Even though some ignorant and selfish locals stole the match ball during the first innings after it went through the fence, "because our pitbull likes it", cricket and Pacific proved the winner in the end.
Central London CC: 243 all out from 36 overs (J Smith, 3 for 21; K Rademaker, 3 for 49)
Pacific: 244-9 from 38.1 overs (J Webley 65, K Rademaker 26; D Bird 26)
PCC XI :- Steve Lay*, Rob Bastin, Oli Haill, Nick Fuller (replaced Matt Holliday, out with broken finger), Sammy Purcell, Kurt Rademaker, James Smith, Jon Webley, Conrad Chandler, Dan Bird, Matt Patel.
A nail-biting finish that marked Pacific's second highest run chase, just a week after the new record had been set, was completed with an anticlimactic three consecutive wides from the opposition's captain. However, it had been a thrilling ride to get to that point.
This was an exciting conclusion to a Pacific innings that built from a very slow start. After a mini-collapse to 39 for 3, the innings was constructed around a mostly composed half century from John Webley (apart from when he accused the oppo's 14 year old umpire of cheating after Kurt was given out LBW a foot down leg side, apparently, though it seemed likely to be more a case of an easily influenced young mind than genuine attempt to pervert the course of cricket, anyway...) backed up by good strike-rate hitting from Kurt and Oli to accelerate the chase.
The win was effectively sealed by some composed play from Dan Bird and some classic Rob Bastin swipes. To top off the Mad Dog and Glory day, Pacific's own Bill Murray-a-like, Nick Fuller, took to the field with a runner to usher in the glorious victory.
Earlier Pacific's bowling had been let down by some pretty poor fielding, very sluggish and exacerbated by not-the-best field placings. Conrad was a chief offender, particularly when distracted by the local wildlife to such an extetnt that he let a four past him. And never before has the normally stentorian and ever-enthusiastic hobbit Bilbo Bastino been rendered so quiet and un-enthused as he was by the lack of oomph in the Pacific fielders. 'It's almost as if they don't want to play.'
But the bowling wasn't too bad. James Smith opened tightly and snapped up some important wickets, Oli surprised with some Wheelie Bin twizzlers, Bill Murray pulled his groin following through (oo-err) and Kurt 'Radio 1093' Rademaker polished off the tail in true Ozzie style. 243 was the score but it should have been nearer 200 with a tighter field.
Captain Lay says "Rob had an excellent game, but everyone played a part. When you win by one wicket even a couple of runs make a difference."
Man of the match:
This writer always finds it difficult not to award it to himself, despite two wickets, two caught skiers and a calm 23 off 26 balls, but ..aww sod it I'm having it: Oli Haill!
Packing the kit:
Difficult this, with Conrad's appaling fielding, but it has to go to Jon Webley - 44 runs off his five overs, getting out before he'd reeled in the total, and trampling on the spirit of cricket by slandering the 14 year old umpire. Fined his match fee?