Pacific cruised to victory on another lovely autumnal day at Wray. Our rather ropey 169 proved to be more than enough as the Butterlords slumped to 40-odd for 7 and were eventually all out for just over 100.
Ben Boorman, returning from exile, writes:
Pacific CC made amends for the previous days’ thrashing by Strongroom CC, doing a number on the Butterlords under sunny October skies, on the ludicrously verdant meadow of Wray Crescent.
PCC skipper Tom Ireland won the toss and elected to bat, unsure as he was of the strength of the opposition. As it turns out, they were made to look quite good for the first four overs as both Tom and opening partner Ben looked, to all intents and purposes, to be walking wickets, mistiming just about everything the ‘Lords had to throw at them.
It was no great surprise, then, when Ben holed out after facing just 10 deliveries, dollying a drive to mid off. Tom survived an early chance, dropped at midwicket trying to test the netting at the Jurassic Park style Wray Crescent cricket arena.
From there on in Tom’s innings of 62 was a tale of ups and downs; in between mullering boundaries he sent many clear chances up in the air, and the Butterlords, turned Butterfingers, found new and innovative ways to put them down. Highlights included a one handed slap-down at fine leg, a palm-stinging refusal at ankle height by mid-off, and one Butterman putting down two in two overs at slip. In total Tom survived a ludicrous eight dropped catches as he took just 50 balls to rack up the only half-century of the match.
In between increasingly comedic shellings, the skipper demonstrated some true power play, creaming some beautiful maximums in an aerial attempt to avoid the untended lawn of an outfield and emerging victorious in an electrifying battle with the ‘Lords young pace bowler - before being bowled through the gate by something way worse.
Tom was supported for a while by Laurence, who picked his shots well on the way to a decent cameo, before being bowled by ‘Rob’, with the first ball of his spell. Ben Burnham was the next PCC batsman to provide any real resistance, with a smorgasbord of improvised shots – the tennis serve/smash from an uppish delivery probably the pick of the bunch. Phil Smith brought up the rear with some mighty blows, crashing the first delivery that he faced over mid-wicket for a maximum, and adding a valuable 19 off just eight balls that dragged the home side to 169.
Sheldon Greenland and Phil Smith opened the bowling for the Pacificians, Shel bowling with enough pace to force the Lords’ opener to back away and pop one up to short cover. Phil, bowling a nagging line at the base of the stumps, picked up a decent pair of wickets in his economic and important spell of seam and swing. Riz and Phil combined to run out the Butterlords' second opener, who had looked dangerous.
With the oppo in survival mode, Ahmed delved into his bag of tricks and prized another out, and Paul Davis threw a pitcher’s slider into the mix at the end of his 12 deadly deliveries. But it was Shaz Timbadia who ended the day with the best bowling figures – reminiscent of Jon Webley in his prime – as he hooped his way to two wickets in a four-over spell for a mere four runs. The key wicket came thanks to a very sharp one handed grab and shortish cover by Paul Davis.
At 40-odd for 7, it looked as though a 5 o’clock finish was in sight; but, annoyingly, the Butterlords decided that they would save a couple of their better batsmen for the tail. The final partnership was full of boundary-coloured fireworks, but there simply weren’t enough deliveries for the visitors to complete a victory – so we’re all very grateful to Imad Siddiqui for euthanizing the game after showing off some impressive off-spin in his four-over spell.
If we’d finished a bit earlier, then a trip to the pub may have been possible – but the cold air and slight blue period endured by the fielding side meant that everyone was quite happy to head home.