Hotter than hell
Pacific v Eastcote at Eastcote Cricket Club
Sat 09 Sep 2023 at 12 noon.
Lost 60 runs
Friendly fixture

Somewhere a man stands. Open mouthed in shock at what he's just witnessed. A few hundred miles away another man arrives home his odyssey complete. The other nine collapse into ice baths or cold showers. Hot, hot and hotter is the tail of Pacific's fixture to Eastcote.

A rare toss won by Mutz and the decision to bowl first in the heat of the day on a baked road may have raised some eyebrows, but the opening bowlers relished such a chance. A tidy enough first nine overs from Alex and Lokesh saw the opposition one down with 50 odd on the board. The first change bowlers kept the batsmen honest, Brett "The Maiden Maker" Custard proving near impossible to get away and Sard claiming the second wicket.

The heat of the day was starting to tell however as unorthodox positions were set under shade on both sides of the ropes. As Pacific toiled in the heat Eastcote raced to 200 off the next ten overs and 300 off the last ten. A tall order for Pacific but one which was embraced with gusto.

Imran, having kept for 40 overs, strode out to bat in gold trimmed pads and promptly scored a fifty. Ably supported by Faisal until his restraint was tempted by a poor ball and he was caught for 19. Jed was in next but fell to a sharp stumping without troubling the scorers. Some confusion surrounded the next wicket of Rowan (the latest product from the Lincoln-Gordon production line). The fielding team appealing early for a certain stumping (had it been gathered) the ball running for four leg byes and the umpire giving out LBW. A rueful Lincoln-Gordon trudging off shaking his head and vowing never to try and be patient again.

Sard then joined Riz at the crease. Their mutual agreement not to attempt any twos appropriate to the match situation with Pacific now needing over 12 an over. Boundaries flowed to all parts of the ground as the two played some hefty blows in their century partnership. With Pacific back with a sniff of a chance Sarg smashed a six into the sightscreen before retiring to seek respite from the conditions. Brett proved as adept with the bat as the ball as he struck 25 runs before being bowled. Alex next in had one job, no dot balls. The subsequent maiden put the pressure back on. Riz smashed a six......................... AND WAS CAUGHT ONE HANDED ON THE BOUNDRY. Gasps all round as the batsmen looked on open mouthed. With the chances of winning gone Alex scored four to up his season average. Zee found his pads and made a tidy few runs (encumbered only by the frozen figure of Riz still standing open mouthed at the crease). With 60 runs needed off the final two balls Mutz decided it wasn't worth risking another certain personal injury and conceded the match.

Handshakes all round. A hard fought game in conditions hotter than an oven and the only remaining tasks to collect Rizs frozen form from the crease and for Brett to begin his 7 hour drive back home.

Eastcote v Pacific
Toss won by Pacific
Eastcote innings  R  M  B  4  6
 Extras (b 0, lb 0, w 0, nb 0) 0    
 TOTAL (40.0 Overs) 317-4    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Alex Hunte   8  0  31  1  
 Lokesh Asthana   5  0  43  0  
 Saad Rashid   4  1  47  1  
 Brett Custard   7  2  22  0  
 Rowan L-Gordon   4  0  39  0  
 Zahid Ali   3  0  29  0  
 Faisal Alam   3  0  29  0  
 Rizwan Siddiqui   6  0  59  1  
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
Syed Imran†   c    64  0  0  9  0  
Faisal Alam   c    19  0  0  3  0  
Jed Fielder   st    0  0  0  0  0  
Rowan L-Gordon   lbw    2  0  0  0  0  
Rizwan Siddiqui   c    73  0  0  11  0  
Saad Rashid      45  0  0  7  1  
Brett Custard      25  0  0  4  0  
Alex Hunte   not out    4  0  0  0  0  
Zahid Ali   st    4  0  0  0  0  
Lokesh Asthana      0  0  0  0  0  
Murtaza Siddiqui   retired out    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 0, lb 0, w 0, nb 0) 0    
 TOTAL (39.4 Overs) 257-10    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W