The possible sighting of comedy genius Larry David on the boundary's edge provided some comic relief as a predictable bore-draw unfolded against Hadley Wood Green at Alexandra Park.
Toby and Ben strode to the crease with a smattering of rain in the air and were both positive from the start. HWG's Chaplin steamed in from one end with an enjoyably old-fashioned action – stick him in an old white shirt with rolled up sleeves, make everything black and white, and it could have been Harold Larwood.
Unfortunately the rest of HWG's bowling attack were not so energetic and a smattering of spin and slow medium followed for the rest of the innings. After blasting an aggressive 40 in 10 overs, Ben was caught at slip edging what was intended to be a leave.
At three Steve Richards was given out LBW for the second time in two weeks by his umpiring nemesis Kieran 'Billy Bowden on Mushrooms' Mullens for 15. Earlier Steve assured the team he'd forgiven Kieran for his game-changing decision last week, and to be fair only mentioned it 17 times before he went out to bat and a further 23 afterwards.
Tom Ireland heroically strode to the crease despite the best efforts of First Great Western Trains / Cardiff Wetherspoons to thwart him. After initially struggling to take guard, his eyesight soon improved to just double vision and the runs began to flow like chunks of doner down a Welsh student halls' toilet.
A seemingly uninterested HWG allowed Toby and Tom to take plenty of easy ones and twos and eventually the pair began to club the ball to the boundary. Ben declared Pacific's innings after about 35 overs as Toby reached another fine century (his third in four innings), a fairly chanceless and at times brutal knock (honourable mention for the Chinese cut past leg stump on 99).
HWG needed 235 to win but the habitual draw fetishists made it clear from the start what they'd come for: A nice long bat and no result. Despite the best efforts of all Pacific's bowlers, HWG's top four strangled the game like cricketing masochists, only playing shots when they neared the bonus-point total of 175 off what felt like 5 million overs.
Nuggsy must be applauded for what your humble narrator believes to be one of his finest spells, an endless succession of unplayable, popping medium pace leg breaks that were mostly far too good to take the edge. The one that did find the bat was taken beautifully at third slip by Sandeep, and the corker that splattered the stumps (and could have kept the game alive) was tragically a front foot no ball. Tony, Ahmed, Satch and Shaz all made good contributions in Pacific's attempt to prise out HWG's limpets.
With the game limping toward its demise, the Pacificists entertained themselves by speculating whether an old man with glasses on the boundary was Larry David (Tom: yes; everyone else: probably not) and by watching some crows fighting.