Sussex Sharks v Metro – 21 May 2022
Metro travelled to the beautiful Sussex ground at Blackstone on a day where the conditions for cricket would have been excellent in the wind had been a little more gentle and less gusty. There was warm sunshine all day but with enough cloud cover to keep the temperature in check.
Rory Field called heads to give the home side a winning toss and Metro were asked to bat first. Their openers faced a tough opening spell from Phil Daniels and Joe Harrison as from the first six overs, two of which were maidens, just nine runs were scored.
Runs did a flow a little more quickly after that but the scoring rate remained modest as the openers reached 86 at the 15 over drinks beak. Their stand was finally ended when Nick Ebbeck was caught and bowled by Alex Towers.
High quality energetic fielding backed up the disciplined bowling that included an unbroken spell of eleven over from Alex Towers who finished with three for 49.
After Matt Dean was dismissed for 68 to leave the visitors on 123 for 3 they set out to bat to ensure they could not be beaten with crease occupation rather than scoring the main aim.
Sussex did not allow this to undermine their committed approach squeezing hard after the fifth wicket fell in the thirty first over with the score on 169 as Mo Ghalib was caught by Toby Collins off Phil’s bowling.
The next partnership was twenty, but the fielding side took control and ended the innings in the thirty-seven over, although Metro had just secured a fourth batting point at 200.
This left a target of 201 from the remaining twenty-three overs of the sixty. There was time for Sussex to show that Covid had not impacted the outstanding quality of their teas; as the break lasted just over half an hour for all to enjoy the feast.
Metro opened the bowling with a pair of totally blind bowlers – Amin Amin and Sam Hoskin and enjoyed a great start from that tactic limiting Sussex to 15 for 1 from the first three overs with Amit bowling Dave Daniels for 4.
They then brought on their regular opening pair of Mo and skipper, Rory – with Mo as hard to score off as the Sussex openers, but he was not able to make a breakthrough. Although Rory ran out Toby Collins in Mo’s first over it was not until Gareth Jones replaced Rory that the third wicket fell as Phil Daniels was bowled.
They left the experienced pair of Joe and captain Dan Field at the crease. Although there were a few chances for Metro – Gareth making great ground to get to one chance in the covers and not quite being able to hang on to a difficult caught and bowled chance, this pair batted through to the end in a partnership of 86.
The tough batting conditions are clear from the boundary count – 17 plus a single 6 for Metro and just 5 for the home side; albeit that much of the game was more about not losing wickets rather than chasing runs.
After a break, the next league games are Metro’s visit to Northants and Sussex’s trip to Somerset on 25th June.
Match report by Paul Toplis
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