Pacific Pride defeats young Lions
Pacific v President's XI at Wray Crescent  Sun 15 Oct 2017 at 1:30pm
Won by 58 runs
Friendly fixture

Autumns see a return of Pacific's nomadic cricket fan base, their annual pilgrimage of willow and leather ending each year on the benches of the Wray Crescent public space. Invariably, you'll also see urban foxes slinking their way across the field of play back to their den. But young lions? Never before! That is until President Peter Hollman's XI for our annual match featured Luke Hollman as the star performer in a glittering constellation of father and sons.

Young Hollman was recently selected for an England Young Lion squad touring this winter. Add fellow Middlesex U17 Hugh Teasdale to the mix, a scattering of Siddiquis, Becketts and Blyghtons, and Pacific were truly entering the Young Lion's den.

Skipper Ahmed won the toss and asked the President's XI to bowl first, with Teasdale H and Joe Beckett opening up with lively pace but finding openers Khan and Williams up for the challenge. 15-year-old Ramiz is a precocious talent too. He's got all the shots, a cool head and he continued the good work from last weekend. Ahmed's selection Pete showed a solid defensive game before being bowled by the worst ball of spinner Billy Blyghton's spell for 12.

Sharma arrived at the crease at 3. Moving from the opener's spot has given Sumeet a licence to express his more expansive talents. There have been studious knocks, such as a match winning 60 v Luton, and heavy hitting affairs, as seen in a Marble Hill ton. Sumeet's decisive 89 on Sunday was an amalgam of both. With his new bat he drove the ball powerfully into N4's long long grass, then he called for his 20/20 bat and sent a few balls into the boundary netting with the aptly named SLASHER.

After Ramiz was out off a skyer for a bright 40 odd, PCC hero Jon Webley increased the pace with a fine cameo (28) of three checked sixes in his inimitable silken style. To watch the Webley maximum is to be transported back to the West Country he grew up in - something mellow, artful and bucolic is how it feels. While the Sharma-Webley exhibition carried on, watching Pacificians were distracted by a pleasant Asian lady arriving to spectate with her pet rabbit! Plenty of bunnies have graced Wray's synthetic square but surely this was the first white fluffy, nibbling, doe eyed spectator [Editor's note: not quite]. Kieran found that Mouchi (1.5 human years, v fluffy) was a wabbit who enjoyed soaking up the rays while its owner watched the 'hockey' (ahem!). Mouchi may, or may not, have enjoyed seeing Websharm put on 100 between overs 15 to 25.

Once Webley was out, caught by Pete Hollman at backward point in a nod to PCC lineage, Pacific's star all rounder Stockton (737 runs@43, 45 wkts@14) continued the surge towards setting a tricky total with a 23 comprising long forward-defensive strides, elegant off and on drives and a maximum. There was also time for Kieran to return to some kind of form with three fours in a breezy 18 not out in the death overs. He cover-drove Teasdale for 4 and helped pinch 13 off the final over with Woodland, sweeping the club's Young Lion for consecutive fours.

During the break we enjoyed another fine tea - thanks to all who contributed, in particular to Ahmed for another curry and to Riz's wife for an outstanding lamb biryani.

Pacific got off to the best possible start with yet another Stockton LBW victim, this time a young Blyghton for 0. Mutz's alert fielding the previous ball had prevented the said bat getting off the mark. Earlier than we might have expected, the king of the N4 urban jungle, Hollman Jnr arrived to great fanfare. He didn't disappoint - easing the ball around at will. Anything short was punished; one flat pull off Stockton shot off the bat with a crack like gun fire. The Pacific XI was disquieted. The Wray arena was now Hollman's biospheric bubble and he was going to burst our hopes and dreams.

Then, the defining moment of the innings. A Webley delivery was venomously slashed to backward point. In the blink of an eye, Murtaza Siddiqui, champion centurion of the weekend of 14/15 Oct, took a staggering, jaw-dropping reaction catch to send young Hollman, if not back to the condemned pavilion, then at least away from this synthetic stage, for a classy 50.

Murtaza also refrained from running out John Beckett after the Highgate Taverner slipped going for a run - showing the spirit of cricket is alive and well among the Sidduqui brethren.

Tom Ireland (3fer in 7 overs) continued his trend of clean bowling batsman at Wray by removing Doug Teasdale and John Beckett in just this very manner. But Joe Beckett, son of John, still dreamed of reaching the 248, heaving anything in his zone for sixes. He favoured the fast bowlers, reacting instinctively to swing through the line. Ahmed registered this and brought himself on. He bowled a fine length and line, frustrating Beckett into one too many biffs, bowling him all ends up. Amir Mapara belied his casual gear (an all grey tracksuit) to show he was a serious bowler, returning after a testing opening burst to claim the wicket of the initially circumspect then later free-scoring opener D Blyghton.

