Tim's hat-trick brightens dull draw
Pacific v Chigwell at Highgate CC
Sun 08 Sep 2019 at 1pm
Middlesex & Essex Invitation League

There was much to enjoy and find interesting in this game if you tried. While some people moaned a lot about the defensive play of our oppo, we have done the same in the past and this match report writer would encourage you to see cricket as not just about winning and losing - it's a pastime, a hobby, it's spending time with people in a common pursuit, it's your weekend - so just relax and have fun.

Let's assume Chigwell won the toss, as they were a player or two short and lacking batting in a late-season Middlesex & Essex Invitation League game where the final table positions had all-but been decided. Ahmed Hussain was captaining the PCC, if memory serves, but we should check that really. (Where's Fact Checking Santa when you need him?)

Anyway, let's assume it was A-bomb who picked the batting order that led to Oli Haill finding himself opening for PCC for the first time in years and facing the cantankerous Richard Hannant's slow swingers. After a few curved in and past his legs, one hit him on the pads and the chairman was triggered by Seaman Garrett for a quickfire blob.

Luckily for Pacific, we had some batsmen in finer fettle, including a John Deighan who seemed to finally be coming into some batting form in non-eight-a-side cricket in his second season. The primary school teacher chalked up a stylish 39 before he was taught a lesson by Chiggers slow-bowling sage, Rob Orange.

During this time he was joined by Toby Chasseaud, a fan of little numbers who has been rolling out big numbers for the club all season, and they together smoked the ball all around the Shepherds Cot pitch for a partnership of 90.

When our Sussex-born skipper was joined by Sumeet Sharma the scoring rate took off, with the Ahmedabadman racking up a ton at less than a run a ball, including 19 boundaries at what seems to be his favourite batting track.

The pair set our Essex pals 304 to win, which some said was too much, and Chigwell clearly thought so as their openers came out and attacked with all the aggression of a stoned sloth. But that stoned you get where you can really concentrate on something, like blocking, or focusing on listening to the exquisite use of the cowbell in a song, or the shapes of clouds. 

Although PCC took an early wicket through Tim Garrett, our violinist captain on the day went through his full repertoire of bowlers as he looked to break through the stout defence of sometime-Pacifico, Turin Brakes, Lightning Seeds and High Llamas drummer Rob Allum and fixture man Jonathan Stevenson.

After opening with finger-spin from both ends, Ahmed turned to his and Aroon Korgaonkar's wristier numbers and then some seam from Shaz Timbadia, Sam Howes and Will Gingell. There were quarter- and half-chances that got the fielders excited at times but the array of blocking from chary Chig was from the very highest echelons of the forward defensive handbook.

Despite being a chilled out entertainer off the field, Allum in particular inspired shock and awe in the field with his ferocious levels of dead-battedness, so much so that it was sometimes like to bowling at a duvet or a tall privet hedge. Sometimes his defence was so tight and the chance of an edge or a catch seemed so unattainable it was like bowling into a black hole, the ball almost disappeared once it reached his orbit. Allum, the batting event horizon, perhaps. 

The field placings became ever more attacking and the bowlers were trying anything to buy a wicket, meaning big gaps in the field and some bad balls to punish. Eventually, with the draw and the resulting league position that they craved (not even to win the league, just something like 2nd or 3rd place), Stevenson notched a century and retired to give some of his teammates a go.

This chance was seized upon by Pacific and Tim struck in the most exciting way possible, drawing an excellent stumping by Sumeet and bowling out the next two batsmen to nab a hat-trick and some happy leaping about for the fielders, many of whom had been tiresomely grumbling about the defensive play. 

As well as eventually getting funkier than a mosquito' tweeter with his fields, Ahmed, a child of the 80s, spun through his bowling rolodex to call up the rarely seen bouncing, bucolic run-up of Benny Burnham, and the rest of the line-up, with Sumeet shedding his gloves to be our 11th bowler. We tried but after 52 overs Chigwell batted out the draw to show how much they care about the league. Fair play to them.

After the game several jugs were rightly enjoyed from Highgate CC's well-stocked pavilion and the chairman tried to persuade people to appreciate times games for the unique challenges they throw up. Enjoy cricket and life's rich tapestry, man!

Stats corner

Pacific used all 11 bowlers on for only the second time, and not since 1992. (The last time we used 11 was in France in 2006 against St. Au Ley but that was out of 13 players in a tour game.)

Postscrip - Sumeet's 116 followed another of exactly the same score in his previous match, making him one of five players to score successive centuries for the club and with these two innings contributing to him scoring 341 runs during the month, the seventh highest in our record books.

