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Sussex suffer shock opening defeat

29th April 2013

Matt Dean Matt Dean

The 2013 BCEW National League season started in dramatic fashion with two time defending champions Sussex Sharks losing their first league game since 2010.

Report by Paul Toplis

Metro v Sussex Sharks
Saturday 27th April – Match Report

The BCEW league season started early at Highgate; Sussex having generously agreed to a start at 11.00 so that Metro players could get away for their club’s 40th anniversary dinner at Lords in the evening. It was chilly – a change in conditions for umpire Paul Richardson whose last VI match had been the world Twenty20 final in India.

Sussex lost the toss and after some thought Metro chose to bowl; with two strong teams a good match was expected and indeed the spectators were not disappointed as the game progressed. The first ball saw Howard Greenhill bowling to Si Ledwith and an opening maiden over with the only runs coming from byes. Metro kept the batsmen were contained for the first five overs with only 20 runs being scored. However as Si and Joe Harrison settled in the scoring rate increased and Metro were not able to take any wickets – not holding several chances for catches. Sussex reached drinks with no wickets down and 105 on the board. As so often the break caused a change as in the next over Joe pulled Amit Amin to square leg where Matt Dean did not drop the chance.

Sussex then scored slowly for a few overs with Metro applying pressure to Kelvin Duncan who was caught by Gareth Jones off the bowling of Ryan Jones in the 22nd over with the score on 153. This brought Dan Field to the crease and he scored briskly with almost no dot balls in a 27 ball 36. When he was out in the 31st over bowled by Rory Field, Sussex only waited for the end of that over to declare on 234 with Si not out on 90.

So Metro had a chase with 235 needed from 29 overs – in contrast to Sussex they started at a furious pace with Rory Field and Matt Dean both hitting the ball well, the first 50 came up in 39 balls. Sussex hoped they might slow the scoring rate when James Millard took a good catch to remove Rory in Dan Field’s first over with the score on 61; but Steve Humphries and Matt kept up a brisk pace until James took another catch off Kelvin’s bowling to leave Metro at 102 for 2 after 10 overs. The rate did now slow as Gary Moritz scored slowly before being run out with 114 on the board. Ryan Jones joined Matt and this pair seemed to have made a straightforward finish possible as with three overs to go they had put on 107 and Metro needed 14 from 18 balls with 7 wickets in hand.

Cricket however, as so often, made a huge drama out of the finish as following a wide and a two Matt was caught by Joe from Andy Dalby-Welsh, the Sussex captain’s bowling, having scored 129, – the batsmen crossing and after Ryan had taken another two he pulled Andy to square leg for a repeat catch. 9 needed from 12 balls with two new batsmen at the crease and Joe to bowl. A wide was followed by a well run three for Mark Russell, a dot and a single for Howard – Joe then bowled Mark and on the next ball a big mix up saw Craig Groves run out off his first ball and Metro were now 7 down. Howard drove the last ball through mid-off and with shouts of “there are three there” Metro were running hard until the ball trickled over the boundary to finish two thrilling overs and a fantastic match.

Correspondent’s man of the match – Andy Dalby-Welsh for a great sporting declaration and good bowling at the “death”.