Warwickshire; The Expected Result?
9th June 2018
Metro have found Warwickshire barring their progress in the cup for several years and on Saturday after a very hard fought game it boiled down to this; there were 19 more, of the 181 needed by Warwickshire for a win, still required with 7 wickets down and three overs remaining.
For the visitors the wickets were critical as they had arrived with only nine players. The question thus was could Metro’s pair of totals bowling at the death defend 19 from three overs?
Amit had the first ball, of the three, from the café end; his action sends the ball looping high and dropping on a length. Gerald is on strike but cannot make effective contact with the first two balls; but then the line strays leg side and two runs are taken to fine leg. A dot follows and then he gets solidly under one and lifts it high, for a one bounce four to fine leg. The field is in close, to try and prevent the single but he plays with soft hands to drop the ball onto the strip and race through for a single to keep the strike.
Hassan comes back to complete his spell from the scorebox end; his action very different – the ball low and skiddy, often close the its third bounce as it reaches the striker. The first ball is squirted to point; for just a single and Metro have what they want – the Warwickshire total on strike. Now an error from the keeper as the next ball slips past him and a bye is taken.
Warwickshire seem to take control next ball, Matt Dean at square leg strays behind square – for a no ball – that is driven past mid off for two. Seven needed from ten balls. Hassan holds his nerve and keeps it straight as two dots follow. Then Warwickshire take a single to third man, to put Gerald on strike for the last over and Ezekiel blocks out Hassan’s last ball. Six needed, or five as a tie will win it for the visitors as they have lost less wickets.
Amit pitches up and Mo, behind the stumps does well to block the ball; the next one is edged up and Mo makes no mistake holding the catch to set up a semi-final at Highgate on the 30th June against Yorkshire who beat Gloucestershire on Sunday.
Great celebrations by Metro follow.
Not that those quite match the individual celebrations from Amit at his earlier match winning contributions – his speed, after grabbing chances at short square leg from both Warwickshire’s England stars, could surely only be matched by one of the home side.
The first catch had been the breakthrough Metro were after as the visitors had looked to be taking control at 66 without loss after ten overs; before Justin was caught for 46. Luke marshalled the rest of the innings batting carefully and aware that the required run rate was always under control. He batted nearly two hours for his 45; departing sixth with the score on 151.
The Metro bowling display was brilliant, backed up by energetic and enthusiastic fielding to make sure that the rate never got too low. The best figures of the day belonged to Amit and Mo with two wickets each; Mo’s for just 23 runs from his six overs; while Gareth took four to add to his five from the week before.
Earlier in the afternoon, batting first after having been put in, the Metro innings was based on a rapid 52 from Matt Dean out of a score of 79 for three and then solid contributions from all led by Ryan who came in as Matt left and batted for over an hour in scoring 35 while the team score increased by ninety-five.
After he was out from the second ball of the twenty-sixth over with Luke and Justin bowling Metro collapsed; Mo followed at the end of the over bowled by Justin, leaving Rory as a spectator for the next over from Luke. This was a fast and accurate over – dot, bowled, no ball, dot, bowled, not and then lbw. Metro had not batted their full allowance of overs, as Justin had two left and Luke one, and surely had not scored enough.
It was all set up for a test of bowling skill and Hassan and Amit passed with flying colours.
Report by Paul Toplis