Victory is sweet in last-ball thriller
Pacific v Chigwell at Alexandra Palace  Sun 11-Sep-2016 at 1pm
Won 2 wickets
 

Pacific secured a famous last ball victory over league rivals and friends Chigwell CC on Sunday evening as the shadows encroached on the Alexandra Park outfield, leapfrogging over both Chigwell and Black Rose to finish second in the Middlesex and Essex Invitation League, our best placing since 2013.

Set 151 after Chigwell resiliently rebuilt their innings after losing five early wickets, there were notable bowling performances from Sumant 'Special K' Kumar (slow run up a guise for the trickery that follows/ Sumeet took a superb diving catch off him) and Chowdhury (inspirational early swinging, seaming burst destroyed the confidence of the Chig top order), Howes (big spin caused adhesive and talented bat Stevenson to sweep the ball back on to his stumps) and Timbadia (coaxing the unpredictable bounce out of the pitch with his finest spell of the season). Hussain, Chasseaud and Mullens also made slow arm contributions.

Chigwell batted their full 50-over allocation, which, added to a slowish Pacific over rate on this surprisingly hot September afternoon, left Pacific needing to play positive cricket to get the win. Back in May at Chigwell, Pacific had been barracked for their slow scoring rate as we gamely hung on to avoid a heavy defeat, but on this day the tables were fully turned. Attritional it may have been at times but the slow rhythm of the game created all the conditions for the drama that unfolded late in the day.

Chasseaud (54) and Collis (33) got the run chase off to the best possible start (under the expert umpiring eye of Ahmed), correctly opting for diligence on a slow pitch of indeterminate bounce. But once Collis was caught at cover there began an all too steady fall of wickets as the tension increased and the overs counted down.

Ben Burnham was unlucky enough to smite a ball from six-fer taker Rob Orange straight to Hannant at long off, then Sumeet played a key cameo, opting for big hits to take his team home. But when Sumeet fell, slice driving a full ball from Mark 'Gremlo' Hutchinson to proud New Zealander Colwill, cortisol started to do it's stress-inducing work, ramping up the tension further.

Mullens took up the challenge, opting for quick singles to put Chig under pressure. He was joined by Aly Duncan after Toby had fallen for a fine half-century of patience and panache, caught at cover as he sought to keep his side in touch with the run rate.


Aly creamed his second ball for a huge six, as pure a connection as you'll see all summer. Unencumbered by personal concerns, averages and the like, he was prepared to take risks, to play positive cricket to take his team closer to victory.

And no doubt the maximum was a psychological wound to Chigwell aspirations. Aly went down swinging selflessly, out only to a quite brilliant catch by Chigwell's batsman of the day, the Gremlo, who, after a day of toil, stuck out both of his hands as if in supplication to a higher power - and stick the ball did. 18 required off 3.

Now it was Chowdhury's turn to enter stage. The talented allrounder is most comfortable playing his shots and this he did, hitting Orange for another six, combined with some high-risk but ultimately successful singles.

With just 3 required off the last over, Robert Orange, Chigwell's left arm citrus spinner for the ages, enticed Mullens into slashing the first of the over, a wide full ball, straight to gully. Out came Sharan Timbadia, who'd had the useful experience of helping Burnham steer Pacific to victory under similar pressure at North Midd a couple of weeks ago. As I'd just got out and was shedding internal salt tears at the time, my memory of the drama is nebulous. Shaz gave himself a ball to play himself in before getting precious wood on the second.

Then Nav took a leg bye on a close LBW shout, the ball inadvertantly ricocheting off his pads as he got into full stride. There was considerable Chigwell consternation, a testosterone-fuelled debate. Wasn't he LBW? Surely a dead ball? Umpire Sharma kept his cool, declined the LBW shout and validated the run. One more now, which Timbadia essayed out to short cover and scrambled home as his side rejoiced. What a magnificent way to end our league season! We'd played front foot cricket all afternoon, and despite, getting 14 overs less than our opponents to bat, still managed to find a way to win.

Credit to Chigwell that despite feeling hard done by a touch in the result, both teams were able to enjoy a beer together in the Alexandra Park clubhouse after the match. We very much look forward to reprising the battle and the friendship in 2017.


