Hussain's WMD seal victory
Pacific v Hadley Wood Green at Botany Bay Cricket Club
Sun 25 Jun 2017 at 1pm
Won by 55 runs
Middlesex & Essex Invitation League

We set Hadley Wood Green 231, declaring after 39 overs of the allotted 45. Soden (29) and Mullens (48) got us off to a solid start, running hard and putting away the bad balls. James's knock was his third 25 of the season, all in league matches, in a debut season in which he seems to be improving with every game. Toby came back into the runs with his first Pacific 50 in June in a 99-run partnership with Kieran. He was due a big score and looked in good touch from the start, showing a particular liking to the left-arm seam of Marlon Isaacs, using the slope to pull a maximum into high foliage. He was out caught behind via first bat, then pad to the animated Wayne Hylton and seemed reluctant to leave the stage, but when you've got to go… 

After Ben was out having a heave at Sawtell, Pacific had lost three wickets in quick succession. But Sharma (46), Collis (18n.o) and Patel (15n.o) upped the tempo to leave HWG mulling over a sizeable chase at tea. Sumeet, using his new blade for 2017 rather than the menacing sounding Slasher, played with delicate wristiness, often employing the cut shot to ease a succession of cut fours down the slope, tantalisingly out of reach of the Hadley Wood Green fielders in pursuit. Sharma and Patel’s strike rates, 143 and 166 respectively, saw Pacific saw a perfectly timed pick up in pace.

We took the old ball as HWG sent out their finest blockers, Chaplin and the evergreen Turner. But Chappers struggled to deal with the revs and bounce of Howes, nibbling a ball behind to Sharma to get Pacific off to the best possible start. Turner and old Old Parkonian Usman Rafiq (“Man or mouse?”, clamoured Nuggsy) hung around like an emasculated prime minister clinging to the metaphorical climbing wall of power, dead batting the very best of James Gleadow’s seam magic in his first outing for Pacific this year.

Then Ahmed came into Pacific’s attack of infinite variety, now frustrating Turner who later said he’d struggled to deal with Guildford’s finest twirlyman – and was stumped by that man Sharma again.

Chasseaud and Mullens were then brought into the attack for a quick left/right-arm cameo. Captain Wijeyesekera smoked a couple of bits of tripe from the K Dog but then got greedy and cuffed to the safe hands of Collis at square leg.

Saunders bowled a heavy ball and forced Regan to play on, then the man mountain Hylton and Rafiq suddenly changed the pace, smoking the ball all over the place as Pacific struggled in the field for the first time all day.

In a key passage of play, Nuggsy was brought back on for his last three overs, this time with the new ball. With Hylton struggling with Howes, and Rafiq baffled by Nuggsy’s metronomic heroism, they chanced their arms and the plan failed. Rafiq skied a leading edge to skipper Chasseaud who got everything and I mean everything behind it (including his face) to pouch a top catch. Hylton, who’d told Kieran throughout the first half of the Pacific innings that he envisaged him being run out, was then a product of a karmic reversal. He chanced his arm against Soden’s and came out second best to a throw of tractor-beam accuracy.

It was now the turn of a generation of Steeles (father Mike and sons Josh and Ben) to show their mettle, so to speak. With his university exams not long finished, Josh lived fast and frittered it all away, clipping a Howes full ball to midwicket. Who knows whether younger brother Ben was intimidated by Nuggsy’s “Mind the windows, Tino!” verbal strategy*. He may well have been on non-solid foods in the heady days of the early millennium when Freddie bested Tino Best in the mind games. Nonetheless, he went for a big swipe and was deceived by the mystique of the Hussain googly, a ball that baffled plenty of Hadley Wood Greeners on the day.

As the last Steele hung on with a grim Hadley determination evidenced on so many occasions down the years, his partners on this occasion could not cope with Pacific’s deft bowler rotation (well done, Toby). Saunders came back for a final short-of-a-length blast and pushed a couple of silver foxes on to the back foot. This allowed that man Ahmed to close the deal, first having Isaacs stumped, then bowling a valiant Sawtell round his legs to tie up the match with 11 balls to spare. Pacific whooped and hollered – we’ve deserved much more in 2017 and finally this was a day when it had all fallen into place.

