A superb unbeaten century from opener Guy Wiehahn saw Pacific successfully chase 253 the highest target ever overhauled by the club. On a superb Queens College, Oxford track the target always looked on once Wiehahn and Adrian Duthie had posted 126 for the first wicket Duthie getting an even 50.
Crossbats 253 for 9 Dec. (Collier 84, Jones 55, Fitch 37, J Davies 3-35, A Roberts 3-58)
Pacific 255-6 (G Wiehahn 128 not out, A Duthie 50, Lawrence 2-38)
The day started in bright sunshine and Crossbats skipper Alistair Wright decided to make first use of the wicket. Crossbats openers survived a few scares in tight opening spells from Marcel Boonaert and Jim Davies before the latter got some reward via a catch from skipper Dave Murray. With Shayne Rees and Mike Alexander continuing to keep the shackles on 50 was only passed in the 20th over. Alexander struck soon after again via the safe hands of Murray.
The introduction of spinners Tim Marshall and Allan Roberts offered a few more scoring opportunities but in due course brought rewards as Roberts bagged three wickets in three overs removing opener Jones stumped by Matt Holliday for 55 after the batsman had earlier survived a confident appeal for a stumping from the same bowler. He then benefited from a fine running catch from a (slimmed down) Adrian Duthie and a spectacular diving catch from Mike Alexander at third man.
Collier continued to prosper and found a willing partner in Fitch as the run rate increased despite an accurate second spell from Boonaert who was unlucky to go wicketless. Murray then crucially recalled Davies, Alexander and then Rees the final 12 overs yielding only 53 runs and a flurry of late wickets as the final run chase never took off. Rees startled the batsmen with his new half-beard and effected a smart run out off his own bowling to leave the unfortunate Collier stranded at the non-strikers end on 84 - and then took a catch off Davies to end the innings.
Wright declared on 253 for 9 after a marathon 57.5 overs the third longest Pacific have spent in the field. Pacific maintained their concentration well a run rate of under 4.4 per over in those conditions being highly creditable. Davies was the pick of the bowlers claiming 3-35 from 12.5 overs.
The Pacific innings began after tea at a steady pace. There were few alarms as Wiehahn and Duthie passed 50 in the 14th over and 100 in the 24th. Wright juggled his bowling resources to try to make the breakthrough but it was something of a surprise when Duthie was bowled for 50 with the score on 126.
All of the middle order then contributed without anyone staying for long enough to give Wiehahn ideal support. Davies (9), Murray (17) and Marshall (10) will be disappointed to have got in and then got out - on such a good track. However each put on reasonable partnerships in good time with Wiehahn as he raced from 50 to 100 in only 30 balls.
The return of Lawrence brought the demise of Peter Czabotar for 5 and then Matt Holliday first ball and suddenly the victory was no longer so sure.
Shayne Rees survived a narrow run out appeal by a beard hair's breadth - thanks to a full length dive - as he and Wiehahn put pressure on the field and the bowlers. The tactic worked - as a succession of wides and some judicious hitting saw Pacific home in the 49th over with 11 balls to spare.
Guy Wiehahns innings of 128 not out was of the highest quality - and precisely what Pacific needed in order to chase such a large total in under 50 overs. He struck 16 fours and faced 138 balls in a marathon 178-minute effort. It was the 8th highest ever for the club and also the third longest in terms of time at the crease as well as being a personal best. It was jugs all round in the bar afterwards!
The Spinners Perspective as per Allan Roberts :
"Thanks but not really. Had a stiff cross-wind & pushed too much down to leg. Got some OK ones - the opener who was stumped had a very very close call stumping shortly before he went & the catches by Adrian & Mike A. were both excellent. ( My last over went for 16!!! just when I thought I was getting into the groove) At least the wickets were of top/middle orderbats."
Allan continues "Good game all round - Guy was excellent & pushed on at just the right time to keep us up with the rate. Funny thing was that I thought we would always get the target even though it was 254 unless they bowled v. well or several of our key bats didn't come off. Even though Jim & Dave failed (relatively : 9 & 17) the opening stand of 126 had already put us well in touch."
Team : Mike Alexander, Marcel Boonaert, Jim Davies, Adrian Duthie, Matt Holliday+, Tim Marshall, David Murray*, Shayne Rees, Allan Roberts, Guy Wiehahn & Peter Czabotar.