Pacific schooled as Tamby returns to alma mater
Pacific v St James at Roehampton Playing Fields
Sat 12 Aug 2017 at 2pm
Lost by 97 runs
Friendly fixture

2017 has been a season of highs and lows for Pacific.  Unfortunately, our inaugural fixture against St James was not one of the highs.

At the time of writing, news has filtered through of a commanding league victory against Mayfield last Sunday.  Alas, something altogether more sinister was brewing the previous day in the malignant bowels of deepest Roehampton.  While there might have been no Hoddeston-style massacre of our bowling, it is no exaggeration to say that our crowning achievement with the bat was to block two hat trick balls.

The signs had been promising at first, as veteran tweaker Tony Tambyrajah (kindly acting as chauffeur for a substantial number of the Pacific XI) beat a path to the ground via Memory Lane.  That’s right, the oppo’s ground is the same on which Tamby plied his trade in schoolboy cricket. 

“I don’t believe it, it’s the same pavilion!” reminisced Tony.  Pleasant enough.  Unfortunately, the nostalgia wore thin as it became apparent that neither had the outfield been cut, nor the track rolled, since Tony’s schooldays.  During the pre-match warm-up, Oli Haill almost snapped his ankle in an outfield crater large enough to be have been left by German bombers during WW2.*

Our initial cohort was greeted on arrival by St James’s amiable and effusive manager, whose exuberance was tempered only by a flicker of despondency due to the absence of Ahmed Hussain (the “connect” for this fixture).  Within a matter of minutes, Pacific were emboldened by the sight of all-time Pacific great Stephen Lay stepping out of his motor – ostensibly primed to lay down a trip-ton and dislodge Webley from the top of the all-time run scoring charts.  The rest of the team arrived in dribs and drabs (with excuses of varying legitimacy) and we had a bit of a late start.  Once we eventually got going and St James had lent us a fielder, we had a solid-looking XI. 

With his Marlboro Golds stowed safely in the umpire’s pocket, Sumant, together with Oli, kept things tight during the first fifteen or so overs.  Oli returned excellent figures of 14-1-30-4, and St James’s batsmen were never truly at home with the Kumar.  By drinks we had restricted them to around forty runs, and had also poached a couple of wickets.  The batting side scored so slowly that we feared they might exploit the timed format of the game to its maximum potential.   Their opener was the only batsman to make significant runs  (65), before eventually being sent packing by TT like so many on this pitch before him.  Aroon and Tim both bowled economical spells, with the former snaffling a couple of good wickets for his efforts, the pick being when he trapped No. 3 with a wrong’un.  Zahid Ali took his first catch for the PCC.  In the end, St James declared sportingly on 140 for 8 from 46 overs, exclaiming from the pavilion “that will be enough”. 

Oh, how we laughed. 

Our batting was bad on many sides, many sides.  Things did not start well as opener James Hogg (1) was adjudged LBW to one which he claimed to have hit.  They didn’t get any better when Lay (9704/0) followed shortly thereafter, being bowled by a grenade that clipped the top of off.  Don’t worry, they thought.  Ben Burnham (or “James” as dubbed by Mutz) is now at the crease.  There’s a man who’ll steady the ship. 

In reality, of course, he played the ball onto his stumps for zero.

Leaving aside his 36 against Highgate, Ben has now scored a cumulative total of 35 runs in 12 innings this year: 6, 0, 9, 0, 4, 6, 4, 5, 0, 1, 0, 0.  This sequence of figures, as the scorecard shows, bears a striking resemblance to Pacific’s innings in this game.  James Collis stuck in there resolutely on the low turner for his ten, but it was never going to be enough.  We were bowled out for 43 and agreed never to speak of it again.

There are very few positives to take from this game.  We failed even to break the club records for lowest innings total or most ducks, although we came close.  That said, St James were a good bunch.  One of their bowlers had a quite extraordinary shuffle-skip-wave-stop-shimmy run up which was caught on camera from square leg, and their star batsman stopped by the Green Man pub after the game for a chat.  The same pub, incidentally, where Tony had his first ever pint with Tamby Sr. back in the day. 

Let’s show them what we’re really all about next year.


*For the avoidance of doubt, Tony commenced his secondary education many, many years after the end of the war.  

Tony enjoys a well deserved pint

St James v Pacific
Toss won by St James
St James innings  R  M  B  4  6
Piercen   c Haill b Tambyrajah   65  0  0  0  0  
Choudhary   c Hogg b Haill   7  0  0  0  0  
David   lbw b Korgaonkar   5  0  0  0  0  
Tom   b Korgaonkar   5  0  0  0  0  
Rehal   c Ali b Haill   15  0  0  0  0  
Kumar   b Kumar    8  0  0  0  0  
Harish   lbw b Haill   1  0  0  0  0  
Smith   b Haill   9  0  0  0  0  
Umar   not out    13  0  0  0  0  
Bilal   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Awais   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 3, lb 5, w 1, nb 3) 12    
 TOTAL (46.0 Overs) 140    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Sumant Kumar   11  0  32  1  
 Oliver Haill   14  1  30  4  
 Tim Garrett   9  1  21  0  
 Aroon Korgaonkar   9  1  27  2  
 Tony Tambyrajah   3  0  21  1  
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
James Hogg   lbw b Smith   1  0  0  0  0  
Steve Lay   b U Malik   0  0  0  0  0  
Ben Burnham   b U Malik   0  0  0  0  0  
James Collis   c & b Khan   10  0  0  0  0  
Zahid Ali   b B Malik   0  0  0  0  0  
Aroon Korgaonkar   b U Malik   3  0  0  0  0  
Murtaza Siddiqui*†   b B Malik   0  0  0  0  0  
Sumant Kumar   c & b Choudhary   12  0  0  0  0  
Oliver Haill   not out    8  0  0  0  0  
Tim Garrett   lbw b Khan   0  0  0  0  0  
Tony Tambyrajah   lbw b Khan   0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 1, lb 2, w 7, nb 1) 11    
 TOTAL (26.0 Overs) 43    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W