A massive opening stand from Steve and Kieran secured Pacific's first win at Fulmer in ten years, although the opposition's lack of players took the gloss off a 9-wicket thrashing somewhat.
Like children on a school trip, nine excitable Pacificists gathered at Marelybone station, ready for their annual trip to sunny Buckinghamshire. Rajesh, the class dunce, missed the train but once Alan had picked him up from the station, we had 11. Unfortunately the opposition had only scraped together 5 or 6 players as the captains went out to toss up on a very green wicket.
After an early wicket from Giaco and a cautious start against the ever-economical Jon Brown, Fulmer's Nigel Field got his eye in and started to ping the ball around. Ben rotated the bowlers as Nigel compiled a well composed century, with Raj, Toby and Alan bowling tidily and Ireland and Andy Birley less so. Pacific remained energetic and lively in the field to the end with Andy Birley and Jon Brown taking great catches in the deep. After 40 overs Fulmer had only lost 4 wickets but had been kept down to a gettable 193.
Tea was spectacular - fresh handmade sandwiches, fruit, and a blazing row involving a local filmmaker and players, whom she wanted to film. The details of her planned documentary remain sketchy but let's just say that if she played cricket her action would probably be far-right arm over.
It quickly became clear that Fulmer's six men/children were not going to be able to provide much opposition in the field, with Steve Richards dumping the first ball of Pacific's innings into a huge gap for a one bounce four. He and Kieran batted cleverly against some part-time/ pre-pubescent bowling, Kieran essaying sometime elegant sometime meaty drives through his favoured offside region. They exploited gaps in the field, which were periodically plugged by Pacific volunteers.
A Mr Miyagi-like Steve soon reached fifty and talked the young Kieran-san through his innings until he too reached 50 - his first half century in any form of cricket (even including garden cricket and fantasy games played out in his head, where he often falls for 30-odd). Kieran was finally caught driving by Pacific's Andy Birley to end a whopping 180 opening partnership. Steve went on to make a typically classy 100 not out just before Pacific reached the target of 196 for the loss of just one wicket.
Beers and burgers were consumed in the nearby Black Horse before the victorious 11 worked their way back to civilisation via taxi, train, tube, Baker Street ale-houses and nightbuses.
*** It's going to take me a while to decipher Fulmer's scoring so be patient ***