Watershed victory for Oceans Eleven
Pacific v London Challengers CC at Wray Crescent
Sun 15 May 2016 at 1pm
Won 14 runs
Friendly fixture

As James Collis had pointed out in the warm up, Saturday’s encounter coincidentally brought together two teams named after famous waters, an ocean and a lake. After notching 217/8 Kumar (59), Chasseaud (55), Mullens(46), Rajkumar (19) from their 40 overs, Pacific brought the collective weight of eleven  cricketers determined to notch up a first victory of 2016. Pacific’s new bowling talent for 2016, Ben Stockton and Navid Chowdhury, displayed wonderful skills to share seven wickets, with Toby also claiming three. Well after 7pm, with the Lakes just 15 or so runs short of victory, Chasseaud breached the defences of Windermere number 11 so distraught he remained rooted at the crease, to an outpouring of Pacific joy.

**You can watch Navid's video highlights of our win against Windermere CC here** 

It hadn’t been plain sailing earlier in the day as Pacific batted first. Sumeet Sharma was surely the most unfortunate cricketer in North London on Saturday afternoon, hitting a bullet of a half volley inched above the turf into the hands of a short mid-off. The ball stuck. A one in 50 catch. Paul Rajkumar and Chasseaud set about rebuilding, Paul offering glimpses of his formidable talents in a fluent 19, the highlight a glorious straight drive. Aly Duncan hit a sweet on drive for 4 into the long grass beyond the boundary edge before being pinned by the slippery wiles of Amit, while James Collis nibbled one behind off Anand. Halcyon days lie ahead for these two for sure. 

Enter Sumant Kumar, surely the discovery of 2016, fresh from his St Clements 88 n.o with Pacific defences not exactly watertight at 49/4. With Toby as impervious as a Thames barrier, Sumant cut his deceptively unassuming figure at the crease. But beware the bowler lulled into a false sense of security by the Putney resident. Sumant’s natural hand eye coordination is married to a penchant for power play. Anything in his area goes. On Saturday he smote his way to 59 at more than a run a ball, the best a creamed cover drive off paceman Sunil Joshi, clotting Windermere’s captain’s spirit in the process.

Winderemere turned to legspinner Jay to buy Sumant or Toby’s wicket. After receiving lots of punishment, Jay finally got the Kumar, showing unexpected passion with Dale Steyn style celebrations.  His joy was short lived as Kieran, who’d been shackled by spin a week earlier at Chigwell, decided to get proactive, moving his feet to the spinner. Jay seemed to be disarmed by this and Kieran was able to accelerate the run rate further alongside Toby, who upon reaching his 50 raised his bat a little higher than usual as it also meant he had overtaken John McDougall's 5377 runs to become Pacific's fourth highest run scorer of all time (behind the legendary Steve Lay, Jon Webley and Peter Hollman).  After Toby was finally prised out at long on going big and Kieran was felled by Amit, Messrs Chowdhury and Sam Howes added vital runs in the final overs.

After a quality tea, the highlight of which was Ahmed’s potato curry, Pacific got to work. Stockton got the ball to talk and was quickly into the wickets, bowling an opening bat all ends up, and later, crucially, taking three in an over. (Correct?)Once the lacquer on the pristine Morrant cherry was off Navid also settled in, finding his line to coax an indeterminate shot through to the slick gloves of the Go-Proed Sumeet Sharma. All the while, Windermere’s other opener stayed resolute, despite playing and missing to first change seamer Sumant on occasion.  But as the wickets continued to fall his inclination to take a risk was stymied, tasking the Windermere middle order with hitting big shots while he played around them. In tandem with captain Sunil, the pair looked to attack the now introduced Hussain, who stayed cool to produce a tight seven over spell.  Toby’s arrival presaged the downfall of Joshi, who sliced behind to James Collis, a livewire in the field all day. All the while, we’d kept our treasured Navid gunpowder dry, but as our credit ebbed away and Windermere’s target drew closer we had to switch the Sat ‘Nav’ back on. His hostility worked a treat, forcing Harsha back into the crease with a spiteful cherry. Then, full and straight he got him LBW, before getting through the defence of another tailender with pure pace. Pacific’s renaissance man for 2016, musician, leg spinner, seamer and perfect Smeagol (Gollum) impressionist Sam Howes now joined the party. In just his second match bowling spin, Sam spun it big, causing even ? who’d now reached the nervous 90s, lots of problems with a classic break. His improvement from the Sunday before was exponential, no doubt helped by a rigorous bowling warm-up. The future’s bright for the young Cornish talent. Finally, Toby returned to take the last two wickets., one a nerveless catch under pressure by the outstanding fielder on the day Paul Rajkumar.

Victory! The Ocean’s XI could celebrate.

Pacific v London Challengers CC
Toss won by Pacific
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
Paul Rajkumar   lbw b Amit   19  0  0  3  0  
Sumeet Sharma†   c Mid off b Dhiraj   0  0  0  0  0  
Toby Chasseaud   c Long on b Amit   55  0  0  2  1  
Aly Duncan   lbw b Amit   4  0  0  1  0  
James Collis   c Wkt b Anand   0  0  0  0  0  
Sumant Kumar   c Wkt b Jay   59  0  0  7  2  
Kieran Mullens*   b Amit   46  0  0  7  0  
Ben Stockton   c Wkt b Anand   2  0  0  0  0  
Navid Chowdhury   not out    8  0  0  2  0  
Sam Howes   not out    4  0  0  1  0  
Ahmed Hussain   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 1, lb 3, w 15, nb 0) 19    
 TOTAL (40.0 Overs) 217    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
London Challengers CC innings  R  M  B  4  6
Jaimesh Choksi   not out    91  0  0  0  0  
Anand Panchal   c Sharma b Chowdhury   0  0  0  0  0  
Amit Singh   b Stockton   4  0  0  0  0  
Pramod   c Sharma b Stockton   0  0  0  0  0  
Kiran Gaddi   b Stockton   0  0  0  0  0  
Ravi Rana   lbw b Stockton   0  0  0  0  0  
Sunil Joshi   c Collis b Chasseaud   44  0  0  0  0  
Velumani   lbw b Chowdhury   22  0  0  0  0  
Purvesh   b Chowdhury   5  0  0  0  0  
Dhiraj Wazir   c Rajkumar b Chasseaud   10  0  0  0  0  
Jay Hanmantgad   b Chasseaud   0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 4, lb 0, w 11, nb 1) 16    
 TOTAL (35.0 Overs) 203    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Navid Chowdhury   7  1  26  3  
 Ben Stockton   8  1  41  4  
 Sumant Kumar   5  0  30  0  
 Ahmed Hussain   6  0  41  0  
 Toby Chasseaud   6  0  41  3  
 Sam Howes   3  0  20  0