 3 for 15.

After an early drinks break Mo bowled a wicket maiden in the fifteenth over and Rory then hit the stumps twice with his first two balls as he came back in the sixteenth to leave him on a hat trick ball at the start of the 2022 season. Metro had been set just 70 to beat.

With tea not quite ready there was a swift turnaround and the tone of the reply was set first ball when Damion caught up with a widish leg side ball to hit it for four through fine leg. He followed up with a shot through mid-off for another boundary and this combined with sharp running to add two to a wide and four more runs from the bat meant Metro had fifteen from the first over.

Nick and Damion showed no mercy in keeping up that scoring rate as Lancashire rotated their bowlers but no-one could stench the flow of run scoring. Nick hit a four off the first ball of the sixth over Metro had won with 73, Nick having 30 and Damion 28.

Roger Barker, who was umpiring, presented league winners medals to the team over the post-match tea as the players enjoyed that winning feeling. Enjoy the winter and look forward to more cricket in 2022 especially for the Devils who can expect a full season in 2022.

Match report by Paul Toplis

 

Metro Devils – The Development Team

Would you like to play cricket? We are always happy to welcome enthusiastic new players, so if you are interested in playing this season or taking part in training sessions, please contact Hassan Khan at the Metro Devils h.khan25@googlemail.com 07792 004838 or contact Charlie charlie.raven@metroblindsport.org 07956 292046

 

Interested in volunteering?

If you want to try volunteering, please contact Charlie charlie.raven@metroblindsport.org 07956 292046.

 

Metro Blind Sports Social Networks

Get all the latest blind & partially sighted event information & news as soon as we do!

Metro Blind Sport:  Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Instagram   |  LinkedIn

Metro Blind Sport membership:  more info or Join here

 

Cricket: The Lord Gave And The Lord Has Taken Away

Metro with 2021 National League Trophy

BBS Primary Club Heinrich Swanepoel Memorial Cup 2021

Download: Northants Vs Metro  –  Excel format

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

 

Upcoming Cricket Events

Full Cricket Event list: bit.ly/MBSCricket

 

Metro Devils – The Development Team

Would you like to play cricket? We are always happy to welcome enthusiastic new players, so if you are interested in playing this season or taking part in training sessions, please contact Hassan Khan at the Metro Devils h.khan25@googlemail.com 07792 004838 or contact Charlie charlie.raven@metroblindsport.org 07956 292046

 

Interested in volunteering?

If you want to try volunteering, please contact Charlie charlie.raven@metroblindsport.org 07956 292046.

 

Metro Blind Sports Social Networks

Get all the latest blind & partially sighted event information & news as soon as we do!

Metro Blind Sport:  Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Instagram   |  LinkedIn

Metro Blind Sport membership:  more info or Join here

 

Cricket: Hat Trick Ball – Why Not Take Drinks?!

Photo of a batsman about to hit the ball and a team photo of the metro Devils and a photo of current team skipper Hassan Khan

Berkshire Stags vs Metro Devils  – 22  Aug  2021

Download: Stags Vs Devils Scorecard  –  Excel format

Welcome to a match report from the beautiful Maidenhead and Bray cricket club, a ground overlooked by a screen of trees behind which could be glimpsed a very English stone church and an imposing brick mansion.

The weather was almost as beautiful, despite the poor forecast, as for much of the game there was warm sunlight and a largely blue sky just trimmed by fluffy clouds.

On the fourth ball of the thirteenth over of the first innings Chris hits strongly to mid-on, where a great catch is taken by Rob; Shiv was next in and his shot was a carbon copy and caught by the same fielder.

The bowler is on a hat trick and the umpires call for drinks – is this the first time that a drinks break has broken the bowler’s rhythm when on a hat trick? A break for drinks was needed as this game had got off to a very rapid start after Hassan lost the toss and the Devils were asked to bat.

The first over went for three but Prem and Everton then raced to 50 from just 4 overs, as they put on 68 for the first wicket before Everton was bowled by the home skipper. The score was 123 for 5 at drinks; with Asif also having claimed a primary club membership when caught at short 45 off one bounce by Camile.

Was it drinks break that made Alan’s task easier in facing that hat trick ball – who knows but it was a wide. Alan did become Dion’s fourth victim when he was also caught off one bounce as the home side did well in the field to take seven wickets for 54 runs and leave the Devils at 151 for eight.

Hash then held up one end while Nick raced to 25 and Prem came back to add another 22 to the 50 he had before retirement, with an array of shots all around the ground that included six boundaries and a six over square leg. This strong hitting allowed Hassan to declare on 201 after 24 overs.

There was no tea prepared by Berkshire but food was available in the pavilion, although the service was not quite fast enough to enable the Devils to be able to order and eat a pizza during the innings break. Back on the ground there were 28 overs to take the nine wickets needed for a win.

Asif and Alan opened the bowling and despite the home captain sweeping the ball for a boundary 8, he was then bowled by Alan and the Stags had half the devils score after 4 overs.

