Metro vs Somerset 6 Aug!
Saturday saw clear blue skies and hot sunshine all afternoon as Metro entertained Somerset, with both clubs still hoping to win the BCEW league title.
The pitch was hard and dry, and the outfield brown and yellow as the visitors looked to avenge their cup defeat earlier in the season. It was first blood to them, too, as they won the toss and asked Metro to bat on a day where drinks were to be taken every ten overs because of the heat.
Matt Dean had a new opening partner in the left-handed Asif – perhaps because Damion, who had travelled from Scotland for the game, arrived only just as the match started. Asif was trapped LBW by the visitor’s skipper Ed at the end of the third over to bring Andy Law to the crease.
Matt farmed the strike during their partnership which ended just before drinks, as Andy, who had seen several strong shots blocked by the close in Somerset fielders yet again, could only find a fielder with a well hit shot.
The ball struck David and looped up gently in the air to give Ed a simple catch at square leg with 96 runs scored, off the bowling of Jason.
This brought Damion and Matt together, and both hit the ball firmly to all parts of the ground; Damion hit six boundaries and a six, while Matt had eight boundaries and a brace of sixes in their partnership of 197. Damion’s contribution was 94 and Matt’s 87 when Rory declared after twenty-five overs to deny Damion a first century at Highgate and the pair to post a 200 partnership.
The declaration was essential as Metro had to try and win to give themselves a chance of winning the league title – Sussex having taken a strong lead after Northants had to concede their matched scheduled for the same day.
After a tea of pre-packed sandwiches, Somerset started the chase with Rob and their Matt.
The game was being played with the new, slightly larger and perhaps lighter ball, which was perhaps harder to grip. Ed had completely lost his grip at one point in the Metro innings and after an excellent opening over that went for just two runs, including a bye, Rory seemed to struggle in his next over as he bowled four wides, the first of many that Metro conceded as the match continued.
After his match-winning cup over, Asif opened the bowling with three tidy overs in the first eight taking the wicket of Graham LBW for 19 runs; that LBW had been set up by Andy. It was the second wicket to fall before drinks as Amit had earlier bowled Matt, and the visitors added another 23 to be on 88 at drinks, just eight behind the Metro score.
From that point, the game belonged mostly to the batters as Rob and Ed did get a partnership above 200, twenty-nine exactly when the match ended with a Matt Dean wide delivery in the thirty-first over of the chase.
There had been chances – Rory making a great effort in the deep, both Gareth and Amit chasing possible caught and bowled, and one that went towards Matt, who failed to see the ball in the awkward light.
Ed had scored 134 with sixteen boundaries and two sixes, while Rob’s contribution of 64 was part of his 91 as he joined Damion in just missing out on a century.
The sides meet again in Somerset next week if the logistics can be resolved with a rail strike planned, where another win would leave Somerset well placed to challenge for the league title in their final match of the season against Sussex the next day.
The Sharks will meet Metro in the Primary club cup final on the 3rd of September – now Metro’s only chance of a win this season.
Those partnerships? – Somerset’s second-highest behind the same two players who scored 263 in 2013 and Metro’s eighth highest – with only one higher by a pair that does not include Matt.
Match report by Paul Toplis
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