Floppy hats the fore at Springfield
Pacific v Bloomsbury Royals CC at Springfield Park
Sat 14 Sep 2019 at 12:30
Lost by 7 wickets
Friendly fixture

I have played recreational cricket for years, with and against Christians, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus and people of no specific faith or none whatsoever. However, I have not to my knowledge, played cricket with a practicing Buddhist, and I have a theory as to why that is: cricket appears to entirely disprove the notion of karma. Yesterday, I spent almost my entire day (on work time, so make that tiny violin playing in your mind into a viola) arranging first an opposition, then a ground, then the various paraphernalia of the game (balls, stumps, reasons for leaving early in team) to get this game on. Today, I made four runs. I’m telling you, karma is absolute bullshit (unless I get 50 tomorrow in which case I’ll be editing this match report to include a full and frank apology).


As might be expected from a hastily booked last minute pitch, the surface at Springfield Park could politely be called 'underprepared' and more correctly called 'occasionally dangerous', which doesn't really come across from the scorecards below. Throughout both innings (although as it often seems to go, mostly ours) the ball reared up or shot through off more or less the same length, making things rather tricky for even set batsmen.


Choosing to bat first as captain for the day, I strode out to bat with more-or-less-regular opening partner Woodland, only for both of us to spend our traditionally limited time at the crease. After a few convincing looking blocks and a sweetly timed late cut (I'm writing the match report, I get to describe my only scoring shot, thank you) for four, one of those aforementioned rearing ones convinced me to edge to slip. Mark followed not long after, bowled and the first of three victims for the impressively headbanded Suleman.

Last week's centurion Michael Rea (as he absolutely hated everyone greeting him) looked assured and classy before departing for a slightly-more-Pacific-standard 16, weekend debutant Amandeep Dhir managed 6 before chopping on, and Alex Cannon was stumped, before Riz and Jack Lashbrook started to hit out. Runs were added rapidly against loopy spinner (harsher reviews of his bowling action were muttered) Rana, but when Lashbrook departed we were 63-6 and looking like repeating our efforts earlier in the season against the same opposition.


Enter Paul Davis, all floppy hat and roguish charm (read: gently berating me for carding him so far down the order). To say that I wouldn't have bet on Sam Eagle putting on 120 with Riz in the circumstances would be harsh, but it certainly wouldn't have been a big stake. But, both hit the bad balls firmly and sweetly and did an excellent job of evading, blocking and otherwise cajoling the unhittable ones away from stumps, teeth etc. to put on brilliant scores of 46 (PBD) and 71 (Riz), which looked to be worth twice those numbers. Some lower order resistance from Korgy and Howes took us to 209-9 from our 40, a score that looked about as likely at the half way stage as Steve Smith missing a straight one. Miracles do happen.


Bloomsbury began their innings with the pitch no doubt in mind, deciding that they were going to hit as many runs as possible before it did them. Wicketkeeper Atiq (also floppy hatted, which should have warned us), who I note with more than slight surprise batted eleven against us in the league game, performed rather admirably at this task by spanking 100 runs with twenty fours and one six. The card doesn't record the number of balls he faced in so doing, but I can't imagine it was a great many. This rather spoiled the game as a contest and the moods of several Pacific bowlers, but we did have chances to dismiss him throughout his innings and he made us pay. The Royals eventually coasted home with seven wickets and thirteen overs in hand, but not before Riz managed to make the rest of us look silly with figures of 3-9 from 5 overs in an innings where everyone else was disppearing.


Still, it was great to get a game together at short notice, and thank you to Bloomsbury for managing to assemble 11 and the various players who brought stumps, bails, balls, scoreboards, scorebooks and everything else which I'd rather taken for granted appearing at a cricket match before now. I don't know how we manage to do this twice a week for what feels like 8 months a year.

Pacific v Bloomsbury Royals CC
Toss won by Pacific
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
Rob Dinsey*   c slip b Din   4  10  7  1  0  
Mark Woodland†   b Suleman   0  11  11  0  0  
Michael Rea   c mid on b Suleman   16  24  15  4  0  
Amandeep Dhir   b Suleman   6  18  16  1  0  
Rizwan Siddiqui   b Shakeel   71  84  65  12  1  
Alex Cannon   st keeper b Rana   0  11  7  0  0  
Jack Lashbrook   b Marjam   15  0  15  3  0  
Paul Davis   b Heru   46  0  60  9  0  
Aroon Korgaonkar   not out    6  0  17  0  0  
Will Gingell   c mid off b Shahin   4  0  4  1  0  
Sam Howes   not out    10  0  10  2  0  
 Extras (b 11, lb 1, w 21, nb 0) 33    
 TOTAL (40.0 Overs) 209-9    
 Fall of wickets:  1-6 [Dinsey] , 2-6 [Woodland] , 3-28 [Dhir] , 4-29 [Rea] , 5-38 [Cannon] , 6-63 [Lashbrook] , 7-183 [Davis] , 8-187 [Siddiqui] , 9-193 [Gingell]
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Din   5  1  17  1  
 Suleman   5  2  10  3  
 Marjam   5  0  16  1  
 Rana   7  0  47  0  
 Ali   4  0  21  0  
 Edgar   4  0  42  0  
 Heru   4  1  15  1  
 Shakil   4  0  14  1  
 Shahin   2  0  15  1  
Bloomsbury Royals CC innings  R  M  B  4  6
Sohail   c & b Siddiqui   26  0  0  3  0  
Atiq†   c Howes b Siddiqui   100  0  0  20  1  
Shahin*   c Woodland b Siddiqui   0  0  0  0  0  
Edgar   not out    27  0  0  3  1  
Hiru   not out    29  0  0  5  1  
Din   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Ali   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Shakil   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Suleman   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Marjan   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 29, lb 2, w 6, nb 1) 38    
 TOTAL (26.4 Overs) 210-3    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Sam Howes   6  0  56  0  
 Will Gingell   6  0  37  0  
 Aroon Korgaonkar   5  0  51  0  
 Michael Rea   2  0  23  0  
 Rizwan Siddiqui   5  2  9  3  
 Paul Davis   3  0  36  0