Brilliant dramatic exciting. 5 needed off the last over with Bastin bowling at 8.30 in the evening with perfect blue sky and lengthening shadows across the ground. One batsman has already made 150 and the other is pretty well set and the situ does not look good. First ball is a dot ball. Second ball hammered straight down the ground to deep mid on for two. Third ball played to backward point - Saif swoops as the batsmen go for a second and he hits the one stump he can see for a run out. Fourth ball worked to square leg by the new lefty the batsmen attempt a single but Saif throws to the non-strikers end for a direct hit and a run out. 5th ball - swing and a miss. Last ball - hit along the ground to deep mid on - the batsmen make the first and go for a second - Gleadow fires the ball back in over the stumps to the non-strikers - Bastin half blinded by the low sun manages to push the ball onto stumps just in time as the batsman is half a yard short of his ground. A tie.
On a lovely sunny afternoon in a picturesque if noisy (A40) Denham. Pacific won the toss and opted to bat.
Bastin and Sylvester rattled along as the shortish boundaries and lightning outfield indicated a big score would be needed. Gleadow eventually arrived half an hour late having cycled from Islington! Then the wickets started to tumble Sylvester was caught at mid off, Shamsuddin was yorked and Mohammed was a victim of Bastin normal failure to realise he is twice as quick as everyone else. Bastin fell for 47 to a very quick reaction return catch. Best not to describe Duthie's shot (although in fairness he had taken serious thump to his thumb first ball) and Pritchard was snaffled very low by short cover. At 129/6 things looked shaky - Tempany and debutant Singh steadied the ship and then let loose. Tempany played an unusually reserved knock and it was a real captain's innings that played the situation perfectly. When he cut loose Tempany twice cleared the wall behind the bowler - the first set off an alarm worringly. Both batsmen perished agonisingly short of landmarks. Ahmed blasted a quick 15 at the end.
It was a very good tea that was chewed by what turned out to be an over-confident set of Pacific players in a very nice if small pavillion. A great set of cricket books to read. Tempany regaled his team as to his hundred the day before in a tied match - no danger of a repeat here surely!
The Denham chase started with bang with a six second ball but then proceeded slowly as Gleadow, wound up as ever by umpires giving wides as though bowlers are mere servants of batsmen, bowled line and length and thoroughly deserved his wicket - a lobbed catch to Sylvester in the gully. Singh suffered from some ropey ground fielding, Ahmed a particular culprit, and looked to have the pace to be a very useful bowling addition. Saif bowled his leg spin with verve and Pritchard did superbly to snare a caught behind off him.
The asking rate went up to about 8 or 9 over but the opposition always managed to keep it at that. Duthie fielded bravely and your reporter was amazed to see him diving full length to stop balls considering the state of his thumb. Roberts bowled well from one end and even the oppo wondered why Tempany didn't leave him to finish his spell - the skip's over (the 36th) disappeared for 16 - mostly down to fine leg boundary and seemed to give the oppo the edge. Nicholas kept pumelling away and was a particularly good driver - dropped twice at cover (Gleadow and Mohammed) but survived due to the power he hit them. He was also dropped by Sylvester at deep mid off and Ahmed at mid wicket.
A great day and a lovely fixture. We dropped Nicholas at least four times and that cost us the game ultimately but what a finish and Saif is a shoo-in for fielder of the season with those run outs.