Not close, no mild cigar
Pacific v Tower Hamlets at Springfield Park
Sat 03 Aug 2019 at 1pm
Lost by 78 runs
North East London Cricket League

The Pacific cohort, bolstered by new additions Jack Lashbrook and Rahul Ravikrishnan, descended upon Springfield Park in fine spirits. The toss was lost, and Pacific took to the field in the hope of replicating England’s display in the first innings at Edgbaston. 

James and Arsalan were tasked with opening the bowling attack. The opening ball of the day from James left the non-striking batsman quivering in his boots. His fear was palpable as he crossed his playing partner to take up strike. Noticing this, James, through gritted teeth, charged to the crease and delivered a corker just outside off, beating the bat by a mile. Sensing a breakthrough, Jimbob, with the very next ball, tossed up a slower one. Obligingly, the batsman ballooned the ball to Toby C at cover, removed his helmet and retreated sulkily to his fellow teammates. 4-1 was the score, and Pacific were of to a dream start. 

The next dismissal came swiftly, with batsman No 2 returning a full and straight corker straight back towards Arsalan’s eager mitts. 4-2 and the likeness to England’s performance grew. 

Arsalan’s fierce bowling continued with dismissals of batsmen 4 and 5 coming in quick succession. The first, caught by Sharan on 1 and the second clean bowled for a duck. Despite the fall of four early wickets, Pacific were faced with a tricky customer in batsman No 3, Khalid. Scoring runs easily, the fielding side needed a breakthrough. Appreciating this, Soden dug deep into his bag of tricks and pulled out a waist-high full toss which struck the top of middle stump. Khalid, completely bamboozled, attempted to duck the ball. The standing umpire, smirking slightly, raised his finger, sending the batsman on his way… But only as far as the square leg umpire! After roughly 15 seconds of consultation with the dispatched batsman, the square leg umpire (and TH skipper) deemed the delivery to be a no ball. Such drama had never before been seen at Springfield Park! The teams came together like packs of wild dogs, brandishing fists and slinging insults. The fire was not quenched for 10 minutes until Toby C, taking the diplomatic approach, allowed the batsman to take up the crease again. “If we can get him out once, we can get him out again,” was the reasoning. Not so… Khalid would go on to make 60, changing the course of the game. 

Batsman 6 was caught behind by Mutz after a thick top edge off James’s bowling for Tower Hamlets' 3rd duck (not including the absurd attempt at ducking a waist-high ball described above) of the day. The score at this point was something like 95-5. 

Mamun, batsman 7, was joined by a veritable tank of a man in Nasir. What Nasir lacked in technique, he more than made up for in brute strength, knocking us around for a fine 52 not out, including a huge heave that made it all the way to the road. Arsalan took on the responsibility of retrieving the ball. But between him and it lay the fence. Bemused, he considered what to do. Half climbing, and half fumbling, Arsalan finally managed to get over with the grace of an elephant in heat. 

Mamun, putting on a fine show as well, was finally bowled by Sapp. 

Batsman 9, Rohin, also did well, scoring a quick 22. He was finally run out by Tim after a spot of nifty fielding by debutant Jack, allowing the team to capitalise on the batsmen’s confusion. 

The last two wickets fell quickly, with Deighan’s bowling proving too much for Hussain in at 10. Finally, displaying his tenacity in the field yet again, Jack took a remarkable catch to end the innings off Tim’s bowling. Pacific, feeling like they had perhaps replicated England’s performance too closely, were left with a lofty 224 to chase. 

Faith was placed in the secure hands of Mutz and Toby C as they strode out onto the square to begin the innings. The overs rolled by, and a blossoming partnership was built, with both batsmen surviving a challenging onslaught from the opening pair of quicks. Toby was the first to go – to a ball short of a length that struck halfway up off stump. Unlucky, but with the partnership ending at 30, Pacific were off to a satisfactory start. 

Mutz was the next to go. Tank-man Nassir’s unorthodox action playing havoc on his usually impeccable timing. The ball in question left him swinging wildly while his stumps were clattered. Still, an admirable knock for the day’s top score of 21.

