Lessa 139-8.Newton 33. Mullin 8-1-23-4
Pacific 121-4. D Murray 51*. Clarke 10-6-16-1
Pacific gave a battling account of themselves in trying circumstances, both on and off the pitch.
Having just returned from his honeymoon, new club skip Dave Murray promptly lost the toss as well as three of his players. Old pros Joe Bennett and Jon Brown, along with Tom Brown, demonstrated experience is not always beneficial when they went to the old Lessa ground in Raynes Park. Lessa have not played there for 10 years.
Lessa elected to bat, lending Pacific two fielders, though that meant the away team only had 10 fielders for the entire innings. Opening bowlers Faisal and Wilkinson kept it tight. The scoring was slow but eventually Wilkinson made the breakthrough. However it was the surprise bowling package of Stuart Mullins (?-4) and Guy Wiehahn (?-2) who kept the game tight picking up regular wickets. Mullins consistently swung the ball, though had trouble with the umpire's interpretation of a wide. Wiehahns dobbers proved effectively difficult to get away on the slow pitch. Sammy Purcell (?) picked up the last wicket bowling impressively at the death. Lessa accelerated slowly, but ended with a challenging total of 139 given the pitch and a well grassed outfield.
Pacific's chase started badly with Faisal lbw early on. Murray joined Wiehahn at the crease, his return giving the club another option in the up for grabs number three slot. Both batted patiently against a very accurate attack with the pitch beginning to offer variable bounce. Such was the slowness of the outfield both were forced to run more than usual, eventually resulting in Wiehahn pulling his hamstring. A runner was called for but soon after the one legged Wiehahn sacrificed his wicket to try and up the pace.
Murray managed to keep pushing the runs but did not have the power to score quickly given the conditions. Wickets fell at the other end as Pacific accelerated, but could not keep up with the required run rate, though never looking in danger of losing. Lessa only used four bowlers and seemed content to restrict the scoring rather than take wickets so if there was to be a winner, it was Pacific. However, the overs ran out and despite some last minute lusty blows from new comer Mullins, Pacific fell short.
New skip Murray said, "Its tough being not out at the end and we did not win as I generally would back myself to get the runs - its was hard going but given it took a long time to get in on the pitch it made sense for Guy and I to try and see it out. Once Guy was injured, we needed a big hitter, but it didn't come off.
The pitch and slow outfield made the score look lower than it felt. There were lots of twos & threes which would normally have been four.
However, I was pleased with our bowling and fielding and its was good team performance with some excellent performances from all the bowlers, especially Stu. With the the three late comers being asked by the opposition to bat last in the order, we effectively managed a competitive draw with 8 players."
Man of The Match: Stuart Mullins for his swing bowling and batting.
Packing the Kit and Checking Directions: Joe Bennett for going to the wrong ground, and taking two of the team with him
XI:- Rob Bastin, David Murray*, Nigel Wilkinson, Stuart Mullin, Sammy Purcell, Lucius Faisal, Matt Holliday, Jon Brown, Joe Bennett Tom Brown & Guy Wiehahn .