Crews Hill possesses many of the attributes you might expect of a village outside London, a farm shop, local honey advertised with a sign attached to a tree and a couple of old boys Kieran bumped into as he strolled around the boundary edge keen to impart their prejudicial views. Must get out to the country! Last Sunday to this heady bucolic mix the presence of eleven fine Pacifists was added at Botany Bay CC.
Batting first, Boorman and Chasseaud were mostly untroubled by a silver fox-heavy attack. Only James Chaplin, with his slumped shoulders and loping gait resembling more a weary miner than his balletic slapstick genius of a namesake, offered a real challenge. He ran in furiously down the hill for a ten-over long spell without reward as Boorman in particular made hay with his renowned power hitting.
Soon enough spin was on at both ends and the pair tucked in like sumo wrestlers gorging on the high-protein stew Chanko-nabe, in this case intent on augmenting their run tallies rather than their waistlines. But the 'Boorm Funk MC' was becalmed by the wiles of Henman. He danced down the wicket in an attempt to wrest back the initiative but was bowled for an enterprising 40.
New bat Webley joined Chas and took to the bowling with equal gusto. Webley displayed his always pleasing on the eye shot range with his pale, pristine new blade before being bowled, unselfishly looked to push the scoring on. Chas too, whose batting methodology usually employs all the concentrated application of a zen master deep in meditation (TC Tai Chi?) cut loose and surged past 50 before he too was bowled by one Rolando Frezzato, going for a big hit.
Richards and Mullens then enjoyed a fruitful little partnership. They hoped to reach 200 before feasting in the last five, but Mullens was out toe-ending a wide ball to the keeper – cricket often ridicules your best-laid plans. Ring rusty at the start after a near three-month Pacific sabbatical, Haill settled to apply the sweet science of cricket and land some hefty blows, one towering maximum (B-I-G) technically knocking out one young stripling. After Richards was out for a neat 37 (his nemesis number for the season), the highlight of which was a lofted, lusty cover drive, Giaco arrived and departed after one ball, nipped out by Turner, before Brown sprinkled the innings with magical batting dust.
Skip Webley innovated in the field with a seam-spin dynamic throughout most of Hadley Wood's innings in a move designed to entice Hadley Wood out of their inveterate caution. The Brown-Hussain opening partnership soon worked a treat, legspinner Ahmed's low full toss deceiving the Colin Milburn-like opener who skied it straight to Chasseaud.
First change Giaco's Italo-fires burned brightly once again, but once he'd bowled Steele senior he became embroiled in an exchange of ideas with Steele junior, who was up for the verbals and the batting challenge, showing a determined straight bat to all that was fired at him. Mentored by his sage of a batting partner, the two lasted well past six o clock and the youngster admirably to the very end.
Like a zephyr wind, Mr Alan Roberts' calm demeanour and gentle loop provided pleasing coolness. All-rounder Haill also claimed a scalp, an adept caught and bowled. Webley came on late and was unlucky with an LBW shout.
Aroon bowled some lovely stuff and deservedly picked up three wickets as the pick of the bowlers, but Hadley Wood stayed solid and as darkness encroached hands were shaken and thirsty Pacifists readied themselves for real ale.