There was fantastic fielding from the whole side to back up the bowlers over the next 10 overs with no more boundaries conceded until the fifteenth over.

By that time Chris had taken a great catch at mid-off from Asif’s bowling and Prem had held a nick off Alan’s. The home side had just 79 at the half way stage in the chase.

However the game looked to be swinging their way as 57 were added rapidly for the fourth wicket before Prem look another catch behind the stumps – this time off Ahmed to break the partnership; was there to be another twist.

Nick took two catches at square leg after having previously missed some half chances and so with six overs left the equation was the Devils needed three wickets and the Stags needed 54 to win.

The home side then gave a wicket away as Camile was run out as Rob was attempting a third run as Nick ran down the pitch after bowling to break the wicket at the keepers’ end. When Rob reached his 50 and had to retire with the score on 160, Devils sensed an opportunity.

The score was 170 as the opening bowlers returned to complete the innings and with his second ball Asif beat Ruth and Rob had to come back. Three balls later he drove into the waiting off side cordon of total fielders where the ball went into the skippers hands and then onto the floor! Rob carefully steered the next ball to square leg for a single before seeing out a maiden for the final over.

The Devils end their season next Saturday with their first home match!

They host the Gloucestershire Growlers – while a week later Metro aim to complete a league and cup double at the BBS Cup final in Northampton. Yes – the double as results this weekend have guaranteed them the league title before their final away fixture at Lancashire.

Match report by Paul Toplis

 

Upcoming Cricket Events

Full Cricket Event list: bit.ly/MBSCricket

 

Metro Devils – The Development Team

Would you like to play cricket? We are always happy to welcome enthusiastic new players, so if you are interested in playing this season or taking part in training sessions, please contact Hassan Khan at the Metro Devils h.khan25@googlemail.com 07792 004838 or contact Charlie charlie.raven@metroblindsport.org 07956 292046

 

Interested in volunteering?

If you want to try volunteering, please contact Charlie charlie.raven@metroblindsport.org 07956 292046.

 

Metro Blind Sports Social Networks

Get all the latest blind & partially sighted event information & news as soon as we do!

Metro Blind Sport:  Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Instagram   |  LinkedIn

Metro Blind Sport membership:  more info or Join here

 

Cricket: Second Away League Win of The Season

Photo of the Metro cricket team in group chat, Cricket: Match Report

Somerset v Metro – 14  Aug  2021

Download:  Somerset vs Metro Scorecard  –  Excel format

After re-arranging their away league game against Lancashire Metro did all that was possible to strengthen their league position when visiting Somerset

Unlike the cup trip earlier in the summer the day started well – despite two extra stops for the train the away side were all at the ground in very good time and before their hosts!

Better was to come as Rory called “tails” to win his first league toss of the summer and asked Somerset to bat. Metro starting with nine players as Mark was stuck in traffic but Somerset had a full XI, albeit short of all their best partial players.

Mo started with a wide and was then hit for a single by the home chairman but got back to his winning ways next ball trapping Kathryn leg before. He then bowled Steve with the last ball of his first over, before completing his opening spell with 12 dot balls in a row.

With Rory picking up one for two from his opening overs the start for Metro was fantastic. Asif bowled the next over and perhaps should have got a wicket but the umpires had deemed the ball that hit the stumps a “free hit” from the previous no ball. It did not seem to matter as although Amit went wicketless in his first over and stayed that way for all 4 overs he bowled, Andy Law struck in his first over, as did Rob.

Rob was however hit for the first boundary of the match as Mikey pulled the ball to the mid-wicket fence, before taking two more wickets in his second over to get the best figures of the match at 3 for 9.

When Heidi the stand-in skipper came in the score was 19 for 7 with almost 13 overs completed. It seemed as if the game was heading for a very early finish as Rory had a hat trick ball at the start of the second over of his new spell, but Sharnie got off strike with a second wide run to start the best partnership of the innings.

Despite facing Rory from one end and Mo from the other the final pair put on 16 including a well struck boundary through square leg by Heidi; the innings ending as Mo got revenge with a straight one hitting the stumps next ball.

Tea was taken although less than 23 overs had been bowled.

A target of 44 has to be viewed as a very easy chase – especially when your opening pair are Matt and Rory. Indeed it did not take them long to get home – just the four overs. Rory scored 9 from 8 with a boundary through fine leg, three dots, a two and three singles.

Matt scored almost twice as fast with 33 from 16. He had a maximum through mid-wicket, two 4s through square leg as well as a great opening boundary through the covers, four two’s, seven singles and just the one dot.

Metro cricket interest switches to the Devils for the next couple of weeks with a trip to Berkshire next Sunday before hosting the Growlers at the end of the month.

It’s then back to Metro for their third cup final in a row – this time against Northants at the Northamptonshire county ground, followed by the league game against Lancashire on the 19th September when it may be the league title is the prize.

