Steve Lay's the Ghost!
Pacific v Flying Wickets at Wray Crescent  Sat 20-Sep-2003 at 1pm
Won by 9 Wickets

Skipper Steve Lay rolled back the years as he blasted his first Pacific fifty in over three seasons as the home side cruised past their target with 9 wickets in hand. Penetrative bowling from Aussie Martin Cowling - who claimed three wickets for 29 from 13 hostile overs - helped keep the pressure on the visitors - who were indebted to some impressive late hitting from Jim Brodie (59*) to set a challenging total.

However Lay led from the front - firstly with Shayne Rees - the South African recording his highest ever Pacific score of 42 (and forgetting to buy a jug!). Lay carried on the good work with Jim Davies as both men struck unbeaten fifties to seal the win.

Flying Wickets 196 for 6 dec. (Jim Brodie 59*, Fitter 39, Carne 36, Martin Cowling 13-5-29-3)

Pacific 198 for 1 (Jim Davies 73*, Steve Lay 62*, Shayne Rees 42)

With various players either late or forgetting kit - a slightly disorganised Pacific were asked to field by their visitors on another glorious late summer's day. However there was nothing vague about Jim Davies’s flying catch at cover to remove Pearce when the batsman had driven a Mike Alexander full toss that looked destined for the boundary. If the batsman was stunned – that was nothing on the reaction from the Welshman’s astonished teammates!

Cowling then took over – bowling fast and not afraid to drop the odd ball in short to keep the batsmen honest – he bowled Moore with a beauty and then removed dangerman Mohinda Ranatunga with a short ball that fell onto the stumps from the batsman’s body. At 36 for 3 Flying Wickets were in a bit of disarray.

However Carne (36) and Fitter (39) batted sensibly – taking advantage of anything lose to cash in but otherwise making sure no more wickets fell as they added 65 before John Brown trapped Carne in front with a full ball.

Jim Brodie made his intentions clear from the outset. He lost Fitter to a Mike Alexander catch at long-on – the veteran seamer taking the catch off veteran spinner Allan Roberts’ bowling. However Brown offered him stout support until the recalled Cowling had him caught behind by the impressive Rob Bastin – as the ball struck the glove as he fended a bouncer away.

Brodie continued to plunder runs – taking full advantage of the short boundaries and lightening quick outfield – remaining unbeaten on 59 as the Wickets declared on 196 for 6 from 45 overs.

Without any regular openers – skipper Lay took on the job himself – along with South African left-hander Shayne Rees. Both men looked comfortable from the start – putting anything loose away to the ropes. Rees smashed 16 from one over and nine boundaries in all- and it was a surprise when on 42 he played back and across to a straight full ball and was bowled - within sight of his first ever Pacific fifty.

With 69 on the board – Jim Davies replaced his fellow left-hander – and he too was soon in full flow. Jones persisted from one end throughout the innings – and after an expensive start – settled into a rhythm that kept the batsmen on their toes. However he lacked consistent support from the other end – as most of the change bowlers went for around 10 an over.

Lay was aware that his first fifty in three years was approaching and very nearly perished to Jones as a ball shaved the stumps just before he reached the milestone – and he was kept in check by some excellent work at mid-off from Matt Patel – on fielding as a sub – and working like a man possessed! However there was a sense of relief as Lay brought up his fifty with a glorious cover driven boundary.

Davies had already passed that mark – and went on to reach an unbeaten 73 – remarkably 62 of those runs coming in boundaries for the lazy Welshman. Skipper Lay fittingly finished the match with a boundary off Jones – ending 62 not out – and the partnership on 129 – with the target reached off only 31.3 overs.

“I’m delighted to have to buy a jug at last!” said skipper Lay later as a flock of very old moths flew out of his wallet.

Meanwhile FW Captain & opening bat Jeremy Moore said "We certainly enjoyed the batting side of things. As predicted, we didn't have much bowling (apart from Martin Jones) so it ended up less of a match than we'd have liked. Still, a beautiful day to end our season. Thanks."

MOM – Steve Lay – a long awaited fifty for the skipper.

Packing the Kit – Matt Patel – for fielding much better for the opposition than he did for Pacific!

XI : Allan Roberts, Rob Bastin+, Jon Brown, Joe Bennett, Mike Alexander, Jim Davies, Matt Patel, Shayne Rees, Martin Cowling, Steve Lay*.

Flying Wickets v Pacific
Flying Wickets innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  Moore b  12  0  0  0  0  
  Pearce c Davies b Alexander  4  0  0  0  0  
  Ranatunga b  13  0  0  0  0  
  Carnie lbw b Brown  36  0  0  0  0  
  Fitter c Alexander b Roberts  39  0  0  0  0  
  Brodie not out  59  0  0  0  0  
  Brown c Bastin b  17  0  0  0  0  
  Stone not out  0  0  0  0  0  
  Jones did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 1, lb 8, w 4, nb 2) 15    
 TOTAL (45.0 Overs) 196 for 6 dec.    
 Fall of wickets:  1-15 [Pearce] , 2-35 [Moore] , 3-36 [Ranatunga] , 4-101 [Carnie] , 5-139 [Fitter] , 6-174 [Brown]
Bowling O M R W  
  13 5 29 3  
 Mike Alexander 12 1 41 1  
 Allan Roberts 10 1 54 1  
 Jon Brown 7 1 43 1  
 Jim Davies 3 0 21 0  
Pacific innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  Steve Lay not out  62  114  93  10  0  
  Shayne Rees b Pearce  42  37  34  9  0  
  Jim Davies not out  73  82  64  14  1  
  did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  Rob Bastin did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  Mat Patel did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  Jon Brown did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  Allan Roberts did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  Mike Alexander did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 7, lb 2, w 9, nb 3) 21    
 TOTAL (31.3 Overs) 198 for 1    
 Fall of wickets:  1-69 [Rees]
Bowling O M R W  
 Pearce 8 0 40 1  
 Jones 15.3 2 71 0  
 Brown 4 0 38 0  
 Stone 2 0 22 0  
 Carnie 2 0 18 0  

Other matches:
 Sat 18-Sep-2004, Wray Crescent, Cancelled
 Wickets Reduced to Ashes by Openers, Sat 21-Sep-2002, Wray Crescent, Won by 6 Wickets
 Honours even as Pacific salvage draw, Sat 22-Sep-2001, Wray Crescent, Drawn
 Sat 23-Sep-2000, Wray Crescent, Lost by 2 wkts
 Sat 19-Sep-1998, Wray Crescent, Won by 8 wkts