Tom Ireland confirmed his status as one of Pacific's premier all-rounders against N2 on Saturday, producing an outstanding performance with both bat and ball. Having won the toss, skipper Ben Boorman elected to have a bat on a green-ish wicket, in the hope of setting a grand total and bowling the opposition out quickly. However, when poor shot selection, and subsequent comfortable catches for N2, had Pacific at 11-3, the situation looked slightly precarious. Ireland had other ideas, and repaid the skipper's faith in his batting ability by christening his new GM Icon with a fantastic knock of 93n.o., smashing his previous best Pacific innings of 25. Toby Chasseaud's impressive contribution to the season continued with an unbeaten 77 to boost his batting average to a respectable 73.2. (More on him below.) After a 15-minute delay for rain, both batsmen did superbly well in punishing anything not bowled on the money and, were it not for these two, the team could have been defending a double figure total rather than the impressive 189 amassed almost entirely between Paddy and Tobes.
Following a tea of curry sandwiches and Penguin biscuits, Vince Croft opened the bowling from the pavilion end and claimed a wicket almost immediately, snaffling a catch that popped up off the bat on his follow through. At the other end, Satch bowled superbly well up the hill to keep the N2 top order quiet. First-change bowlers Ahmed Hussain and Andy Armstead inflicted more damage on the home side, claiming a wicket each. After reaching a lightning quick 70-odd (helped by some generous full tosses from Vince's last over) N2's surviving opener was the victim of a superb catch by Toby Chasseaud just inside the boundary at long mid-on from Ahmed's bowling, and it became painfully clear that N2 had little else in the way of resistance and were looking to block out for a draw (did I mention that this was a time game?). The visitors rose to this frustrating challenge, and a second change brought Kieran Mullens and Tony Tamby to the fore, both bowling excellent spin in either direction, with success in the form of a wicket apiece, Vince snaffling a difficult chance coming out of the sun from Tony's bowling, his second of three catches that afternoon. Tom Ireland reappeared at the crease to annoy the oppo again, this time with ball in hand, and bowled a stunning spell of swing and pace. With a couple of overs to go, it looked as if N2 were going to hold on as their No11, clearly an experienced blocker, did all he could to keep Satch at bay, Satch bowling a second spell this time from the pavilion end. The big lad, however, proved an irresistable force and with the final ball of the match served up an unplayable delivery that clattered the top of the off-stump, much to the relief of the Pacific side, who would have been well within their rights to have felt hard-done by should the fixture have ended in a tie.
Swift refreshments were had in the nearby Hadley Hotel before making tracks for Islington.
Toby extends his record run
With his 77 not out, Toby Chasseaud has now scored six fifties on the trot:
Sat 9 June: 50 v Botany Bay
Sun 17 Jun: 91 v Hadley Wood Green
Sun 24 June: 58 v South Loughton
Sun 22 July: 79 v United CC
Sun 29 July: 100 v South Loughton
Sat 4 Aug: 77 not out v North Two CC
The previous record of four consecutive fifties was jointly held by John McDougall and Jon Webley. In 1983-1984, McDougall hit successive scores of 87, 50*, 65 and 90. In 2009, Jon Webley hit successive scores of 105, 73*, 76 and 121.
A little something extra… K Dog's Player Profiles
Ennis. Rutherford. Farah. Britain rejoiced late on Saturday evening as Team GB's athletes struck gold three times in little over an hour. In a green corner of EN4 just an hour earlier Pacific had produced a gilt-edged moment of their own, claiming a stunning last ball victory with an 'esprit' which would have delighted De Coubertin. This was a Pacific 'Satch' and grab on Super Saturday.
Steve Richards – Pacific's on-field vocal lungs. Sage, strategist and josher supreme. Eager to watch Farah in the 10,000m – any salt tears shed for the golden 'mo'ment Steve?
Toby Chasseaud – Pacific's preeminent batsman of 2012 continued his rich vein of form, prizing his wicket while other top order batsmen frittered theirs away. Carrying his bat for a solid 77 took Chas into the well 700s for the season and expect plenty more to come before the season's out. A typically brilliant diving catch down by his ankles sent N2's most threatening batsman packing.
Jon Brown – Browny's recent 22 earned him a deserved promotion up the order to number three but it wasn't to be on Saturday 4th, 'Golden' edging a steep lifter off a length through to the keeper, the best ball of N2 greenhorn Abdullah's spell. Chasing our 190 odd, N2's men on the sideline jokingly questioned Jon's call after he'd stopped a four on the boundary. Earlier in the piece, N2's wickie had urged his men to keep asking Pacific batsmen questions, the blandest of sporting cliché. Answer to this one? Challenge not the integrity of the Brown.
