Pandya completes hat-trick to inspire victory at last
Pacific v Clapton & Oval CC at Springfield Park  Sat 25 Aug 2018 at 1pm
Won by 6 wickets
North East London Cricket League

-          Pacific win by six wickets in reply to Clapton’s 116
-          'Rollover’ hat trick and match-winning 4-27 for Umrish Pandya
-          Skipper Chasseaud leads the chase with aggressive 70 off 63
-          Stockton faces down accuser in The Crooked Billet 

The pre-match banter had been scintillating: a fierce Whatsapp debate among the Pacific XI over the correct use of an ampersand (‘&’) and whether 'Versus' or 'V' was better. Exciting stuff – but could the game live up to the hype?

Thankfully, yes. Pacific’s first encounter against NELL-league opposition Clapton & Oval resulted in a thumping win and one of the most complete team performances in the entire history of cricket. 

The day began with Toby winning his fifth successive coin-flip. (I wonder if Steve Lay has stats on who is the most accomplished tosser in the club?) With light cloud over Springfield Park's notoriuously unpredictable wicket, the skipper put Clapton & Oval into bat – a decision that quickly proved to be a good one. Seamin’ Sam Howes and Ben ‘vada pav’ Stockton caused the opposition great difficulty for the first 16 overs, with Ben removing the opener and No 3 ☝️.

Sam was very unlucky not to take a wicket after bowling at a brisk pace and exploring the nasty variable-bounce zones outside off stump. The North-South bowling partnership kept Clapton to just three an over.

After patiently seeing off Sam and Ben, Clapton’s remaining opener Jamie Doe tried to smear Umrish’s first ball for a much needed boundary, and was instead bowled. ‘D’Oh!’, said Doe, in his head, probably. With the next batsman taking guard, Umrish realised he’d taken a rollover hat trick, having taken two wickets in the last two balls of his last game, and celebrated a bit more 🍾.

At the other end, thundering in with the crazed screams of a children’s tug-of-war behind him, Matt Dempsey bowled at a menacing pace ☠️. The batsmen could only swish at air as the ball whizzed past their throats, over and over again, for about seven overs, until Dempsey finally and inevitably splattered the stumps.

Continued pressure arguably led to Clapton’s top-scorer taking a suicide second run to Matt at fine leg, and we were soon saying ‘ta-da’ to Taha. Umrish took another three, setting up the possibility of another rollover by taking a wicket with the last ball of his spell.

With Clapton hanging on eight down, Rafiq and Ireland came on to finish off the tail. Ireland, who is considering rebranding to ‘Tropical’ now that someone called Paddy has arrived at the club, took 2 for 1, and the Clapton innings closed on just 116.

The Pacific XI munched on some well peng fried 🍗 courtesy of Rafiq as a perfectly-timed 🌧️ passed over during the interval.

Having collapsed several times chasing low scores on bad pitches this year, we knew the target of 117 wouldn’t be straightforward. Aly and Ben got off to a cautious start before the ‘gator deflected the ball into his stumps trying to flick to leg 😞. Burnham followed skying one after a typically happy-go-lucky 12 🤪.

Chasseaud arrived at the crease with clear intentions and had soon struck three sixes, showing it could be done on this difficult pitch 💪. We very much like Toby’s new pinch-hitting style but some of the Pacifians on the sidelines were praying for a return of his trademark forward defensives as wickets around him fell 😰 and Clapton sensed a collapse . Kieran (12) made a good start but was undone by a ball lifting from a length (😮), as was Ireland for 0 (🤬).

But there was to be no further squeaking of Pacific bums (💩). Not today. Toby continued to crunch bad balls to the boundary, and Stockton (12) helped him finish the job with nearly 17 overs left.

The skipper finished on 70 from 63 and carried his good form onto the table tennis table in the Crooked Billet. Stockton was less fortunate, as a determined space invader ruined his post-match pint and threw weird allegations at him, i.e. that his St Patrick’s Day Guinness T-shirt was racist. The Yorkshireman was embroiled in more controversy when a group of women asked him to take a picture of them - and he provided them with a perfectly framed portrait of his own face 🤦.

All in all, it was a top day out for the Pacific team and a stand-out performance in what has been a difficult season results-wise. Here’s to more performances like this one. Or, as the skipper put it in a satisfied bedtime group message: “Great day out with the best bunch of blokes ever. Strength 👊”



Clapton & Oval CC v Pacific
Toss won by Pacific
Clapton & Oval CC innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  Jamie Doe*† b Pandya  26  0  0  0  0  
  Iqbal c Duncan b Stockton  1  0  0  0  0  
  Mitch b Stockton  6  0  0  0  0  
  Taha run out Dempsey  26  0  0  0  0  
  Shahid b Dempsey  6  0  0  0  0  
  Ankit c Sub b Pandya  6  0  0  0  0  
  Stan b Pandya  6  0  0  0  0  
  Sam b Pandya  5  0  0  0  0  
  Tim b Ireland  8  0  0  0  0  
  Kai not out  0  0  0  0  0  
  Rohin lbw b Ireland  0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 7, lb 3, w 12, nb 1) 23    
 TOTAL (34.4 Overs) 116    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling O M R W  
 Ben Stockton 8 1 22 2  
 Sam Howes 8 1 18 0  
 Matt Dempsey 8 3 25 1  
 Umrish Pandya 8 1 27 4  
 Tom Ireland 1.4 0 1 2  
 Rafiq Ratta 1 0 8 0  
Pacific innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  Aly Duncan b Taha  2  0  12  0  0  
  Ben Burnham c Midwicket b Harrison  12  0  25  2  0  
  Toby Chasseaud* not out  70  76  63  10  3  
  Kieran Mullens c Doe b Ankit  11  0  31  2  0  
  Tom Ireland c Doe b Ankit  0  0  2  0  0  
  Ben Stockton not out  12  0  10  3  0  
  Murtaza Siddiqui† did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  Sam Howes did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  Umrish Pandya did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  Matt Dempsey did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  Rafiq Ratta did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 1, lb 2, w 5, nb 4) 12    
 TOTAL (23.2 Overs) 119    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling O M R W  
 Taha 6 1 24 1  
 Iqbal 1 0 4 0  
 Harrison 5 0 13 1  
 Greenham 6 1 36 0  
 Ankit 5 0 26 2  
 Rohin 0.2 0 4 0  

Other matches:
 Pacific fall short in sun-drenched chase, Sat 29 Jun 2019, Millfields Park, Lost by 27 runs