A lovely sunny day, eleven Pacificians, but no opposition. Where were they? They were at their place of course, expecting us to turn up there. In an alternative universe somewhere, it's possible both teams are still sitting, dressed in their whites, waiting for their opposition. However, thanks to smartphone technology, a phone call and an hour and a half later, they turned up, and play got under way.
Old Parkonians won the toss and batted. Abhi Patel and skipper Jon Webley opened the bowling. The opening batsmen somehow survived some loud LBW appeals to Jon, but went on to bat well.
Tweakers Oli and Aroon were the first change bowlers, with one wicket down. Rajesh later replaced Oli at the bottom end after talking himself into the attack.
Jon took a couple of wickets, including that of a former international (a 65-year-old former East African all-rounder) and Oli also took a couple in his long spell, including their skipper, while Aroon removed one as he wrestled a few googlies into his repertoire.
Their No 4, named or nicknamed Hermes or Artemis or after some other Greek deity, happy-slapped an eventful century. This was thanks in part to being dropped twice off Oli's bowling at mid-on and mid-off. He also offered Oli a tough return and was given a final life as makeshift wicketkeeper Toby failed to stump him on 98.
Hungover media man Rajesh Thind talked himself into the attack for a couple of overs, which turned out to be fine declaration bowling in tandem with a short spell by Tony T (speaking of spelling, see the latest ruling below), although both were bowling to on-form batsmen.
Then, woefully underestimating the PCC batting strength, the visitors confidently declared (too early) on 222. A good tea was had, including ice cream and some fantastic ham sandwiches.
With the sun still blazing like a MCC member in all his egg and bacon finery, Lahrie and Toby went in to open the batting, accompanied by two umpires disguised as fielders. Toby moaned about this and they donned red T-shirts to distinguish themselves.
Lahrie didn't last long, top-edging a pull shot to midwicket, bringing to the crease the newly athletic Steve Richards, who was not happy with the red T-shirts, bringing more sartorial adjustments.
Both Toby and Steve were hitting the ball well, but finding the fielder all too often. After piercing a few gaps, Steve shot a quickish 33 before getting bowled playing a heave with his head in the air. He muttered to himself all the way back to the pavilionette and for some minutes after.
Skipper Jon replaced him. Toby (84 not out) played the anchor role, while Jon (92 not out) took the attack to the bowlers with some classy drives and the occasional slog into the river. It was a solid partnership, and a pleasure for the onlooking Pacificists to watch from the comfort of the long, late-afternoon shadows.
Loyal Pacific clubman James Smith had promised that he'd come and cheer us on on his way back from the zoo, but didn't. Perhaps they put him in a cage as a new exhibit. Anyway, despite his absence, it ended up as a comfortable Pacific victory.
Breaking spelling news
This just in from the retired physics prof: "I have over the years given up trying to correct mis-spellings of my name, the variations are infinite. The correct spelling is Tambyrajah." Fear not, Tony - this website's admin database has been amended accordingly.