Sharma blazes century to see off Chigwell
Pacific v Chigwell at Highgate CC
Sun 09 Sep 2018 at 1pm
Won by 9 wickets
Middlesex & Essex Invitation League

Our man PBD warned us that where he was from, way out West, ‘chiggers’ means ‘bug’. “They leave a nasty bite,” he told us…

For two years the Chigwell mob had run rings ‘round us. For two years chiggers had been bitin’ us on the ass.

Now ‘leven of us gathered at the High-Gate, at high noon. A hot September day, 1818. 

The Chigwell men started gatherin’, and we noticed more grey hairs among them than last time we met. Not only that, but Sheriff Colwill was outta town and even deputy Gremlo too. Maybe today it was our turn to bite these boys back?

Then again, maybe not. A good half of our posse turned up bottle-sore from too long on the stagger-juice the night previous. 

They say watching five episodes of the Netflix Western ‘Godless’ back-to-back before writing a match report can drive a man crazy…Hell, I’ll tell you what drives a man crazy. Watching that outlaw Rob Alum deadbat the darned ball away for twenny goddamn overs.

Seamin’ Sam Howes and old Irish Tom opened up both barrels at him, but we couldn’t take him out. After a time, Alum and his pardner started to get their eye in. Started getting some shots off back at us. Wasn’t long before they had took seventy off us with no men down.

Just when it’s startin’ to look dangerous, in rides our man PBD. Boy’s got a hot-damn gun for an arm.

Bang – PBD fires one down and it takes the edge. Preacher man Moses dives and catches a bullet one-handed at slip. All of a sudden our posse was a-cheerin’ and a-hootin’ and a-hollerin’.

At the other end, the chairman's throwing darts and then big James Soden – guy’s as tall as a tree, works all day on the railroad – he’s firing it down too. All the Chigwell boys've got in reply is edges and skiers, but we just couldn’t catch ‘em.

Eventually, out strides a rancher from the North named ‘Rich’. Now we know this old boy got firepower but he’s wild. Maybe we can outthink this sucker? He starts cracking it around – bang bang bang – quickfire. Things start gettin’ outta hand. Chigwell gots themselves a hundred, and then some, and we still only got two of their men!

Then bang –PBD strikes again, hits their number three straight in the leg. Suddenly thangs ain’t looking too pretty for the boys from the East.

Howes comes back from the other direction. He sure can sling ‘em for a fiddle-player. Fires a sharp one down and their man Rich ain’t quick enough. There’s that beautiful sound of his timbers being hit and it gets us all woopin’ and a-hollerin’ again. The dangerman’s down, and we know they ain’t got no good men left. What’s more, Cowherd Tim and my girl from the whorehouse has come to back us up.

The Chigwell boys start getting desperate, running up an’ down the strip like headless quail. But we kept our heads. Sam keeps hurlin ‘em down and takes out two more, hits their poles again. Lawman Ahmed’s keeping em’ quiet from the other end with his turners.

I’ll bet them Chigwell boys thought we’d ease up on em, just ten overs left, but now newspaperman Stockton comes out of the blocks firing something fearsome too. Chigwell can’t hit nothing and call it a day on 196. You can see it in their eyes though: it ain’t enough*.

We rest up for a while before it starts up again. They say prices are too high in these here parts,  but they sure as darn know how to feed a man. We take fried rice and chicken wings with hot sauce, and wash it all down with mugs of tea, and little cakes shipped all the way from Jaffa, wher’ver that is.

Fully rested, Field-marshall Chasseaud and Jas 'the bandit' Basir walked out into the middle of the square - told Chigwell to come at ‘em. But they don’t go out all guns blazin’; they play it safe for a while. Just took a while to see what the Chigwell boys were packin’.

Jas got fooled by a slow one chucked up by outlaw Orange, but then Sumeet strode out and started knocking the Chigwell boys around. Taking little pieces off of them, bit by bit.