Match report by Paul Toplis

 

Upcoming Cricket Events

Full Cricket Event list: bit.ly/MBSCricket

 

Metro Devils – The Development Team

Would you like to play cricket? We are always happy to welcome enthusiastic new players, so if you are interested in playing this season or taking part in training sessions, please contact Hassan Khan at the Metro Devils h.khan25@googlemail.com 07792 004838 or contact Charlie charlie.raven@metroblindsport.org 07956 292046

 

Interested in volunteering?

If you want to try volunteering, please contact Charlie charlie.raven@metroblindsport.org 07956 292046.

 

Metro Blind Sports Social Networks

Get all the latest blind & partially sighted event information & news as soon as we do!

Metro Blind Sport:  Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Instagram   |  LinkedIn

Metro Blind Sport membership:  more info or Join here

 

Cricket is a Simple Game!

A Photo of a Metro Devils batsman in a Hat hitting the ball and a team photo of the devils back in 2017

 Dorset Dolphins v Metro Devils  – 1  Aug  2021

Download:  Dolphins V Metro Scorecard  –  Excel format

Well, perhaps that depends on who you ask and when! It is certainly true that captaincy is not easy and Hassan had to work very hard to get 10 players to Poole park for the Regional T20 semi-final on Sunday.

To arrive for the 12.30 start all those had needed to give up a relaxing Sunday morning to be on a train very early and Rob had been handed more stress as a stand-in captain. Some might think that it is easy to call “heads” and win the toss, but following this line did not work for Rob. It did mean he was spared the need to choose as Dorset asked the Devils to bat first. The pitch having been largely cleared of goose droppings, Rob started the batting with Ryan and Andy.

So ask Robert the Dolphins bowler taking on the second over of the match; it must be a very easy game as Andy is bowled first ball. If that was not simple enough look at the start of his third over – trapping the other opener LBW first ball and following up with another straight one to bowl the next player in.

This left Chris in his first match for the Devils facing a hat trick ball which he successfully defended. Robert finished his four over spell with the final over of the match going for just two runs to give him figures of 3 for 26 – an excellent spell of bowling.

So then to the backbone of the Devils’ innings Prem; who came in at three and batted into the eighteenth over scoring 57 not out. Yes, the hopeless scorer who was trying to double up as an umpire did loose count so sneaking the Devils a few more runs.

Prem’s innings included seven 4s and a fantastic 6 over square leg off none other than Robert. Prem also mustered the fielding well from his position behind the stumps and took the only catch of the match.

So is it an easy game – ask Chris on his debut. After seeing off that hat trick ball he batted carefully with Prem to put on 42 for the fourth wicket. I think he may have found the game puzzling when several minutes were spent checking the T20 rules after he was stumped off a wide delivery following a no ball.

The umpire said that clearly no run was being attempted, and that the ball was a “free hit” and thus the batsman had the no ball protection from a stumping. Perhaps this is a useful reminder that the game even if simple does require you to watch where you stand.

After eight overs the Dolphins had sixty-four without loss and Chris was thrown the ball for a spell of right arm over; a good length first ball was nicked by Andy and Prem held the catch. One ball, one wicket – what an easy game.

Not quite so easy by the end of the spell as an energetic bit of fielding handed the Dolphins 14 from one ball as they ran three before an overthrow to the boundary with a total on strike. Is it an easy game – for Rob the thought about that ebbed to and fro during the afternoon.

Would it have been good to win the toss, did I choose the right batting order; then when batting after helping his first legal delivery down to fine leg for 4 he had a strike rate of 133 before facing the final over and only getting a single off the final ball. 127 was not a big score and after trying his top four bowlers – Alan, Ryan, Andy and himself was it inspiration to ask Chris to bowl?

Steve, skippering Dorset may have just thought simple game all afternoon – win the toss, bowl quite tight that excellent spell from Rob and an even better 2 for 12 from 3 overs from Sam before Tim’s unbeaten 52 saw the Dolphins home with 9 balls to spare. They play Surrey in the final on 5th September.

Next up for the Devils their league matches – away to the Stags on the 22nd August and then the last game of the season at Highgate on the 28th.

Match report by Paul Toplis

 

Upcoming Cricket Events

Full Cricket Event list: bit.ly/MBSCricket

 

Metro Devils – The Development Team

Would you like to play cricket? We are always happy to welcome enthusiastic new players, so if you are interested in playing this season or taking part in training sessions, please contact Hassan Khan at the Metro Devils h.khan25@googlemail.com 07792 004838 or contact Charlie charlie.raven@metroblindsport.org 07956 292046

 

Interested in volunteering?

If you want to try volunteering, please contact Charlie charlie.raven@metroblindsport.org 07956 292046.

 

Metro Blind Sports Social Networks

Get all the latest blind & partially sighted event information & news as soon as we do!

Metro Blind Sport:  Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Instagram   |  LinkedIn

Metro Blind Sport membership:  more info or Join here