It was a textbook, dominant performance on a nice warm day at Wray Crescent as Toby Chasseaud scored a second consecutive century.
Ben Boorman had won the toss under blue skies dappled with cloud on a Wray pitch thankfully clear of local eccentrics, but with what can only be described as a meadow-like outfield. Skipper Boorman immediately set about the Bloomers, hitting a typically aggressive half century off a mere 13 overs. Don't assume it was all boundaries: in between a smattering of fours and a six, the opening pair had to run smartly as the ball held up, nay, disappeared, as soon as it made contact with the lush grass beyond the square. The captain fell to a smart catch at gully for 56, having contributed to an opening partnership of 91, and Ravi Patel took to the astro with 25 overs to make his mark. Ravi batted tentatively, not quite punishing the Royals as he nudged and nurdled, hampered by the daisy-flecked surface, and was bowled trying to kick on by playing across the line. Justin Roy was caught at deep midwicket for a duck, selflessly trying to move the score along, with a pull that came down with snow on it. When Jon Webley fell without troubling the scorers, his dismissal brought to the wicket Chris Duncan, who impressed on debut with a quickfire 25 using a bat that looked more tape than wood. Chasseaud continued to run things though, taking the W1 boys to the cleaners, on his way to 113 not out. He was joined at the death by Pacific stalwart Mike Alexander, who belied his years to scamper some quick singles that took the final score to about 230.
A fruit-laden tea was consumed as the home side continued to raise the bar in the culinary department. We seem to be witnessing the dawning of a new era in BYO scran. Long may it continue.
Mike shook off a bout of cramp to start the bowling from the estate end, finding a good line and length and, after receiving some initial heavy blows, bewitching the Bloomers' bats with his epileptic-fit-inducing action. Shaz, sprinting in from the Porsche end bowled with pace and accuracy and quickly gained the upper hand in the battle with our regal rivals. Then Yatin, bowling first change from the estate end, instantly found a perfect length and had the visitors all at sea, swinging at his deceptively flighted deliveries but finding only thin air. Form man Webbo entered the fray from the opposite end, backed by a rousing blast of 'Pop Goes the Weasel' from the local ice-cream man, and bowled yet another spell of economical, probing stuff with a wicket as his reward. Ahmed followed Yatin and, after a patchy start, really found the rough/ridges/lumps and bumps on the Wray strip, one particularly impressive delivery clipping the edge off a technically sound forward defensive and zipping through for a smart take by Boorman behind the stumps. The spin duo shared five wickets on the day. Giaco and Ravi weighed in with economical spells. An unusual and welcome sight was Roy, who had not bowled for a good few years, bowling a nice mixture of flighted accurate stuff with unreadable quicker deliveries. He snagged a brace for his efforts.
So a dominant win was recorded by Pacific, including a solid display in the field, with only(!) a couple of drops and a snappy catch by Toby in the covers. An early finish meant time for more than a few drinks and a bit of food at the World's End, now our adopted pub since the end of the football season and as long as they're not showing El Classico.