Hussain's WMD seal victory
Pacific v Hadley Wood Green at Botany Bay Cricket Club  Sun 25-Jun-2017 at 1pm
Won 55 runs
 

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 Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  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 Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  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  
 
 

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