Match Report by Rob Crisp
Metro (147 all out, 26 overs; Crisp 3-16) drew with Somerset (99/4, 13 overs; Crisp 60*, Field 2-13)
Somerset and Metro had already played twice this season, with each club taking one victory apiece. Sadly rain was the winner third time around, costing Somerset the chance of avenging their league defeat three weeks previously. After a two hour delay with Metro 117/6 in the 18th over, Metro were happy to settle for a draw in a drab afternoon in the nonetheless stunning Somerset countryside. That rain delay reduced the number of overs in the game from 60 to 39, with Metro opting to bat for the maximum of their revised 26 over allocation. This left Somerset with a mammoth task in just thirteen overs to force a win, which the Cidermen never really threatened to achieve.
Somerset skipper Ed Hossell won the toss and under grey conditions elected to have a bowl. Within minutes of play commencing, a light drizzle began which was to be persistent for the majority of the Metro innings. Somerset nearly got off to a dream start when Metro’s star batter Matt Dean smashed a cover drive at Rob Crisp in the second over, only for the chance to go down. Dean promptly helped himself to three boundaries from Mikey Contreras, before playing one shot too many, skying the ball to Crisp at cover point who made no mistake this time. Crisp was involved in the next wicket to fall, running out Nick Ebbeck with a direct hit from extra cover, before Steve Cook had Andy Law trapped lbw for 6, leaving Metro at 59-3.
Prem Sellathurai and Mo Ghalib steadied the ship for the visitors as the rain continued to fall, before Crisp bowled the dangerous Ghalib with an inswinging yorker. Matt Davidson took a stunning catch at mid- off running back towards the boundary to dismiss Sam Hoskin for a duck before Davidson ran out Thomas Froud – the youngster looked good for his 14 on his Metro debut. The ground conditions were gradually worsening and an increase in intensity of the rain saw the covers come on and an early tea taken.
Two hours later after a high quality feed, the players returned to the field. The end of Chris Blake came with sharp work from Al Mabey finished by keeper Heidi Linegar to affect another run out as Sellathurai was joined by the resolute Amit Amin. Sellathurai played the situation well batting with the tail, farming the strike and remaining calm under significant pressure. Sellathurai finally succumbed in the final over, hitting Crisp to Ed Hossell at mid off for a patient 36 off 48 deliveries which held the innings together somewhat. Amin was then run out before Rory Field hit the final ball of the innings to Hossell at cover point. After dropping a very tough chance off Field’s first ball, Hossell wasn’t missing this one, as Metro were dismissed for 147, aided by 40 extras conceded by Somerset.
Despite a few catches going down, given the conditions Somerset could be delighted with their efforts in the field, with three run outs testament to their intensity throughout. Despite one fairly wayward over just before the rain delay, Crisp led the attack with 3-16 but all five of the Somerset bowlers plugged away well sharing the wickets around, backed up by the tremendous efforts in the field.
As Metro had used the maximum amount of overs permitted to them, a Somerset victory from this point was always going to take something spectacular. Ed Hossell and Rob Crisp started well, but couldn’t keep up with the ever increasing required run rate. Once Somerset talisman Hossell was well caught by Sam Hoskin in close, the slim prospects of a victory faded even further. Adrian Snelgrove was run out first ball by Matt Dean and Matt Davidson picked out long off shortly after and Metro suddenly dared to dream with their hosts at 31-3.
Crisp, who had been given a lifeline by Ghalib on the cover boundary early on, and Alan Mabey steadied the ship and made the game safe for Somerset. Mabey was bowled for ten by a Rory Field slower ball, but Crisp and Steve Cook saw the game home for Somerset. Crisp saw one outside edge fly to the backward point boundary for four, before a thinner one just evaded the keeper and slip. Crisp went on to take sixteen off the final over, passing fifty and finishing on an unbeaten 60 from 38 balls as Somerset closed on 99/4, taking the maximum 14 points on offer, with Metro taking 9.
Somerset are back in league action next weekend on 17th June when they travel to Sussex for what is likely to be another toughly contested encounter.