Bussey time
Pacific v Bussey at Greenwich Park  Sat 06 May 2017 at 12:30pm
Lost by 48 runs
Friendly fixture

A typically spirited Bussey XI won their first match against Pacific at the third attempt at the picturesque Greenwich park playing fields on Saturday afternoon.

Electing to bat after the winning the toss, the home side reached a better than par 202 off their 40 overs on a deceptively tricky pitch, predominantly thanks to the enterprising, hard hitting opportunism of Guy Robertson (65). He rode his luck as Pacific spurned a number of presentable catching opportunities to post the decisive Bussey innings of the day, and was aided by a late flourish from Coombes (40) and Groves (25 no)

Nonetheless, Pacific’s unfamiliar attack performed creditably. Giaco Bridgett returned to show us his finest Anglo Italian leg cutters still very much remain in the music man’s skillset. He bowled a peach, a jaffa, to nick the off bail of noted carrot photographer and opener for the day Tim Smyth. His strong and stable cocked wrist position in delivery helped him move the ball away from the right hander, both in the air and off the pitch, with regularity.

George Moses continued his emergence as seamer. He generated pace and bounce, and took a stunning return catch off Coombes to claim his first scalp for the club.

The Return of the Ralph
Almost exactly a year ago, Matthew Ralph returned to the PCC after a 12-year interlude for a long overdue reconnection with his UK cricketing roots. One year on and Mr Ralph was back in Pacific colours, sporting the green Pacific cap of the early noughties which connected Pacific past and present in time. It seemed appropriate we should meet just a few hundred yards from the Prime Meridian Line at the Greenwich Observatory.

We should also mention that Matthew had travelled across several time zones to be with us at 12:30 GMT on Saturday. Arriving into London on Friday morning, he eschewed sleep to caddy 18 holes of golf, enjoy a curry and to delight in the nubile pleasures of some dear young things at a choice London club into the small hours.

By Saturday morning he was fresh as a daisy and ready to take on his duties as first change seamer. After a loosener of a first over he settled into a top eight over spell; his stump to stump line maximised the most of the unpredictability of the pitch and rewarded him with three wickets (Bussey’s number 3, 4 and 5).

Delighted that Raf could savour a three wicket hall and his best figures ever for Pacific after taking a knock to the head by a ball slashed to gully by the attacking Robertson. Courageous stuff. Sam Howes took a wicket with a top delivery and supreme glove skills from Mutz Siddiqui, while James Soden showed further promise with the ball and great effort in what was a sizeable outfield.

We enjoyed a quality tea, the highlights of which were homemade pork pie in brown paper and banana and cardamom cake.

Openers Aly Duncan and James Collis made a good start to pacific’s run chase. After his season’s high knock on Bank Holiday Monday, Aly (19) looked assured, particularly off his legs, and both acquitted themselves well against an improved Bussey attack. Roberts, for instance, while feeding us pie at tea, gave us no such deliveries in his spell. Jay Lakhani (12), who’d covered what seemed like every blade of the greenwich park outfield earlier in the piece, made the conditions look benign in his best knock in a fledgling Pacific career. His dismissal brought Moses to join Mullens at the crease. A 90-run partnership of fierce hitting from George (61) and a more K dogged innings from an under the weather Kieran (26) turned the tide, leaving us requiring a gettable 80 or 90 from the last 10 But after George departed, Pacific were unnerved by the pressure rather than emboldened by the thrill of the chase and rather crumbled, losing their last six wickets for not very many.

In spite of the disappointment, Pacific would later enjoy socialising with our opposition in a choice Blackheath public house. The irrepressible Matthew Ralph, a force of nature, galvanised the crew and kept the celebrations going long into the night once again.

He writes of his return: “A belated thanks also for being the Pacific that I fell in love with many years ago . . Welcoming, inclusive, competitive but fun.”

Win or lose - this is what really matters.


Bussey v Pacific
Toss won by Bussey
Bussey innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  Smyth b Bridgett  1  0  0  0  0  
  Learner st Siddiqui b Howes  23  0  0  0  0  
  Robertson c Howes b Ralph  65  0  0  0  0  
  Saunderson b Ralph  2  0  0  0  0  
  Crawford b Ralph  6  0  0  0  0  
  Halliwell lbw b Ratta  2  0  0  0  0  
  Coombes c & b Moses  40  0  0  0  0  
  Groves not out  25  0  0  0  0  
  Roberts lbw b Ratta  1  0  0  0  0  
  Tyler b Ratta  4  0  0  0  0  
  Fostiropoulos not out  4  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 0, lb 0, w 0, nb 0) 0    
 TOTAL (40.0 Overs) 202    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling O M R W  
 Giaco Bridgett 8 3 21 1  
 George Moses 8 0 34 1  
 Sam Howes 4 0 41 1  
 Matt Ralph 8 0 31 3  
 James Soden 4 0 22 0  
 Rafiq Ratta 8 0 42 3  
Pacific innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  Aly Duncan b Coombes  19  0  0  1  0  
  James Collis lbw b Roberts  3  0  0  0  0  
  Jay Lakhani c & b Halliwell  12  0  0  2  0  
  Kieran Mullens* c & b Groves  26  0  0  3  0  
  George Moses c Deep mid off b Coombes  61  0  0  9  0  
  Murtaza Siddiqui† c & b Groves  5  0  0  1  0  
  Sam Howes b Coombed  0  0  0  0  0  
  Matt Ralph c Saunderson b Coombes  0  0  0  0  0  
  James Soden not out  0  0  0  0  0  
  Giaco Bridgett c Saunderson b Groves  0  0  0  0  0  
  Rafiq Ratta c ? b Coombes  4  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 4, lb 3, w 12, nb 1) 20    
 TOTAL (36.0 Overs) 156    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling O M R W  

Other matches:
 Sun 21 Oct 2018, Wray Crescent, Cancelled
 Nav's bat and ball heroics seal victory, Sat 24 Sep 2016, Greenwich Park, Won by 37 runs
 Stockton tees off for maiden ton as Pacific cruise to win, Sun 22 May 2016, Wray Crescent, Won 110 runs
 Room on the Bus, Sat 31 May 2014, Wray Crescent, Cancelled