Chigwell v Pacific
Toss won by Pacific
 
Chigwell innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  MacFarlane* b Chowdhury  14  0  0  0  0  
  Bill Thorpe c Sharma b Kumar  0  0  0  0  0  
  Dave Colwill c & b Chowdhury  10  0  0  0  0  
  Dan Lewis b Chowdhury  3  0  0  0  0  
  J Stevenson† b Howes  18  0  0  0  0  
  Si Roberts b Chowdhury  0  0  0  0  0  
  J Ramanathan b Timbadia  7  0  0  0  0  
  Robert Orange c Kumar b Mullens  24  0  0  0  0  
  Hutchinson not out  40  0  0  0  0  
  Hannant b Timbadia  0  0  0  0  0  
  Allum N not out  14  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 2, lb 2, w 4, nb 3) 11    
 TOTAL (50.0 Overs) 150    
 
 
 Fall of wickets: 
 
Bowling O M R W  
 Navid Chowdhury 11 0 46 4  
 Sumant Kumar 7 2 15 1  
 Sam Howes 8 0 32 1  
 Sharan Timbadia 10 5 14 2  
 Kieran Mullens 3 0 8 1  
 Ahmed Hussain 7 1 22 0  
 Toby Chasseaud 4 0 10 0  
 
 
Pacific innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  James Collis c MacFarlane b Orange  33  0  63  5  0  
  Toby Chasseaud* c Gremlo b Orange  54  0  72  7  0  
  Ben Burnham Hannant b Orange  0  0  0  0  0  
  Sumeet Sharma† c Colwill b Hutch  10  0  0  1  0  
  Kieran Mullens c Lewis b Orange  15  0  0  0  0  
  Aly Duncan c Gremlo b Orange  7  0  0  0  1  
  Sumant Kumar st Stevenson b Orange  6  0  0  1  0  
  Navid Chowdhury not out  10  0  0  0  1  
  Sharan Timbadia not out  1  0  0  0  0  
  Sam Howes did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  Ahmed Hussain did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 2, lb 0, w 4, nb 3) 9    
 TOTAL (36.0 Overs) 151    
 
 
 Fall of wickets: 
 
Bowling O M R W  
 
 

Other matches:
 Curse of The 'Strong Batting Line-Up' Strikes Again, Sat 09-Sep-2017, North Middx CC, Drawn
 Golden Chigwell chance spurned, Sun 07-May-2017, Old Chigwellians Club, Lost by 8 wickets
 Burnham sees red as runfest unfolds, Sun 08-May-2016, Old Chigwellians Club, Drawn
 Another tight finish, Sun 30-Aug-2015, Old Chigwellians Club, Lost 5 wickets
 PCC realise Chig ambitions , Sun 31-May-2015, Alexandra Palace, Won 7 wickets
 Plucky Pacific hang on for draw, Sun 31-Aug-2014, Old Chigwellians Club, Drawn
 Pacific 'Chig' deep for victory, Sun 25-May-2014, Alexandra Palace, Won 19 runs
 Pacific on top, Sun 01-Sep-2013, Old Chigwellians Club, Won 7 wickets
 Scores level in last-ball thriller, Sun 28-Apr-2013, Alexandra Palace, Drawn - scores level!
 To Mankad or not to Mankad? Scores level despite skipper's heroics, Sun 02-Sep-2012, Old Chigwellians Club, Drawn - scores level!
 Sight screens as rafts, Sun 29-Apr-2012, Broxbourne Sports Club, Cancelled
 Could not raise team, Sun 28-Aug-2011, Old Chigwellians Club, Forfeited
 If you thought South Africa choked ..., Sun 31-Jul-2011, Broxbourne Sports Club, Lost 8 runs
 Perfect April As Draw Sanctuary for Chigwell Removed, Sun 25-Apr-2010, Wray Crescent, Won By 117 runs
 Allum the key for Chigwell, Sun 26-Apr-2009, Wray Crescent, Drawn
 The Fairest of Draws, Mon 06-May-2002, Met Police Grd, Drawn
 Marathon spell from Mileham seals it, Mon 07-May-2001, Away, Won by 3 wkts