Sub-zero hero
Pacific v Graces at Wray Crescent  Sun 15-Apr-2012 at 1pm
Lost by 1 wicket

Teeth chattered as ten of the selected eleven players gathered for the start of the 2012 Sunday season to watch the usual 8-a-side argument between cricketers and footballers. When will the council begin to enforce their own booking policy and actually allow us to start on time? It's strange that all council employee's strategically disappear when required only to return once the game has commenced to report the movement of the ball in the outfield. 

Anyway we digress. So as a consequence of park police attending to remove the aggressive footballers our game was reduced to a 35-over contest.

Chilly winds howled as Lahrie and new opener Jon Thornton strode to the wicket. ~35 off 10 overs became ~75 from 20 overs for the loss of Lahrie.  Jon batted steadily with newly streamlined Steve Richards. With increasing clamour from the watching crowd concerned about defending a sub-par total Steve was out having a slog. 

Jon then ran out Ali in Boycott-esque fashion. He tried to repeat the trick later in the innings for Rob but was foiled by some poor fielding from Graces. One of only a few errors from the visitors who bowled and fielded well for such an early season fixture. Hats off to the them for managing to stay out there because it was bitterly cold. Jon accelerated towards his 50 with some good hitting from Stu Whopper Hopper and class strokeplay from new recruit Sardar and a steady tumble of wickets provided Graces a lowly 168 to chase from 35 overs.

Tea was nice. Ali Pritch delivered a slice of magic with blueberry bread and butter pudding pilfered from his workplace. It was the best thing I have eaten at Wray since stealing the Nugget's last rolo.

After a brief torrential downpour the ten men took the field. Rob Alluminator opened with Smiffy and bowled a quality spell of accurate swing with a wet ball to take two deserved wickets. One bowled and one stinger caught one handed at short fine leg by Smith who declared it 'catch of the season so far'.  Graces were merrily swinging the willow and were playing well but Smith skated down the wet hill to snaffle a couple and restrict the run rate. 

Ahmed (accurate) and new boy Rajesh (rusty) bowled well in tandem to keep things ticking along. Deserved wickets were taken and despite the odd misfield and dropped catch things seemed in good order. But Pacific being Pacific meant there had to be a bump in the road. 

Down to the last wicket pair Captain Lahrie had to rotate, with his frontline bowlers out of allocation. Steve Richards, fresh from his Zumba class, was chosen to bowl alongside Jon but the Graces number 8 took a fancy and with only ten men Pacific couldn't plug the gaps. To the joy of the watching Graces the burly Aussie - once a staple archetype of Pacific teams in the early Noughties - played the hero role to perfection and blasted a quick 50 to win the game with overs to spare.

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Just another typical day at Wray! 

After the game, skipper Lahrie provided his own perspective:

"The episode with the footballers refusing to leave the ground cost the game over 40 minutes and hence overs had to be reduced to 35 overs each, which probably didn't help the Pacific's cause in the end.

"The long grass at Wray didn't help scoring, but with the quick runs made at the end a respectable total of 168 was reached.

"Pacific's bowlers started off well with a very disciplined line and length and removed both openers cheaply. JS has taken a spectacular one handed catch at backward point, has run out another with a superb return to the keeper.

"It seemed my gamble had paid off, continuing with two opening bowlers, and victory was within Pacific's grasp as Graces had lost more than half the side at 82 for 6 in twenty overs. However, Graces' no 10 batsman had a different idea as he took advantage of a dropped catch and a second string bowling attack. 

"In the end Pacific lost by one wicket, but it was a great game of cricket."

 Pacfic XI:

  • Lahrie Mohamed *
  • Rob Allum
  • Stu Hopper
  • Ahmed Hussain
  • Sardar Mayana †
  • Alistair Prichard
  • Steve Richards
  • James Smith
  • Rajesh Thind
  • Jon Thornton
  • Matt Holliday (no show)