Ben Boorman – A nostalgic day for Mr Boorman at the Tudor ground? For it was in the corresponding fixture in 2011 when Peter Hollman recruited the then cricketing freelancer Boorman to the fold and the seed of Ben's Pacific career germinated. A victory to relish on his return to the ground where it all started.
Tom Ireland – Nominative determinism might explain Tom's cap colour of choice, emerald green, and the cap is fitting very nicely indeed. When N2's attack wasn't on the money Tom cashed in, a teatime declaration leaving him seven runs short of a maiden Pacific century in an innings of 14 sweet fours. Combining effortless cutting and imperious leg side timing, Tom's innings was smooth with hidden potency, the cricketing equivalent of an Irish coffee.
Andy Armstead – The lad from Blackburn settled into the Pacific fold as easily as meat and potato pie. Didn't get a chance to bat, but bowled three tidy overs and fielded gamely. Looking forward to seeing him in Pacific colours again.
Kieran Mullens – Inspired by Wiggoexploits to take on a little time trial from Bermondsey to Barnet on his velocipede. Unlike the Maillot Jaune winner, Kieran took a break on the way home, stopping in at an East Finchley food emporium to refuel with some chocolate milk and a bag of peanuts and indulge in victory. Earlier in the day the Pacific man experienced a fielding Bermuda Triangle, a leg-side scoop from N2's danger man mysteriously disappearing through his grasp. Mollified his day by prising out N2's rotund wickie biffer.
Vincent Croft – "Shine the star!" called out the opening bowler at innings start, exhorting his teammates to polish the leather cherry. A cosmic encouragement which would lead to a stellar match contribution, including two top order wickets and a hatful of catches. After which Vincent would display a keen interest in Kieran's voluminous knowledge of famous cricketing hair transplants with The Advanced Hair Studio.
Satish Thiagarajan – Satch navigated Pacific to victory at the death in a manner reminiscent of newly crowned four-time sailing champion Ben Ainslie, who also secured his latest Olympic prize in Weymouth's waters on Sunday afternoon in a nail-biter. Tasked with taking out the silver fox of a number 11 with the last six balls of the day, Satch sized it up and forced the old boy into valiant defence. Then he executed to perfection, hitting the top of middle stump with a peach, sending the rangy seamer from the sub continent and his team mates into raptures. BBC Athletics commentator Paul Dickenson might have had this to say: "Thiagarajan promised much, and now he has delivered!"
Tony Tambyrajah – Tamby T twirled it aplenty, inveigling N2 tailenders with sharply turning leg spinners and googlies. The skill set remains. "You got it (Tamby T) ", as Roy Orbison said in '88.
Ahmed Hussain – Ahmed is a cricketing purist, evidenced not only by his regular scoring for Pacific posterity but his love of training, a la Panesar. When he wasn't scribbling, Ahmed was to be spotted among ancient trees at the Tudor ground. Sports psychologists would no doubt champion Ahmed's practice methodology, the use of a broad oak for stumps enabling him to hit the timber time after time. Another wicket takes season's tally to 9, second behind Mr Bridgett’s 11.
The Nugget - Pacific's number one fan arrived at the Tudor Sports Ground during tea for another of his famous non-playing cameos, perhaps the most made in the club's near three-decade history (new stat?). Somehow mud-splashed over his entire body, including beard after biking from Berkhamsted, the Nugget resembled a (helmet-wearing) wrathful Nordic god of inclement weather, Gleadal (!?), inadvertently caught up in his own storm. (Please upload photo to website). Long may the loyalty of the Nugget continue.
Tea – So often at London 2012 Team GB have described the vociferous support of the crowd boosting performance by acting as an 'extra man'. This time the range of moreish fast release carbohydrates on offer seemed to help Pacific's men get out of the blocks fast. One N2 batsman appeared to be experiencing the E number 'bliss' long after he'd come out to bat, grinning ecstatically throughout his innings. A superb spread comprised reassuringly retro favourites, p-p-p-Penguins and Cadburys Mini Rolls, with an esoteric fusion combining the best of East and West in a samosa toastie.
Roy – N2's octogenarian deserves special mention for getting out on the park. Let your mind's eye cast you back to London's austerity games of 1948. Imagine if you will a 16-year-old slip of a lad from Harrow crouching near as a crackling wireless brings news of British success at Wembley stadium. Post war aspiration transmitted across the waves. Legendary longevity.