Pacific 98-9 (all out). S Cochrane 33. R Smith 12-5-29-3.
Headstone 99-3 Jamal 51*. Hollman 3.3-0-10-1. Yates 4-0-21-1. Rees 7-1-27-1
"I read it wrong" admitted Pacific captain Nigel Wilkinson after a seven wicket defeat against Southgate based side Headstone at Broxborne yesterday.
Having won the toss, Wilkinson had expected the pitch to deteriorate but it was the ball that deteriorated & so became harder for his bowlers to use effectively & make sufficient inroads as it became softer & older. Having chosen to bat 1st, the left arm seam & swing of opening bowler Roger Smith picked up 3 wickets including Hollman 1st ball plus the 2 key wickets of Leon Yates (13) & top scorer Shaun Cochrane (33). Pacific's miserable batting this season continued with Shayne Rees (19) being the only other batsman to reach double figures. Pacific's batsmen failed to adjust to the variable bounce & movement which later subsided as the ball became older & 8 of them were caught as shots were played too early or misjudged. Added to this 5 dropped catches in the field - all by Isham at cover point - & it could have been even worse. Both Cochrane & Yates having been given lives they built the largest partnership of 31 for the 3rd wicket fro Pacific but 41-2 became 98 all out. A familiar story as telling partnerships failed to emerge.
In reply, Julian Hodge (17) & Jamal (51*) provided exactly the right attitude & approach Headstone would have been looking for as a steady rate of 3 an over was achieved. They thwarted Pacific's early twin challenge of Wilkinson & Alexander & not until Rees was introduced did the 1st chance occur with Jamal edging just short of 1st slip. To his credit Wilkinson opted to use the off spin of Yates as opposed to the high quality keeping of Yates & it was he who made the breakthrough, turning one the other way through Hodge's gate but by then the 2 had made the only 50 partnership. Pacific got a 2nd glimmer of hope when Hollman caught Ford at fine leg trying to hook Rees for another 6 - Ford's 1st ball was hit off Yates over the long on boundary. Wilkinson continued to try new bowlers & one which Hollman clean bowled Shipley, while Jon Brown bowled his best spell of the season beating the bat before Headstone edged their way home with still 10 minutes to go before the final hour.
Wilkinson remained philosophical & added to his post match admission that he was very pleased with the fielding in particular Joe Bennett & Matt Holliday's keeping (only 2 byes) & the discipline of the bowlers. "It would have needed a real crackerjack spell from someone to defend that total but frankly that was a pitiful batting display & more discipline & determination will be required if Washington are to be given an even game in the form they're in." If the pitch & conditions are similar at least Nigel will be clearer on what to do if he wins the toss next week.
XI:- Mike Alexander, Peter Hollman, Shayne Rees, Nigel Wilkinson*, Jon Brown, Joe Bennett, Leon Yates, Shaun Cochrane, Martin Cowling (absent), Mat Holliday & Steve Lay.