Weakened by two absentees – Pacific’s nine-men battled valiantly against Isis and carried the game to the brink of the final over in a low scoring contest. With useful runs from returning veterans Jonathan Campbell and David Murray – and a miserly spell of bowling from Welshman Jim Davies – Pacific were just unable to make up for their missing members as Isis scraped home with 7 balls to spare.
Pacific 137 All Out (David Murray 34, Jonathan Campbell 30)
Isis 138-6 (Wiblin 45, Jim Davies 11-7-24-2, Mike Alexander 10-0-37-2)
With traffic delaying three people and with two men never destined to arrive at all – returning skipper David Murray had little choice but to bat first despite a damp wicket at Queen’s College Oxford. Experienced openers Adrian Duthie and Jonathan Campbell gave Pacific a careful start against some accurate bowling - before Duthie fell for 10 caught and bowled.
Rob Bastin revelled in his promotion up the order and again steady progress was made – until Campbell was bowled for a well-made 30. This prompted a collapse – as Bastin (17) was caught behind aiming an ambitious blow to leg and Jim Davies edged behind for a disappointing 2.
Aussie Peter Czabotar hit back with some trademark blows and skipper Murray showed Pacific what they have been missing this year with some classy shots – but when Murray fell for 34 and Czabotar 15 there was little left to offer from Pacific’s depleted line-up.
John Hill went for 5, Allan Roberts for 7 and finally Mike Alexander – in the company of 12-yearold Isis supported Dale Jacobs – went for 8. All out for 137 – which even allowing for the lack of pace in the pitch and outfield was distinctly disappointing.
However veteran seamer Alexander continued his prolific season with an early breakthrough – thanks to a brilliant one-handed slip catch from Allan Roberts. However seasoned all-rounder Jonathan Campbell failed to impress from the other end and was replaced by his less experienced counterpart Jim Davies.
After a couple of overs where the batsmen took liberties swiping across the line – Davies’ slower off-cutters and away swingers started to pay dividends as he claimed two consecutive wicket maidens – thanks to an lbw decision and a surprisingly agile diving catch off his own bowling. He continued to probe in six consecutive maiden overs without getting another wicket – but with Alexander also economical the run rate required was beginning to creep up.
Skipper Murray called on the experienced spinner Allan Roberts to get a breakthrough – and he did not disappoint – soon snaring a victim in his wily web. However at this point Wiblin came to the crease to play the match winning innings for Isis – taking on Roberts and clubbing some vital boundaries.
Rob Bastin gave the keepers pads to Peter Czabotar as he replaced Roberts – and he too soon had a wicket thanks to a great delivery that beat the batsman all ends up. With Alexander coming back to snare Wiblin for 45 it was too little to late for Pacific as Isis blasted the winning runs.
“We needed one more batsman to perform – as the wicket was easing all through the day.” said skipper Murray later. “The bowlers made a game of it and we fielded well – special credit to Dale for his efforts in the filed – but we never got over being two men short. It cost us the game!” he concluded.
MOM - Rob Bastin - runs, good keeping and a wicket with the ball!
Packing the Kit - Shayne Rees and Leon Yates - for letting the team down and not turning up!
XI: Pete Czabotar, Adrian Duthie, John Hill, Allan Roberts, Mike Alexander, Jonathan Campbell, Rob Bastin, David Murray*, Jim Davies, Dale Jacobs.