Not since Gary Pratt ran out Ricky Ponting at Trent Bridge in the 2005 Ashes has a sub fielder made such an impression on a game of cricket. Beamers CC's Christian Wolmer
- recognised by some as Britain's leading TV transport expert - will now be fondly remembered as the sub who ran two of his team-mates out in the first two overs of the game.
Pacific took to the glorious Southgate outfield in disarray, with late drop-outs leaving them one short and K-dog still navigating his way out of the Bermondsey projects. But after a couple of overs, it was Beamers who were in trouble - their No 2 was run out without facing by Wolmer, kindly fielding for us and perhaps mistaken for an umpire by the batsmen, who took a suicidal run to him at square leg.
Next over he was in the action again, looking embarrassed as he hurled another throw in to run out another member of his own team. He was promptly subbed by Beamers to a chorus of booos, but his replacement Andrew then took a good catch to add to the sub-fielder mayhem.
Nuggsy took himself off after a couple of tidy overs and Jon Brown's metronomic line soon paid dividends and their No 4's middle stick was rattled back by a beaut. Aroon went unrewarded despite a probing opening spell at the other end, and with Beamers 30-odd for 4 and scoring painfully slowly, the game looked like it could be over in a few hours.
Yet slowly and surely, as Nuggsy rotated Ireland, Stacey, Tamby T and Ahmed, Beamers' affable Kiwi captain began to lead a recovery, working the ball round Southgate's enormous outfield. Soon Beamers were back on the offensive, and did really well to work their way up to 187 from 40 overs, with Ireland and Nuggsy taking late wickets to prevent them from really pushing on towards the death.
Tea was masticated in Southgate's impressive bar-restaurant by the beautiful main pitch. At first it was a simple sandwich and cake based-affair, but chicken wings and home-cooked chips were served as an unexpected second course by the jovial food matrons of the Walker Ground.
Pacific's innings started confidently despite opener Aroon punching a drive to shortish cover early on. Cricketing nomad Chris Duncan and Sam Gillian (who kept very tidily earlier and bagged two good catches) looked comfortable against Beamer's openers and both hit 30 odd, at above the required rate. When Chris fell Ireland came to the crease, and as he is writing this we won't go on about it, but that six into the sight screen, eh? It was a belter. An amazing diving catch by Beamer's kiwi captain put an end to a nice 50 partnership with Kieran, and bought Nuggsy to the crease.
With a weakened batting line up and 70 odd to get, Pacific could have been in real trouble had another wicket fallen. But from there Nuggsy and Kieran really showed their class. Nuggsy played his usual deft late cuts and careful drives and undoubtedly won his personal battle against fellow old boy and paceman Pitman, finishing on 39 not out. Kieran played characteristically straight and once settled, began to ping the ball into the far corners of the giant pitch to the delight of the nervous batsmen to come.
The pair completed a perfectly-timed chase, keeping the board ticking over at just over five an over with minimal risk and reaching the target of 187 with an over and a half left. With the uplifting but unbearably cheesy Cricket on 5 theme tune
ringing in our ears, the winning runs were biffed, with Keiran also finishing on 39 not out.
You're waiting for that moment/You're waiting for that moment/
You're waiting for that moment...
Well, the time is now!
The Pacificists celebrated joyously and retired to the lovely Walker Ground bar for refreshment.
Many thanks to Beamers CC for a really enjoyable game, played in good spirit, and for lending us Britain's leading transport pundit, butterfly forager and exponent of running out his own teammates.