The local derby against Washington ended as a very one-sided draw – with Washington well on top. A pathetic batting collapse by Pacific – going from
52 without loss to 57 for 8 - left them clinging on for a draw over the last
Washington 197-7 dec Brown 64*, Demitri 37, Moffatt 29, Rees 2-5,
Pacific 69-9 Picknett 29, Evans 5-14, Minion 2-38
However the game will sadly not be remembered for the fine performances of
Steve Brown with the bat and Gary Evans with ball – ably supported by an all
round team effort that almost brought victory. Instead it will be
remembered for two controversial umpiring decisions – and the outrageous
conduct of home skipper Dave Walker towards the end of the Pacific innings.
After a steady start of 41 for the first wicket, Washington’s innings was
rebuilding after the loss of 3 wickets – including Pete Demitri for a
typically well-crafted 37. Shortly after coming to the wicket – Alan
Moffatt appeared to be run out by Craig Jones’ return to the bowlers’ end –
only for the umpire to give him the benefit of the doubt. Moffatt made the
most of this close call – putting on 59 with Steve Brown - despite a painful
With Brown gaining in confidence – and given a life when badly dropped by
Jim Davies at slip – Washington went on to post a commanding total of 195-7
in 45 overs and in a touch over 3 hours. Shayne Rees – having arrived over
an hour late having gone to the wrong ground – took 2 late wickets – while
Matt Ralph was the pick of the attack and deserved better than his figures
The Pacific innings started cautiously in the face of some very accurate
bowling from stalwart Richard Minion and newcomer Kennedy – who conceded
only 2 runs in his 6 overs. Guy Wiehann (20) and Mile Picknett (29) took
the score onto 52 with 20 overs to come – leaving the match interestingly
poised. When both openers fell in successive overs – Jim Davies stood and
watched from the other end as 5 successive Pacific batsmen were dismissed
The bowlers put the ball in the right areas and largely saw the batsmen self
destruct – none more so than when Shayne Rees was deceived by a slow long
hop and was bowled missing a wild pull shot. Credit must also go to Demitri
for a stunning diving slip catch to dismiss Craig Jones.
Davies himself was then bowled off his pads playing feebly half forward –
leaving the two Matts – Holiday and Ralph at the crease. They showed
admirable concentration and resolve and survived largely without alarm until
the return of Minion and the introduction of Demitri’s leg spin.
With three overs to go it seemed Pacific would limp to the draw – when a
wide Demitri leg-break brought a wild swipe at the ball from Holiday. The
Washington fielders went up for a catch behind – the batsman stood firm –
and the umpire ruled not out. The fielders looked stunned and heated words
were directed at the batsman – loud enough to be heard on the sidelines.
The ball was thrown away – and for a moment it was not clear that the game
was going to continue.
Continue it did – but by now the chat and movement of close fielders as the
bowler was bowling became even more noticeable. When Ralph was bowled in
the penultimate over by Minion’s final ball – the departing batsman had the
good grace to compliment the bowler on delivering a good ball.
Contrastingly - as he left the pitch – he found himself being shouted at by
Washington skipper Dave Walker – use of the “F” word ringing clearly up to
the spectators in the pavilion.
A resolute Mike Alexander came to the wicket – the last over was
successfully negotiated – and a draw secured by Pacific. It was the first
time the batting has failed this year – and it did so in a spectacularly
self-destructive way. Well done to the guys who held it together towards
the end in difficult circumstances.
Walker was unrepentant about his behaviour after the game – clearly
suggesting that Pacific had cheated. It is a sad way for a man - who is old
enough to know better - to behave. Close decisions don’t always go your
way – Pacific have had half a dozen or so go the other way against
Washington over the past few years – including today’s run out – but you
just have to get on with it.
“It’s a shame the game descended into such bitterness” said Pacific
vice-captain Jim Davies afterwards. “I feel embarrassed on behalf of most
of the Washington guys for the way one or two of them behaved”.
“Dave Walker behaved like a primary school kid – you’d expect a grown man to
have more self-discipline – and a captain to lead by example. I expect he’s
regretting it now – and I hope when we play them again in September we can
get back to the competitive but friendly games that we have enjoyed over the
past couple of years. Roll on the return fixture!” Davies concluded.