An experienced coltless North Middlesex side arrived at Wray promptly, won the toss and inserted. Despite the gloomiest forecast there was only a brief shower which did not interrupt play.
Played under 1987 League rules, the absence of bowling restrictions fully suited NM’s lack of bowling depth as IVs captain Brett Booth bowled 13 overs unchanged, his wickets accounting for two key batsmen Tom Ireland and captain Steve Richards both LBW beaten by full length balls and a stunning catch by MotM Tim Allen at first slip to dismiss opener Luke Hollman.
Leg spinner Aamir Anjum showed control and consistency while claiming four wickets and Oliver Creese’s very useful debut came to an end only eight runs short of his 50 when he was caught on the deepmidwicket boundary by Patrick Burgoine, stopping what would otherwise been a flat six. Ravi Patel chipped in with tail-end runs but partnerships were at a premium and the innings closed when he was caught on the long-on boundary by Richard Nichol.
Well done to all for an excellent tea - Pacific still impress off the field.
With NM needing their total of 146 from 52 overs, the common belief was that only the weather would stymie their surge towards their target. Opening bowlers leggie Yatin Munnsad and seamer Ravi Patel striving for consistency bowled some useful deliveries but opening bat Tim Allen cashed in on what was loose. S Krishnan looking to join in on the run flow mistimed his shot & was well caught by Rohan Khurd at mid off. A 2 that may have been, left Steve Edwards shor of his ground thanks to a fine throw from Oliver Creese & gather from Fred Janaway but NM surely had too many sound batters to pad up & overs in hand. Ahmed Hussain with more leg spin from the playground end brought more control but Patrick Bourgoigne pulled anything short to the boundary as Firoz Husain & Rohan Khurd also found bowling their seam up the hill from the Tollington end.
More chances came & went not least to the third leg spinner Luke Hollman who was the most economical of all but it was too late for an upset & as Tim Allen hit Tom Ireland into the practice net for four the game was ended with 24 overs remaining. Having survived two dropped catches and two stumping chances, Tim Allen’s innings was clearly the difference, his 77 not out coming from 81 balls in 69 minutes.
For Pacific another opposition where the honour has been lost & more galling, Wray Crescent is no longer the fortress of old. There’s plenty of room for improvement – the bowlers need to find consistency and the fielders need practice especially with skyers and with under par totals to defend paramount if the results are going to change.
On the plus side Steve Richards captained well and Oliver Creese had an excellent debut with bat and in the field.
Scorer: Chris Clayton
Umpire: Peter Hollman