Burnham and Deighan, now at the crease, also settled into their rhythm, hitting balls to all corners of the pitch. The partnership was only broken by a moment of magic from the fielder at point. Deighan, played a beautiful cut only to be dismissed by a stunning diving grab to the fielders left. 

In an unlikely turn of events, Pacific called upon Sapp to come in at 5 in order to pick up the run rate. “Now is my chance… finally I can demonstrate my ability as an all-rounder,”  your correspondent thought to himself. “Go out there and make your mark.” And so he did, taking middle and leg. This would prove to be the only mark that Sapp would make. After five balls, he too was dismissed by tank-man for a duck. 

Things were looking bleak for Pacific now. The required total of 224 seemed an impossibility to most of the team. Except Arsalan. He took to the crease oozing with confidence. He crashed his second ball for four, and two balls later, six! The players off the field exchanged quizzical looks… “Is this the same man who was beaten by the fence earlier?”... “Could he possibly lead us to victory?”. Shortly, these questions would be answered as Arsalan’s confidence got the better of him, calling for a single when none was there to be had, and duly running himself out. 

Debutants Jack and Rahul were now in the middle, hoping to establish themselves as Pacific must-picks. Sadly, Saturday happened not to be their day, with both being dismissed for a nice, even score of 2 a piece.

Sharan did his work quickly, making 3 runs off 6 balls before being caught at mid off. Soden, sensing that the game was lost, felt he could finally bat freely. And so he did! In a stunning display, Soden made 16 runs in 15 balls, playing a beautiful variety of shots all over the park. Sadly, the display would not last, with a catch at mid off ending a lacklustre Pacific innings. Tim, not out, scored nought and faced nought – a valiant effort. 

Pacific could only manage 144 runs for their 10 wickets, losing the game by 79 runs. 


Tower Hamlets v Pacific
Toss won by Tower Hamlets
Tower Hamlets innings  R  M  B  4  6
M Rashid   c Chasseaud b Soden   4  0  0  1  0  
Easin   c & b Syed   0  0  0  0  0  
Khalid   c Timbadia b Garrett   60  0  0  11  0  
Jackie   c Timbadia b Syed   1  0  0  0  0  
Mahboub*   b Syed   0  0  0  0  0  
Suhel   c Siddiqui b Soden   0  0  0  0  0  
Mamun   b Sapp   31  0  0  5  1  
Nasir   not out    52  0  0  10  0  
Rohin   run out Garrett    22  0  0  5  0  
Hussain   lbw b Deighan   2  0  0  0  0  
Habib   c Lashbrook b Garrett   0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 0, lb 0, w 0, nb 0) 0    
 TOTAL (34.3 Overs) 223    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 James Soden   8  1  59  2  
 Arsalan Syed   8  0  44  3  
 Tim Garrett   5.3  0  36  2  
 Keyana Sapp   8  0  31  1  
 Rahul Ravikrishnan   3  0  22  0  
 Jack Lashbrook   1  0  12  0  
 John Deighan   1  0  5  1  
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
Murtaza Siddiqui†   b Nasir   21  0  39  3  0  
Toby Chasseaud*   b Habib   12  0  31  1  0  
Ben Burnham   b Hussain   16  0  33  2  0  
John Deighan   c point b Nasir   12  0  25  2  0  
Keyana Sapp   b Nasir   0  0  5  0  0  
Arsalan Syed   run out    12  0  8  1  1  
Jack Lashbrook   b Jackie   2  0  3  0  0  
Rahul Ravikrishnan   c cover b Mahboub   2  0  9  0  0  
Sharan Timbadia   c mid off b Habib   3  0  6  0  0  
James Soden   c mid off b Habib   16  0  15  2  0  
Tim Garrett   not out    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 11, lb 4, w 14, nb 5) 34    
 TOTAL (32.5 Overs) 144    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Jackie   4  0  14  1  
 M Rashid   5  1  12  0  
 Mahboub   3  0  25  1  
 Rohin   4  0  13  0  
 Habib   7.5  1  32  3  
 Nasir   5  2  15  3  
 Husain   4  0  12  0