* sledge

Pacific v Hadley Wood Green
Toss won by Hadley Wood Green
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
James Soden   b Turner   29  0  42  5  0  
Kieran Mullens   c Steele b Sawtell   48  0  67  7  0  
Toby Chasseaud*   c Wayne b Sawtell   50  0  49  6  1  
Ben Burnham   c Cover b Sawtell   4  0  4  0  0  
Sumeet Sharma†   b Sawtell   46  0  32  6  0  
James Collis   not out    18  0  25  2  0  
Ravi Patel   not out    15  0  9  3  0  
Sam Howes   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
John Saunders   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
James Gleadow   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Ahmed Hussain   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 5, lb 3, w 3, nb 0) 11    
 TOTAL (39.0 Overs) 230    
 Fall of wickets:  1-39 , 2-138 , 3-144 , 4-145 , 5-204
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
Hadley Wood Green innings  R  M  B  4  6
Chaplin   c Sharma b Howes   0  0  0  0  0  
Turner   st Sharma b Hussain   18  0  0  0  0  
Usman   c Chasseaud b Gleadow   49  0  0  0  0  
Wiseyeseya*   c Collis b Mullens   15  0  0  0  0  
Regan   b Saunders   12  0  0  0  0  
Hylon   run out Soden    39  0  0  0  0  
Steele J   c Chasseaud b Howes   8  0  0  0  0  
Steele B   b Hussain   4  0  0  0  0  
Steele M   not out    8  0  0  0  0  
Isaac   st Sharma b Hussain   8  0  0  0  0  
Sawtell   b Hussain   2  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 1, lb 2, w 7, nb 2) 12    
 TOTAL (45.1 Overs) 175    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Sam Howes   10  3  29  2  
 James Gleadow   12  6  19  1  
 Ahmed Hussain   11.1  0  38  4  
 Kieran Mullens   3  0  25  1  
 Toby Chasseaud   1  0  10  0  
 John Saunders   5  0  38  1  
 Ravi Patel   3  0  12  0  

Other matches:
 Sun 27 Jun 2021, Botany Bay CC,
 Sun 06 Jun 2021, Highgate CC,
 Sun 28 Jun 2020, Botany Bay Cricket Club, Cancelled Govt Guidelines
 Sun 07 Jun 2020, Highgate CC, Cancelled Govt Guidelines
 Sun 01 Sep 2019, Botany Bay Cricket Club, Drawn
 Legend of The Ormo, Sun 09 Jun 2019, North Middlesex CC, Won by 10 wickets
 Mullens majestic , Sun 24 Jun 2018, Botany Bay Cricket Club, Drawn
 Sharmageddon time, Sun 10 Jun 2018, Highgate CC, Won by 7 wickets
 By George, we've won!, Sun 11 Jun 2017, Botany Bay CC, Won by 4 wickets
 Quick runs set up a classy victory, Sun 26 Jun 2016, Botany Bay Cricket Club, Won 95 runs
 It's a wash-out, Sun 12 Jun 2016, North Middlesex CC, Cancelled
 Pride Restored , Sun 28 Jun 2015, Botany Bay Cricket Club, Won 8 wickets
 Post tenebra lux, Sun 14 Jun 2015, Alexandra Palace, Lost 9 wickets
 Sixth consecutive draw v HWG , Sun 29 Jun 2014, Botany Bay CC, Drawn
 Tables turn as Pacific bat out for a draw..., Sun 15 Jun 2014, Alexandra Palace, Drawn
 Title hopes dissolve in a wet draw, Sun 08 Sep 2013, Botany Bay CC, Drawn
 Heads you win, tails you draw, Sun 16 Jun 2013, Alexandra Palace, Drawn
 Early declaration fails to tempt old dogs to chase, Sun 09 Sep 2012, Botany Bay CC, Drawn
 Beauty without expression is boring, Sun 17 Jun 2012, Broxbourne Sports Club, Drawn
 Only Five Available, Sun 17 Jul 2011, South Loughton Cricket Club, Forfeited
 Smith and Korgaonkar foil Hadley Wood resistance, Sun 26 Jun 2011, Botany Bay CC, Won 65 runs