Pacific v Graces
Pacific innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  Lahri Mohamed b Hemang  2  36  23  0  0  
  Jon Thornton c & b Abhi  88  134  88  12  1  
  Steve Richards b Mittel  38  57  59  4  0  
  Alastair Prichard run out Mittel  4  0  0  0  0  
  Rob Allum b Shofiq  3  12  6  0  0  
  Stu Hopper c Arish b Hemery  2  11  3  0  0  
  Sardar Mayana not out  11  10  4  1  0  
  James Smith not out  1  1  1  0  0  
  Jonathan Hardisty did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  Ahmed Hussain did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  Rajesh Thind did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 6, lb 2, w 12, nb 0) 20    
 TOTAL (35.0 Overs) 168-6    
 Fall of wickets:  1-25 [Mohamed] , 2-97 [Richards] , 3-118 [Prichard] , 4-146 [Allum] , 5-156 [Thornton] , 6-164 [Hopper]
Bowling O M R W  
 Shofiq 7 1 11 1  
 Hemang 6 0 24 2  
 Modi 6 0 31 0  
 Anosh 3 0 16 0  
 Mittel 6 0 32 1  
 Mendes 4 1 30 0  
 Abhi 3 0 18 1  
Graces innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  D Scott b Allum  2  17  14  0  0  
  Abhi Patel c Hardisty b Smith  25  42  24  3  0  
  N Shofiq c Smith b Allum  2  2  4  0  0  
  S Mendes c & b Smith  12  30  21  1  0  
  T Writer b Hussain  10  22  24  1  0  
  L Skyner c Mayana b Hussain  26  53  28  5  0  
  M Patel run out Smith  1  1  1  0  0  
  M Modi c & b Thind  4  22  11  0  0  
  G Shorrocks not out  51  32  30  7  2  
  Anoush c Allum b Hussain  4  6  3  1  0  
  Hemang not out  3  10  14  0  0  
 Extras (b 6, lb 1, w 14, nb 7) 28    
 TOTAL (32.1 Overs) 170-9    
 Fall of wickets:  1-2 [Scott] , 2-14 [Shofiq] , 3-42 [Patel] , 4-45 [Mendes] , 5-62 [Writer] , 6-63 [Patel] , 7-84 [Modi] , 8-113 [Skyner] , 9-124 [Anoush]
Bowling O M R W  
 Rob Allum 7 1 16 2  
 James Smith 7 1 26 2  
 Ahmed Hussain 7 0 41 3  
 Rajesh Thind 7 0 43 1  
 Steve Richards 2 0 18 0  
 Jon Thornton 2 0 14 0  
 Alastair Prichard 0.1 0 4 0  

Other matches:
 Sun 20-May-2018, Winchmore Hill CC,
 Too soggy in Greenford, Sun 23-Jul-2017, London Marathon Playing Field Greenford, Cancelled
 Sharma special not quite enough, Sun 19-Jun-2016, London Marathon Playing Field Greenford, Lost 44 runs
 It's a wash-out, Sun 26-Jul-2015, London Marathon Playing Field Greenford, Cancelled
 Golden Brown 'nearly' brings up his hundred (wickets), Sun 27-Jul-2014, London Marathon Playing Field Greenford, Won 5 wickets
 Cricket 0 Football 1, Sun 13-Apr-2014, Wray Crescent, Cancelled
 Pacific cook Graces' goose in the blazing sun, Sun 07-Jul-2013, London Marathon Playing Field Greenford, Won by 8 wickets
 Pacific see off battling Graces, Sun 14-Apr-2013, Wray Crescent, Won by 11 runs
 Good Gracious Atkin Wins Honour Back, Sun 19-Apr-2009, Wray Crescent, Won 3 wickets
 Smashing Darren Gives Graces The Breaks, Sun 20-Apr-2008, Wray Crescent, Lost 2 wickets
 Hi & Lo Notes for Webley as Shofiq steals Show at Graceland, Mon 27-Aug-2007, Broxbourne Sports Club, Lost 3 wickets
 And Yours is no Disgrace, Sun 28-May-2006, West Essex Cricket Club, Won 79 Runs
 Graces Win Due a Whyle !, Mon 17-Apr-2006, Wray Crescent, Lost 25 runs
 Double 100s ! Batters Reign in Grace with Fervour, Sat 28-May-2005, Wray Crescent, Drawn
 Skippers Secure Success!, Sat 17-Apr-2004, Wray Crescent, Won by 2 Wickets
 Pacific Draw Gracefully, Sat 03-May-2003, Wray Crescent, Drawn
 Faisal & Duthie recapture form, Sat 27-Apr-2002, Wray Crescent, Won by 5 wkts
 Wilkinson makes hay, Sat 28-Apr-2001, Wray Crescent, Drawn
 Fri 21-Apr-2000, Wray Crescent, Cancelled