A succession of the President's men, including Skipper Rizwan, perished in the deep, including several bowled Hussain caught Stockton combinations. With the light fading, spinners were brought on at both ends. Peter Hollman, premier all rounder in Pacific's 34-year history, showed a two-year absence hadn't dulled his gifts, hitting Ahmed through mid on for four.

The President's XI were bowled out just after 6pm. There were handshakes and back pats after a match of quality from both sides.

Pacific v President's XI
Toss won by Pacific
Pacific innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  Ramiz Khan c Luke Hollman b S Blyghton  43  0  0  5  1  
  Pete Williams b Billy Blyghton  12  0  0  2  0  
  Sumeet Sharma† b Hugh Teasdale  89  0  0  8  4  
  Jon Webley c Pete Hollman b D Blyghton  28  0  0  2  3  
  Ben Stockton lbw b Luke Hollman  23  0  0  2  1  
  Tom Ireland b Luke Hollman  5  0  0  1  0  
  Kieran Mullens not out  18  0  0  3  0  
  Mark Woodland not out  4  0  0  0  0  
  Amir Mapara did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  Murtaza Siddiqui did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  Ahmed Hussain* did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 16, lb 7, w 4, nb 0) 27    
 TOTAL (35.0 Overs) 248    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling O M R W  
 H Teasdale 7 0 38 1  
 Joe Beckett 4 0 19 0  
 B Blyghton 6 0 30 1  
 S Blyghton 6 1 27 1  
 I Siddiqui 3 0 40 0  
 D Blyghton 4 0 39 1  
 Luke Hollman 5 0 34 2  
President's XI innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  B Blyghton lbw b Stockton  0  0  0  0  0  
  D Blyghton c Sharma b Mapara  42  0  0  0  0  
  Luke Hollman c Siddiqui b Webley  50  0  0  0  0  
  D Teasdale† b Ireland  1  0  0  0  0  
  Joe Beckett b Hussain  55  0  0  0  0  
  John Beckett b Ireland  3  0  0  0  0  
  Riz Siddiqui* c Stockton b Ireland  11  0  0  0  0  
  Hughie Teasdale c Stockton b Hussain  0  0  0  0  0  
  S Blyghton c Stockton b Hussain  6  0  0  0  0  
  Peter Hollman not out  4  0  0  1  0  
  I Siddiqui st Sharma b Mullens  1  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 0, lb 2, w 14, nb 1) 17    
 TOTAL (31.1 Overs) 190    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling O M R W  
 Ben Stockton 4 0 26 1  
 Amir Mapara 7 0 31 1  
 Jon Webley 4 0 17 1  
 Tom Ireland 7 0 52 3  
 Mark Woodland 2 0 18 0  
 Ramiz Khan 1 0 14 0  
 Ahmed Hussain 6 0 30 3  
 Kieran Mullens 0.1 0 0 1  

Other matches:
 Sat 31 Oct 2020, Wray Crescent,
 Sat 26 Oct 2019, Wray Crescent,
 Pacific trump the president's men, Sat 27 Oct 2018, Wray Crescent, Won by 137 runs
 Pacific edge tight Presidential race, Sat 29 Oct 2016, Wray Crescent, Won 14 runs
 Croft and Nair do well to withstand coup, Sat 17 Oct 2015, Wray Crescent, Lost 6 wickets
 Webley Hits New 'Lights, Sat 18 Oct 2014, Wray Crescent, Drawn
 Thornton supreme in the rain, Sat 19 Oct 2013, Wray Crescent, Lost 7 runs
 Presidential race goes to the wire, Sat 20 Oct 2012, Wray Crescent, Won 16 runs
 Admiral Of The Fleet, Sat 16 Oct 2010, Wray Crescent, Won 17 runs
 The Final Autumnal Glow, Sat 18 Oct 2008, Wray Crescent, Won 15 Runs
 Presidential Warming To Musical Accompaniment., Sat 13 Oct 2007, Wray Crescent, Lost 36 runs
 Presidential (in) Casualty, Sat 14 Oct 2006, Wray Crescent, Lost 2 wickets
 Infirm Pacific Leave President Phelan as Sick as a Parrot!, Sat 05 Oct 2002, Wray Crescent, Won by 114 runs
 Pacific receive mauling from Presidents XI, Sat 06 Oct 2001, Wray Crescent, Lost by 10 wkts
 Sat 07 Oct 2000, Wray Crescent, Abandoned
 Sat 03 Oct 1998, Wray Crescent, Lost by 5 wkts