After a delayed start because of rain, Chigwell, inserted by Toby, were skittled out for 124, thanks to a combination of economical bowling, tigerish fielding and ever voluble support in a great collective effort. Tom Ireland's spell of 9 overs, 5 maidens, 2 wickets for 9 runs was a joy to behold but, after some research, doesn't quite make it into the all-time most economical Pacific bowling spells. (In first place is Darryl Roberts against Fulmer in 2002: 8 overs, 8 maidens, 3 wickets, which really would take some beating.) Also taking the new ball was Vincent Croft, who this week couldn't shine the star because there was no star to shine. But still he had star quality, striking early to remove the normally limpet-like Rob Allum, who dragged one on from outside off stump. With their anchor gone, Chigwell, formerly known as Garden CC, continued to lose wickets at a steady rate, first to Ireland and Croft, and then to first change bowlers Davis and Timbadia. Pacific kept the pressure on in the field, with some quick scampering and swooping by K Dog in particular. Chigwell's top score of 38 came from Richard Hannant, the Brendon McCullum of the side. With a bat held together by black electrical tape, and quite happy to talk to the slips while the bowler ran in, he unleashed some brutally effective flat-bat heaves. When Davis took his third wicket he was removed from the attack in order to avoid a diplomatic incident, with Chigwell muttering about his action. Timbadia, still recovering from injury, struggled somewhat to find his rhythm but managed to account for Stevenson. With Pranav unable to bowl because of a bad shoulder, they were replaced by Hussain from the top and Chasseaud from the bottom. The leg-spinner had Chigwell bamboozled, while Chasseaud, bowling for the first time this season, immediately found his line and length with some nice variations in flight and speed. The innings was wrapped up with the skipper, later rightly told off by the umpire for his "overly schoolmasterly" approach to marshalling the troops, diving forward to take a sharp catch on the drive off Hussain.
Pacific knocked off the runs only three wickets down with muscle man Paul Rajkumar (52) making the most of surviving two gloved chances to the keeper. He and Chasseaud (49), in a century partnership, calmly and skilfully dealt with a testing opening spell from Hutchinson with the new cherry (in a change to the league rules this year). Both settled into their innings, Paul in particular unleashing an array of muscular strikes to evaporate Chigwellian hopes and ensure our progress to victory would be serene. Chasseaud's shot of the day was a straight drive off Hutchinson all along the ground – one for the purists. He was finally caught at extra cover, the eighth time he has been caught this season – his only form of dismissal so far.
When Crease was adjudged LBW, it was left to Mullens and Ireland (now boasting an incredible average of 135.5) to steer Pacific home. Unfortunately, because of the small total required, clubman Andy Birley and Pranav did not get to bat, but both had played their part in a historic victory over our old rivals.
By this writer's maths, that's 20 points for Pacific and one for Chigwell. Not a bad start to our Middlesex and Essex Invitation League campaign!