Pacific CC Magic Moment #18 - Paul Rajkumar
Mon 06 Jul 2020 
Club news item

With the return of cricket just days away, what better time to whet the appetite for the summer to come with a few gems from the storied Pacific past. 

Today's pick is chosen by our antipodean amigo Paul Rajukumar, and the first in the series featuring the seminal Pacific v UCS Old Boys fixture, played each year for the coveted Lindridge McDougall Memorial Challenge Cup.

Paul remembers the day we won back the cup on a heady Bank Holiday 'arvo' in May 2016, his second season for the club.

He writes: "This still goes down as one of my most joyful moments of my life. It was a glorious day in north-west London - I remember getting off the Tube and remember not having a clue where I was given I had never been further north-west than Islington up until 2016. 

It was the second May bank holiday; Tesco Expresses from Finchley Road to Frogmore were filled with shoppers filling their boots with cartons of VKs and Smirnoffs to enjoy the glorious weather.  Again, I remember deciding against getting a £3 meal deal on the way to UCS as the queues were simply dreadful.  Ahh a queue - the most quintessentially British thing since bad weather and bad humour has been reduced to a public health preventative measure.  

We arrived at the ground and it looked immaculate - easily one of the best grounds I had played on in the UK other than the HAC.  We had time to spend some time in the beautifully curated nets before heading out to the middle.  

We won the toss and batted first on what looked like a deck.  After Woodland creatures was sadly pinned early, TC and I put on about 100 odd together for the 2nd wicket.  Toby just missed out on what would have been his fifth consecutive 50 after being trapped in front.  BB came and went - from memory he played around a ball that pitched middle and was hitting the centre of the middle of middle.  Riz came in and we put on a few before I managed to miss a straight one.  Riz and K-Dog really got going towards the back end.  K did exceptionally well to rotate the strike just as Riz started to tick along.  202 after 45 overs was very competitive especially as the clouds started to descend in north-west London and those who had filled their boots with cartons of VKs and Smirnoffs were presumably regretting not getting something with fewer E numbers and preservatives.

The bowlers did such a good job of bowling line and length - it was a model of how to succeed in Saturday/Sunday cricket.  Phil, Paul D and Nav just kept bowling the goods and with a bit of nip and their batsmen just never got going.  

There were definitely three highlights though:

1) BB got his first and potentially his only wicket for Pacific snaring the dangerous and gobby UCS skipper.  I remember giving the captain a distinctly flavoursome send-off.  

2) One of their batsmen was batting a good foot out of the crease to negate the Phil Smith inswingers.  I mentioned it to Phil and said I was going to go for the stumping.  Phil bowled one down leg which the batsman tried to flick and in one of my more agile moments, I stumped the bloke from about 5-10 metres back.  The umpire was very very reluctant to give it but had to acquiesce at the end giving my pleading, sobbing, desperate agony of an appeal. That batsman was the opener who had top scored and after BB prying open the door and the stumping, the UCS team was torn asunder by one A Hussain who bagged 3 wickets in absolutely no time. They just kept trying to hit A-Bomb to Frogmore or possibly Froome but were only as successful as finding Mssrs Mullens and Burnham.

3) Nav came back on with 2 overs to go and 1 wicket in hand and went straight through the last batsman who poked at a ball that came back a bit. [ed- that last bat was emergent  Pacific hero Tim Garrett who clearly knew a good thing when he saw one by joining us the next year]

We were absolutely cock-a-hoop.  The thrill of beating this bunch was only matched by the thrill of winning back the Lindridge-McDougall Memorial Cup.  It was particularly sweet as I distinctly remember that I’m pretty sure from the year before these blokes thought we were just a bunch of ragtag misshapen Sunday leaguers who weren’t worth the time of day.  They probably got about 3 out of 4 of those things right...

Match report and scorecard:

Playing XI: Paul Rajkumar,  Mark Woodland,  Toby Chasseaud*,  Ben Burnham, Rizwan Siddiqui,  Navid Anjum Chowdhury,  Kieran Mullens, Phil Smith, Paul B Davis, Tony Tambyrajah, Ahmed Hussain

The cup