Chigwell were missing their big guns. We could see it. There weren’t nothing coming down quick enough to worry the whiz-kid Sharma; the boy’s a dead-eye. He starts knocking ‘em off one by one, then four at a time. Chigwell change their attack but it don’t help nothin’: now both our boys are making nice shots, hurtin’ em through the gaps.

Goes on like that for about an hour or two I’d say. Bang, bang, bang, just keeps getting worse for the Chigwell boys. Sumeet’s hittin ‘em so pure you almost feel sorry for their men in the firin’ line. Almost.

But Sumeet ain’t in the mood for mercy. Even Ahmed takes one straight in the shin while trying to keep some law out there. Toby’s not going nowhere neither, he’s looking good for a fistful today too. He brings up his fifty**, and soon after his pardner Sumeet brings up a mighty handsome tonne.

The cavalry wait nearby, but we ain’t needed. One last shot up the hill into the trees and the Chigwell boys are done and beat. They come off waving their white flannels and we shake hands. In the saloon, Sumeet and Soden get jugs of beer for the men. And a whiskey for that man PBD.

I’m beat, so I jump on Fiesta, my old green pony, and ride off out into the land of opportunity - happy to know we seen off the Chigwell boys again. But they’ll be back again for us soon enough, as sure as eggs is eggs.  Until next time, boys.

(*There’s a few other things to mention but they don’t really fit in with this ridiculous narrative voice. Chigwell needed to score 200 to guarantee second place in the league, and looked set to do it before Sam and Ben’s excellent death bowling - another stake in Chigwell hearts. We were watched by our small band of autumnal supporters, who I’m sure we’ll see again at Wray Crescent in the coming weeks. Soden was proposed for Pacific’s ‘backer-up of the year’ for his dependable anticipation of mental throws. Sumeet’s wicketkeeping was excellent even by his usual high standards. Jackie admitted to an ‘adrenaline rush’ while operating the electric scoreboard, so we have a potential club scorer there perhaps. And meanwhile at the Oval, Alastair Cook remained on 46* overnight in his last ever test innings. So ‘twas a historic day in many ways, yes siree bob.)

** Upon coming off at the end of the match Toby complained that he didn't feel like he'd middled anything. It later transpired that there was a long crack down the inside edge of his Salix. Still, it had had a good innings. He bought it in 2013, had the handle replaced in 2015, and scored well over 6000 runs with it.


Chigwell v Pacific
Toss won by Pacific
Chigwell innings  R  M  B  4  6
R Allum   b Howes   61  0  0  0  0  
Macfarlane   c Moses b Davis   31  0  0  0  0  
Connery   lbw b Davis   5  0  0  0  0  
Stevenson   b Haill   26  0  0  0  0  
Hannant   b Howes   37  0  0  0  0  
N Allum   b Howes   7  0  0  0  0  
Barfoot   c Haill b Stockton   9  0  0  0  0  
Orange   not out    0  0  0  0  0  
Evans   not out    0  0  0  0  0  
A Clune   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
J Clune   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 1, lb 4, w 10, nb 3) 18    
 TOTAL (45.0 Overs) 196    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Sam Howes   11  0  33  3  
 Tom Ireland   4  1  14  0  
 James Soden   5  0  28  0  
 Paul Davis   5  0  19  2  
 Oliver Haill   6  1  26  1  
 Ahmed Hussain   7  1  35  0  
 George Moses   2  0  20  0  
 Ben Stockton   5  0  16  1  
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
Toby Chasseaud*   not out    77  0  77  12  0  
Jasbir Basi   c Allum    4  0  0  0  0  
Sumeet Sharma†   not out    110  0  79  20  0  
George Moses   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Ben Stockton   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Tom Ireland   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
James Soden   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Sam Howes   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Oliver Haill   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Paul Davis   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Ahmed Hussain   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Orange   10.1  0  49  0  
 N Allum   6  0  23  1  
 R Allum   5  0  30  0  
 Hannant   3  0  24  0  
 Connery   2  0  22  0  
 Macfarlane   4  0  45  0  

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