Sharmie Amsterd-Hammer
Pacific v Amsterdamsche CC at Amsterdamsche CC  Sat 06 Jul 2019 at 2pm
Won by 5 wickets
Tour fixture

Having received the somewhat iffy looking captaincy chalice from James Soden after a few celebratory drinks at Kampong CC the night before, I got off to the worst possible start by losing the toss. With the pitch looking even greener than many of the Pacific side (admittedly, probably due to being an artificial green carpet), I was surprised that the home side chose to bat first, but it did at least save me having to choose a batting order this early in the day. 

Our hosts advised that there would be rain later, which came as some surprise to the entirely coatless Pacific side, but were happy to play a 35-over match regardless. With the Pacific squad having been bolstered overnight by the arrival of Sam Howes (more on him later) and new man Reny Ponnamkunnath, who took the opportunity to combine a cricket tour with a visit to his Dutch in-laws, my first decision was to find a couple of men willing to sit out. Korgy, less than fresh after his heroics of the day before and nursing a spot of Ledley King knee, took the opportunity with both hands and went to sample some local produce, but the 12th man was proving a harder sell. Thankfully, our opponents were happy for us to rotate fielders and bat with a maximum of eleven, which at least meant that I could let multiple people down rather than singling anyone out.

Back to Howes. The Cornish crooner had discovered at breakfast that his recently booked flight home was for a month after his intended return date, and was not best pleased. Thankfully, his bowling radar proved more accurate than his use of a date picker field, and he neatly sent two of opener Swaneveld’s stumps flying out of the ground with the second ball of the match. He later picked up the second opener Singh, also bowled, and then pulled off an absolute blinder of a catch over his shoulder running backwards from fine leg to give fellow opener Soden his first wicket. Our hosts were 50/3 after the opening burst and looking good, despite Singh having dispatched one into a nearby canal before departing. 

With the ball wet, the game slowed somewhat and economical bowling from McGinnigle, Reny and Sumeet Sharma (bowling some very tidy spin after being whomped for six first ball) as the promised rain began to fell. We took a short rain break, and after returning it became clear that the outfield was now going to be providing no favours to boundary seekers. A bit of late acceleration was provided to Amsterdamsche by their opener’s patka-wearing brother B Singh, who had been bowling some very useful spin at us in the nets earlier in the afternoon and now proved thoroughly capable of giving it a bit of welly with the bat too, carrying his side to a very healthy 214-7 at tea.

Now, onto tea. We had very little to complain about at any point during our tour with the hospitality, so we’ll latch on to one disappointing element which was the size of the spread. To say it was small would be equivalent to describing Sumeet as ‘good at batting’ or Tim as ‘sartorially disinterested’. Over my tea of three extremely small egg mayo sandwiches (with, it must be noted, the spectacular addition of dried onions), I pondered the batting order. Thanks to the previous day’s excellent batting performance, we had a lot of players to try and get a bat, and the only way I could get an even half way acceptable batting order was to card myself at a (nominal) 12. Crueller wags than I were heard to note that I had finally found my position.

Further up the order, Woodland and Sharma were sent out to open and the latter very soon survived a razor thin lbw decision (read: Mutz had just been telling us we should stop giving Sumeet out lbw all the time) from your esteemed author. I maintain that my decision was aided by the fact that the bowler’s left arm around had gone directly through Woodland’s gate in three of the previous four balls, on each occasion missing the off stump, rather than a simple implementation of village DRS. Either way, Amsterdamsche soon had a second chance to dismiss Sumeet, dropping a relatively simple chance at extra cover. They would not get another, but at least had a couple of wickets at the other end with Creatures, Mutz and serial #3 bat Ahmed Hussain enjoying only short stays at the crease.

This little wobble brought in James McGinnigle at number 5, in his damp shirt looking every inch the advert for going to the gym and doing the thing with all the metal plates which apparently allows you to swing at the ball very hard indeed. Pleasingly for everyone, Amsterdamsche had brought on a very, very slow bowler at this point, allowing us all to be treated to a full over of Jimmy Mc attempting to pull, hook and generally dismiss every ball into the nearby hockey pitches. Much to the mirth of the watching crowd, these shorts were generally played very, very early and left him vulnerable to dismissal either via torn pectoral muscle or a more conventional stumping. He did eventually hit a few on his way to an enjoyable 17 before being run out.

