Pacific (226 for 3) beat Old Grammarians by 75 runs in a warming end to the season, completely vindicating our somewhat bonkers tradition of playing well into October and sometimes November.
Toby elected to bat on an unusually hot autumn day, with temperatures in North London suggesting that the weather gods wanted to see one last bit of cricket this year. (Or global warming). A record crowd of almost a dozen die-hard fans and a snoozing fox lined the boundary at the Wray Crescent thunderdome.
Jon and Toby got off to a cautious start before Jon was adjudged LBW by president Croft - a decision that would be hotly debated by the pair until the end of the day. Sandeep played his usual mix of swashbuckling attacking shots and solid defense and Pacific looked settled when Toby, hoping to pass 1000 runs for the season, was bowled attempting to raise the run rate.
Tom and Sandeep pushed the scoreboard along as Grammarian's change bowlers served up some slightly tastier offerings. After Sandeep fell, Andy Birley arrived at the crease and moved the ball around the park nicely, sweeping and clipping to leg in his sunhat like a young Gower and occasionally taking the aerial route.
The two left handers put on a fairly chanceless 126-run partnership, with Ireland enjoying biffing the bowling of his Pacific teammates Ahmed and Mark, who were helping out a depleted Old Grammarian side. Andy finished on his highest Pacific score, just eight short of his maiden fifty, and Ireland eight runs short of a century.
As Halloween preperations began across the capital, Vincent played trick or treat with the Grammarian's openers - mixing long hops and head high beamers with the odd unplayable inswinger. After his ghoulish 'spell', Grammarians were flying ahead of the required run rate but found themselves three wickets down, Kieran taking a good catch running to his right for president Croft's third. Paul Davis took the new ball at the other end and when one of his handsome outswingers finally took the edge Sandeep took a good catch to his right.
With Grammarians wobbling at 63-4, Pacific had one more partnership to break to reach the tail, and Kieran Mullens made the breakthrough, bowling the nuggety Akbar. The K-dog bowled with good flight and a testing length that bought the Grammarians' soaring run rate down.
As the light faded the Grammarian's last hope was their big-hitting captain Khalid, but when Tom Ireland bowled him with a slower ball for 60 the game was up.
Debutant Sumant Kumar finished it off with only his second ball, bowling Ahmed as Pacific fielders crowded round the bat. Sumant not only has a bowling average and economy of 0.00, but has the honour of taking what was probably the last wicket in any form of cricket in London (or possibly even the UK) this year.
The team decamped to the nearby Y B Yeates where they made the most of the 4.30 finish and knocked back a good few ales while the Rugby World Cup final played out in the background. There was even talk of arranging one more fixture...
PS: Sumant's insane bowling figures appear to have broken the bowling stats section of the website.