Hertford University Students second-six taught an experienced Pacific side a lesson or two in a close fought match for the wooden spoon in their group. With former England captain Mike Gatting leading Enfield to victory in the previous match – the standard of competition proved just too hot for Pacific – who were last year’s beaten semi-finalists.
Skipper Pete “The Wiz” Hollman shrugged off a pain in the neck – and a sore shoulder – to lead the side. Having lost the toss – the old-timer took the first ball – partnered by another indoor stalwart Steve Lay. However after a good first over – both men fell to catches off the netting on either side of the wicket – for 6 and 1 respectively. The usually very reliable veteran openers managed a disappointing total of just 20 runs between them in 6 innings this year.
At 17 for 2 Pacific needed to rebuild – and newcomer Rob “The Apprentice” Bastin and late recruit Jim Davies - demoted to number 4 in a shock move by his skipper – added 27 before Bastin was caught for 6. Welsh left-hander Davies struck two boundaries in his 22 – and his dismissal hit wicket when he stumbled playing an ill-judged hook shot was a surprise.
Adrian Duthie – the previous week’s batting hero – was run out for 7 when he pushed for a run that never looked on and was sent back by Lucius Faisal. However St Lucian Faisal batted very well to see out the innings on his own – finally run out for 16 off the last ball. With a generous helping of wides a competitive total of 85 was set.
With a wicket with the second ball of the innings – a catch for Hollman off Faisal’s bowling – the score was 0 for 1. Indeed the West Indian bowled well through his 3 over spell for only 19 runs. With a second wicket soon taken as an alert Duthie hit direct at the bowlers end for a run out – the Hertford side were in trouble at 9 for 2.
However aggressive running and batting saw their next pair repair the damage – with a few run out chances going begging and a difficult chance for a catch in Davies’ first over going to hand - but ending up going for 4. So it was that both players retired as they reached 25 - and the game was won with an over to spare.
“We gave a decent account of ourselves today but things did not go our way – and in a close indoor game that can make all the difference. Compared to last year – a disappointing end to a very disappointing campaign!” said old pro and skipper Peter Hollman afterwards.
Pacific VI : Hollman*, S Lay+, Bastin, Davies, Duthie, Faisal