Skipper Paul Attwood – standing in for the injured Steve Lay - lost the toss and Pacific were invited to make first use of a tricky Porlock wicket that offered plenty of assistance to bowlers of all types. Uneven bounce and lateral movement were to make conditions difficult for batters throughout. The point was emphasised early on as Attwood narrowly avoided being hit in the head by a steeply rising ball!
Pacific 159 for 7 (J Davies 38, S Rees 31 not out, Sweetland 3-37)
Porlock 103 All Out (Albut 30, J Davies 2 for 12, J Campbell 2 for 27, M Boonaert 1 for 12 from 12 overs)
Despite the early loss of Hollman for 4, Pacific made steady progress thanks to Attwood (17) and Campbell (15) – before a mini-collapse found them struggling at 68 for 5 – having started the game one man down.
Darryl Roberts struck some lusty blows before becoming the third victim of the impressive Sweetland for 13 – having put on 30 with Jim Davies. At 98 for 6 things remained in the balance.
Davies was joined by fellow left-hander Shayne Rees – sporting a bizarre half-beard - in a well-paced partnership of 58 runs. Davies departed stumped for 38 as the declaration loomed – Rees remaining unbeaten on 31 – including 2 big sixes.
Skipper Attwood was happy with a total of 159 on the difficult track – and his confidence was well founded as the home side struggled to 36 for 5 in the first 19 overs. Fine opening spells from Marcel Boonaert and Darryl Roberts were rewarded with a wicket each – and a snog for Darryl from Nimisha – who filled in admirably for the missing/injured/resting Pacific men.
Indeed Nimisha also had a hand in the run out of Sweetland – when the quality of her return from the outfield took the Porlock by surprise and the batsman was run out despite the unnecessary intervention of Boonaert!
There was no respite for Porlock as spinners John Hill and Campbell found turn – thanks in part to the slope on the pitch. On seeing Boonaert drop a sitter from his bowling – Hill struck with the very next ball – with Campbell claiming 2 wickets at the other end.
Waters and Albut showed that there was a fighting spirit in the Porlock tail – batting sensibly as the possibility of a draw loomed large. The return of Boonaert and the arrival of Davies caused some alarm – with Davies bowling Waters for 23 - and helping to contribute to two further run outs as the batsmen tried to control the strike. Tension mounted before the final wicket fell as Albut was lbw to Davies with 2 overs to go.