News in brief
Pacific couldn't quite close the deal at Mayfield on Sunday though it wasn't for wont of trying. Skipper Nugget rotated his bowlers skilfully on the typically piquant Mayfield pitch, as lively and verdant as a coriander chutney. After his opening salvo, Smith, Hussain, Tambyrajah, Webley and Davis bowled stellar spells but Mayfield skipper David stood firm, taking several cherries to the body; bruised but unbowed.
Earlier in the piece the Pacific ten crafted 150 runs. Karl M and JG started nicely against the fire of Shaf Kazi, Karl remaining sanguine even after Kazi located his rib radar. A Mayfield colt trapped Karl on the crease with a neat in swinger, and thereafter Sarj Patel came to the party, reprising his multi-wicket feats at Alexandra Park in 2013. Beating Bloody Lad and Pacific debutant Max Bennett, he accounted for the adhesive Nugget, and brought brief bright cameos from Webley and Gilliat to a close. Mullens, along with Davis, Smith, and, in a hugely enjoyable half century stand with Tambyrajah, enjoyed a late order flourish.
Captain Gleadow took the opportunity to test his underutilized batting skills and they stood up to the challenge. In typically laconic style he saw off Shaf’s heavy artillery, his 63-ball stay setting a firm foundation on a pitch creating uncertainty. Three more wickets for the season takes Nugget to 42, 18 away from his highest Pacific season wicket tally of 60.
KM is an instinctive stroke player and even on this juicy surface the optimistically natured wordsmith wouldn’t be cowed – scoring his 16 at a neat lick. In the field he was a doyen of supportive decibels.
Thanks to Max for answering the Pacific call and taking the team into double figures after Sheldon’s late withdrawal. The Bloody Lad fitted seamlessly into Pacific’s unostentatious micro environment. Unfortunate to be dismissed early by the probing military medium of Sarj Patel, Max nevertheless remained committed and was another exemplar of energy in the field. In the parlance of the Bloody Lads, “top top vibes from the Max Factor”.
Like Sri Lankan legend Mahela Jayawardene, JW is a master of silken savagery, known to destroy attacks with easy power. The proto pop was starting to go through the gears, having just effortlessly creamed Kazi over mid-on for six when he too was undone by the wiles of Patel. After tea, a tea at which he’d enjoyed a decent slice of Mayfield masterchef Niron Ramdanie’s classic moist, heavy rum and ginger cake, Webbo ran up the hill at second change, bowling 8 overs for 9 runs of pace, swing and lift, - and how he didn’t get a wicket I’ll never know.
The Jos Buttler of friendly cricket, this heavy-scoring wicketkeeper struggled for once to find his feet, puzzled by the indeterminate bounce. He too was sent back to the pavilion by Sarj. Wicketkeeping was a tough prospect on this dentist’s dream of a pitch, but the agile Gilliat, diving this way and that, managed to stop many potential byes. Comedy moment of the day involved Mayfield’s number 5 Patel slipping into a heap on the floor going for a quick run, proceeding to lose his bat, desperately squirming back to the crease like a beached whale. This crawling horror show clearly put off our gloveman, who failed to take off the bails. Would have been cricket’s first documented crawl out rather than run out.
KM’s pre-match Mayfield pitch anxieties were exacerbated further when, on arrival at the Hazelwood Recreation ground, he spotted several earth-covered mounds just beyond the boundary edge. Some sort of north London ritual burial mound to the good men and children felled by blows to the head on the Mayfield square in 2014? In at six, he took some time getting going but, once settled, accelerated his scoring rate with a series of drives, including a six over mid-off off Irish Trinidadian Karl Cullen, his first maximum in any form of cricket, including gardens and corridors. A half-century stand with Tambyrajah saw Pacific reach a respectable 150 and Kieran his second 50 in cricket.
Paul’s was an important innings on Sunday, if not numerically noteworthy. Stabilising the innings with Mullens after a middle order mini collapse, Paul showed a willingness to play the percentages, edging our score upwards. He’s got a good eye and will make runs in the future. Captured a deserved first wicket of the season. Upwards…
Paul clearly has an instinct for a quality dish, as he’d investigated a foil-covered platter of Jerk chicken long before the sight of the chargrilled, caramelized savoury platter had Pacific’s ten salivating. After the match, Paul was to be found in the Mayfield clubhouse chatting to Mr Ramdanie aboot de herb and de spice. (that’s supposed to be patoisish rather than Irish). Pure poultry in motion for interclub relations.
Legendary Jamaican ‘jerkmaster’ James shows us how it’s done: overnight marinade, pimento leaves, red stripe and pimento wood.
Our ballsmith bowled a straight nine over spell at less than three runs over. In the early stages of his Pacific career Smithy looks to have the skills to take plenty of wickets for the club. Nuggetlike in his lines and lengths, Phil deserved several wickets. He is building it…they will come.
One of Tamby’s finest days in Pacific colours. Skill and granite determination while batting his bowling is always a graceful stroll to the wicket, an elegant loop, an airy counterpoint to the stodgy frozen quiches served up on teatables across the land. Tony’s four over spell was the finest spell I’ve ever seen him bowl and perhaps he should have had more right arm over time. Straight away he picked the lock of J Patel, who’d proved infuriatingly difficult to prise out. The ominously large S Patel, and captain and well-set skipper Starck, tried to force the pace, but were continuously perplexed by TT.
Ahmed’s first change introduction was testament to Nugget’s intelligent captaincy, rotating the bowlers regularly and asking the batsmen, in the parlance of commentaryspeak, difficult questions. Ahmed fully justified his selection, bowling Gunasinghe round his legs with a full and straight’un. This was one of Ahmed’s most controlled firs t2 or 3 over spell we’ve seen and another wicket takes him into third place in the 2014 wicket column, alongside Giaco on 12.