Pacific v Chigwell
Toss won by Pacific
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
John Deighan   b Orange   39  57  46  4  2  
Oliver Haill   b Hannant   0  5  4  0  0  
Toby Chasseaud   c Benjamin b N Allum   107  135  86  10  3  
Sumeet Sharma†   st wk b N Allum   116  67  56  12  7  
Ben Burnham   not out    5  9  7  0  0  
Aroon Korgaonkar   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Sharan Timbadia   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Sam Howes   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Will Gingell   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Tim Garrett   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Ahmed Hussain*   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 12, lb 0, w 19, nb 0) 31    
 TOTAL (35.1 Overs) 303-3    
 Fall of wickets:  1-1 [Haill] , 2-91 [Deighan]
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Hannant   10  0  67  1  
 R Allum   8  0  41  0  
 R Orange   7  0  66  1  
 J Benjamin   3  0  28  0  
 N Allum   6.1  0  58  2  
 E Lewis   16  0  26  0  
Chigwell innings  R  M  B  4  6
R Allum   not out    63  0  0  0  0  
N Jaswal   b Garrett   0  0  0  0  0  
J Stevenson   retired out    103  0  0  0  0  
M Slade   st Sharma b Garrett   6  0  0  0  0  
J Benjamin   b Garrett   0  0  1  0  0  
K Hannant   b Garrett   0  0  1  0  0  
EB Lewis   b Sharma   2  0  0  0  0  
D Lewis   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
T Pursey   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
R Orange   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
N Allum   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 4, lb 1, w 15, nb 11) 31    
 TOTAL (51.0 Overs) 197-5    
 Fall of wickets:  1-20 [Jaswal] , 2-188 [Slade] , 3-195 [Benjamin] , 4-195 [Hannant] , 5-195 [Lewis]
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Tim Garrett   9  1  23  4  
 Oliver Haill   8  1  46  0  
 Ahmed Hussain   8  0  35  0  
 Aroon Korgaonkar   7  1  24  0  
 Sharan Timbadia   3  2  4  0  
 Sam Howes   4  0  15  0  
 Will Gingell   4  1  16  0  
 Ben Burnham   2  0  4  0  
 Toby Chasseaud   2  0  9  0  
 John Deighan   2  1  6  0  
 Sumeet Sharma   2  0  4  1  

Other matches:
 Sun 05 Sep 2021, Highgate CC,
 Sun 16 May 2021, The Paddock,
 Burnham’s 49 isn’t enough as Stevenson tons up, Sun 06 Sep 2020, Highgate CC, Lost by 67 runs
 Early declaration leaves Pacific stumped by weather forecast , Fri 14 Aug 2020, The Paddock, Lost by 4 wickets
 If only both teams lived in the same house, Sun 17 May 2020, The Paddock, Cancelled Covid-19
 Mighty Birch stands up to Colwill's Chigwell, Sun 19 May 2019, Old Chigwellians Club, Drawn
 Sharma blazes century to see off Chigwell, Sun 09 Sep 2018, Highgate CC, Won by 9 wickets
 Chasseaud ton in vain as Chigwell coast to victory, Sun 19 Aug 2018, Old Chigwellians Club, Lost by 7 wickets
 Curse of The 'Strong Batting Line-Up' Strikes Again, Sat 09 Sep 2017, North Middlesex CC, Drawn
 Golden Chigwell chance spurned, Sun 07 May 2017, Old Chigwellians Club, Lost by 8 wickets
 Victory is sweet in last-ball thriller, Sun 11 Sep 2016, Alexandra Palace, Won 2 wickets
 Burnham sees red as runfest unfolds, Sun 08 May 2016, Old Chigwellians Club, Drawn
 Another tight finish, Sun 30 Aug 2015, Old Chigwellians Club, Lost 5 wickets
 PCC realise Chig ambitions , Sun 31 May 2015, Alexandra Palace, Won 7 wickets
 Plucky Pacific hang on for draw, Sun 31 Aug 2014, Old Chigwellians Club, Drawn
 Pacific 'Chig' deep for victory, Sun 25 May 2014, Alexandra Palace, Won 19 runs
 Pacific on top, Sun 01 Sep 2013, Old Chigwellians Club, Won 7 wickets
 Scores level in last-ball thriller, Sun 28 Apr 2013, Alexandra Palace, Drawn - scores level!
 To Mankad or not to Mankad? Scores level despite skipper's heroics, Sun 02 Sep 2012, Old Chigwellians Club, Drawn - scores level!
 Sight screens as rafts, Sun 29 Apr 2012, Broxbourne Sports Club, Cancelled
 Could not raise team, Sun 28 Aug 2011, Old Chigwellians Club, Forfeited
 If you thought South Africa choked ..., Sun 31 Jul 2011, Broxbourne Sports Club, Lost 8 runs
 Perfect April As Draw Sanctuary for Chigwell Removed, Sun 25 Apr 2010, Wray Crescent, Won By 117 runs
 Allum the key for Chigwell, Sun 26 Apr 2009, Wray Crescent, Drawn
 The Fairest of Draws, Mon 06 May 2002, Met Police Grd, Drawn
 Marathon spell from Mileham seals it, Mon 07 May 2001, Away, Won by 3 wkts