Miles Picknett starred with a classy unbeaten 81 as Pacific’s up-and-down season continued with a good win over the Oxford University Club side. Ably supported by a belligerent 41 from Craig Jones – Picknett ensured that the target of 196 was always comfortably in sight.
Oxford University Club 196 for 5 from 40 Overs (Williams 66, Benson 39*, O Haill 7-1-24-2, D Roberts 8-4-14-0)
Pacific 197 for 4 from 37.3 Overs (M Picknett 81*, C Jones 41, Booth 8-0-42-4)
OUCC batted first in a 40 over contest and suffered an early loss as Ollie Haill comprehensively bowled opener Rao for 10. Haill and veteran seamer Darryl Roberts both tested the batsmen in impressive opening spells – but there was to be no further success for them. However the perspiring Roberts can consider himself desperately unlucky as he beat the bat with regularity and had a number of half-chances not quite go to hand. However he can be proud of conceding only 14 runs from his 8 over spell – half of which were maidens.
Aussie newcomer Martin Cowling continued the good work from one end – but Rob Bastin was plundered for a few boundaries as Williams (66) and Swartz (11) rode their luck in between some sweetly timed shots from the former. Swartz’ good fortune eventually ended as he played on to Cowling.
Williams eventually perished to the leg spin of burly Aussie Tim Marshall – while a much-improved Bastin returned from the other end to claim a wicket via the safe hands of Miles Picknett at gully. With Haill grabbing a further scalp thanks to impressive debutant keeper Ed Blake – it was left to Benson to smash a flurry of sixes to bring the home team’s score close to the 200 mark they had been hoping for – the all-rounder finishing on an unbeaten 39 as the score reached 196.
The Pacific innings suffered the early losses of Matt Holliday (6) – leg before in the second over – and Marshall (9) – unluckily bowled off his pad. Miles Picknett and Peter Czabotar kept the run rate up in a stand of 30 – before Czabotar was done for length to bring Booth his third wicket with the score on 64.
Craig Jones joined the imperious Picknett and continued to fire off a string of boundaries – before enjoying a fortunate reprieve when clean bowled by a no ball! Putting his sticky start to the season behind him – Jones took full advantage of his extra life – greeting Williams’ leg spin with a massive six and then an equally crisp four.
Picknett meanwhile looked in control throughout – putting any bad balls away to the boundary and otherwise keeping the score ticking over with well-placed strokes.
Having just added 101 for the fourth wicket – Jones was caught behind off the returning Booth – bringing newcomer Blake to the crease.
Inspired by Picknett smashing an effortless straight six – Blake (12*) clubbed a huge six onto the adjoining road and followed it up with another boundary to bring a quick end to proceedings. Picknett remained unbeaten for a classy 81.
“I’m delighted that the team remains unbeaten under my leadership!” enthused stand-in skipper Paul Attwood afterwards. “The bowlers almost did too much with the ball to get wickets – but kept the runs down – and Miles never looked like getting out in the chase – real class batting. Top marks to Craig as well on his return to form.” he added.
XI - P Attwood*, R Bastin, M Holliday, P Czabotar, E Blake, O Haill, C Jones, T Marshall+, M Picknett, D Roberts, M Cowling