Pacific CC came racing out of the traps at Highgate Woods on Saturday, after Strongroom captain David Gower won the toss and took the decision to bat first. Giaco Bridgett once again bowled with efficiency and effectiveness, dispatching Strongroom's opening bat with a vicious combination of pace and swing. It is debatable whether or not Vincent Croft's first ball of his spell pitched on the strip, however Strongroom's #2 decided to have a go anyway, merely succeeding in dollying the ball to mid off for another cheap wicket. Giaco went on to claim two more 'room scalps, both catches, Sandeep Nair snaffling both chances comfortably. At 45-5, Pacific's rookie skipper Ben Boorman was cautiously optimistic of limiting the opposition to a double-figure total.
First-change bowler Sandeep stepped up and produced his most consistent display this season, snaring chieftain Gower LBW shortly into his second over, and yielding some lovely variation. New boy Satch took aim from the opposite end, and bowled well for his first four overs. Rob Bastin had identified 'rooms silver-haired number 5 as the danger man, and was proved right as the middle order dug in. Both he and the luxuriously-bearded Fahim combined well-timed slogging and some quick running between the wickets to reach a haf-century apiece, ably assisted by some second-rate efforts in the field. Eventually a combination of Mullens and Mohamed snared the silver-haired slasher, with the latter positioning himself well under a lofted shot from Kieran's slow right arm. If only Lahrie had held the first effort about 40 runs previous, this could have been a different story. Unfortunately this was too little, too late, and buoyed by a swashbuckling performance, the remainder of Strongroom's batsmen assisted the side in reaching an impressive, but not insurmountable, total of 193(?). Extras may have boosted the total even further were it not for a sublime display behind the stumps by Aditya Pandit.
After a plentiful al fresco tea of sandwiches supplied by the local bakery was demolished in the afternoon sun, Lahrie Mohammed and Rob Bastin strode out to open the batting for the men from Islington. Both started well, but Rob was undone by a rush of blood to the head, attempting to swipe the first-change spinner across the line, and being skittled in the process. Lahrie survived two LBW appeals by the vocal Samir from the scorebox end, and on the third attempt was bowled by an impressive googly. Aditya produced some well-timed shots on his way to 20-odd, ably supported by #4 Sandeep. Ben finally heeded Giaco's recent pleas to be batted further up the order, and, following the dismissal of Aditya, sent the Semi-Italian Stallion in to steady the ship. Bridgett responded with a stylish blob, and flu-ridden skipper Boorman took up the challenge of guiding the Pacific team to victory. Ben's first big impact came when, attempting to up the run rate and ease the pressure on his team, he called a quick single, but then promptly found himself at the striker's end with Sandeep, the Strongroom bowler only too happy to receive the fielded ball from gully and whip the bails off, leaving Sandeep to traipse back to the pavilion wondering what might have been had he obeyed captain's orders. Kieran Mullens was next in line, and opted to maximise Boorman's time on strike, as the skipper was steadily getting his eye in with a couple of well-timed boundaries. Mullens provided steady support before scampering down the track to a 'room spinner and being stumped/run out by an excitable custodian, his innings having included a beautifully struck cover drive for four. Vince Croft stepped up to try and make a dent on the ever increasing run-requirement, but it was in vain and the two remaining batsmen could only help Pacific to 152. Ben finished as top scorer for Pacific with 30 not out, and Vince got some runs in between numerous adjustments to his thigh pad. This loss means a 50% record for the new skipper so far, with plenty to think about for the next fixture.
Note to whoever uploads from the scorebook - I got my 'Robs' confused, and entered the name 'Allum' instead of 'Bastin' for our bowlers. This should be reversed when uploading the scores.
The Pacific XI was: Ben Boorman*, Lahrie Mohammed, Rob Bastin, Aditya Pandit(WK), Sandeep Nair, Giaco Bridgett, Kieran Mullens, Vincent Croft, Tony Tambyrajah, Satish Thiagarajan
Other matches: Sat 07-Oct-2017, Wray Crescent, Sat 29-Jul-2017, Highgate Woods, Momentum with Strongroom, Sat 08-Oct-2016, Wray Crescent, Lost 6 wickets The day the wheels fell off, Sat 10-Oct-2015, Wray Crescent, Lost 196 runs Sat 20-Jun-2015, Highgate Woods, Cancelled Kimchi, history and victory, Sat 11-Oct-2014, Wray Crescent, Won 83 Runs 6 of the best, Sat 28-Jun-2014, Highgate Woods, Cancelled Hutchinson INXS, Sat 05-Oct-2013, Wray Crescent, Lost 42 runs Strongroom strongarmed out in dramatic win, Sat 29-Jun-2013, Highgate Woods, Won 4 runs Jittery collapse under October sun, Sat 06-Oct-2012, Wray Crescent, Lost 70 runs October heatwave, Sat 01-Oct-2011, Wray Crescent, Lost 1 wicket A fielding performance to honour Rob, Sat 25-Jun-2011, Highgate Woods, Won 25 runs Wet Wiped, Sat 02-Oct-2010, Wray Crescent, Won 5 wickets Strong Aroon Not Enough, Sat 04-Sep-2010, Highgate Woods, Lost 1 wicket Strongroom's Strongest, Sat 03-Oct-2009, Wray Crescent, Lost 149 runs Away Or At The Oval, Sat 22-Aug-2009, Highgate Woods, Cancelled Strongroom Out To Pasture As Roy Ruminates At The WC, Sat 04-Oct-2008, Wray Crescent, Won 88 runs Probably For The Best, Sat 06-Sep-2008, Highgate Woods, Cancelled Kendo Keeps Bastin EverReady, Sat 06-Oct-2007, Wray Crescent, Won 6 Wickets Strongroom Capitalise on Claird Skies, Sat 12-May-2007, Highgate Woods, Lost 4 wickets Strongroom Not Airtight, Sat 16-Sep-2006, Wray Crescent, Lost 1 run Brittle Middle Strongarmed Away, Sat 13-May-2006, Highgate Woods, Lost 5 wickets Strong Team Effort Just the Ticket!, Sat 17-Sep-2005, Wray Crescent, Won 8 wickets Sat 21-May-2005, Wray Crescent, Cancelled