Pacific, 161 for 8, beaten by Saracen Riffs, 162 for 7
Do you have what it takes to be a leader? Well, Ben Boorman rose to the challenge with his first official captaincy of Pacific. Alas, he was let down by his players as Pacific failed to score enough runs in a low-scoring game. Though the skipper top-scored with 32, no Pacific batsman went on to a fifty, and that turned out to be the difference between the two sides.
Ben lost the toss and Pacific were inserted. Pete and Toby had a useful opening partnership of 46, not helped by the slow outfield turning twos into ones and fours into twos. Toby's hopes of scoring three consecutive centuries were dashed when an in-cutter snuck through his gate on 23. Steve, at No 3, was bowled out first ball. Pete - possibly distracted by an earlier security scare when Tom walked into his own changing room - fell shortly afterwards for 17, cutting on to his stumps. At No 4, Ben played some classy shots in his 32. Sardar hit 12 at No 5. Forhad 5. Sandeep 22. Andrew 4 on debut. Giaco (13 not out) and Tom (17 not out) batted well at the end. Giaco had complained about being No 9 despite turning up at 1.05pm for a 1pm start. It must be the Italian in him. They're always late. I think Tom was the only left-handed batsman of the match. The services of Tony, at No 11, were not required as Pacific finished on 161 for 8.
Then Giaco and Tom opened the bowling. A couple of difficult chances went down early on, which were probably crucial in a low-scoring game. Tom was bitterly unlucky not to claim a wicket, finding the edge on several occasions. Toby was rewarded with three wickets for his variations in flight and pace. He took a good catch running backwards off his own bowling. Sardar, keeping wicket, claimed a catch when the ball landed in his jumper after he spilled a top edge. This writer thinks it may well have been out, but the consensus was that play should continue. Leg-spinner Tony managed to bowl a ball that bounced three times.
Riffs' No 6 batsman (Gautham) finished on 58 not out - the only fifty of the match. Saracen Riffs were a good bunch and an honourable opposition. It was their first ever victory against Pacific, and they earned it.
So it was a good, close game with some room for improvement. But, hey, it was the first match of the season and we were all a bit rusty.
After the game a few drinks were had in The World's End (near Finsbury Park tube), which is a good pub. We should go there more often.