At drinks, we were 88-4 and needing another 127 to win from 17 overs with the rain pouring ever heavier, I wouldn’t attest to being full of confidence of finishing the game at all, let alone with a win. However, with Toby joining Sumeet, we had the best men for the job at the crease, and Sumeet was starting to accelerate. The two put on a rapid 86, with the wicket keeper dominating the bowling and picking up 12 fours and 2 sixes in conditions that could hardly have been less conducive to hitting boundaries. By the time Burnham replaced Toby, Sumeet was in complete command, bringing up his hundred and then sailing on past it to 126*, the highest score by any Pacific batsman this season - if we hadn’t reached the target and this had been a full 40 over game he may well have gone on to even greater numbers, so cleanly was he hitting the ball. 

Sumeet appropriately enough hit the winning runs and then strolled off the pitch through a guard of honour, rightfully receiving the man of the match award and a very tasteful Amsterdamsche CC sweater, whilst Sam’s wonder catch was honoured as the champagne moment - both received a pair of ACC socks. 

Pacific were in the rare position of being unbeaten on tour, and we retired to the clubhouse for a rather more generous dinner (chicken satay and chips) to reflect on a damp but very enjoyable game.


Champagne moment: Sam Howes’ incredible catch somehow shades it over Sumeet’s masterful 126*, probably because one of them always looked in control and likely to deliver and it wasn’t Sam.

Amsterdamsche CC v Pacific
Toss won by Amsterdamsche CC
Amsterdamsche CC innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  A Swaneveld b Howes  0  0  0  0  0  
  G Singh b Howes  24  0  0  1  2  
  S Dawade c Howes b Soden  12  0  0  1  0  
  K van Niewkerk b Woodland  27  0  0  3  0  
  M Dukker lbw b Sharma  18  0  0  2  1  
  W Pielage c Dinsey b Garrett  18  0  0  2  0  
  B Singh not out  46  0  0  6  0  
  F Muhseni c Sharma b Garrett  0  0  0  0  0  
  A Pangaria not out  19  0  0  2  0  
  Tamilselvan did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  A Jansen* did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 3, lb 6, w 36, nb 5) 50    
 TOTAL (35.0 Overs) 214-7    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling O M R W  
 Sam Howes 7 1 48 2  
 James Soden 6 0 55 1  
 James McGinnigle 3 1 12 0  
 Reny Ponnamkunnath 5 0 15 0  
 Sumeet Sharma 4 1 14 1  
 Tim Garrett 6 1 30 2  
 Mark Woodland 4 0 31 1  
Pacific innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  Mark Woodland c Paweda b Pangaria  4  7  5  1  0  
  Sumeet Sharma not out  126  140  94  12  2  
  Ahmed Hussain b Tamil  2  17  11  0  0  
  Murtaza Siddiqui c Pielage b Muhseni  4  18  9  0  0  
  James McGinnigle run out  17  27  20  2  0  
  Toby Chasseaud c & b Swaneveld  26  51  34  0  0  
  Ben Burnham † not out  7  15  8  0  0  
  Reny Ponnamkunnath did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  James Soden did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  Tim Garrett did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  Sam Howes did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  Rob Dinsey* did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 3, lb 4, w 18, nb 2) 27    
 TOTAL (33.5 Overs) 215-5    
 Fall of wickets:  1-8 [Woodland] , 2-25 [Hussain] , 3-43 [Siddiqui] , 4-88 [McGinnigle] , 5-174 [Chasseaud]
Bowling O M R W  
 Tamil 5 0 16 1  
 A Pangaria 6.5 0 35 1  
 W Pielage 4 0 29 0  
 E Muhseni 5 0 27 1  
 B Singh 3 0 24 0  
 K van Niewkerk 3 0 26 0  
 G Singh 5 0 35 0  
 A Swaneveld 2 0 20 1