Match tied in final-over thriller
Pacific v Royal Sovereign at Wray Crescent  Sat 28 Apr 2018 at 1pm
Friendly fixture

Pacific: 214 in 35 overs

Royal Sovereign: 214 in 35 overs


The build-up

A few early-bird Pacificos we greeted by the opposition's genial team sec Benjamin Blausten who said he had made the mistake of turning up half an hour early for a Sovereign match. As Toby & Co set about trying to gain access to the Tardis in the absence of groundkeeper John who was probably busy celebrating Arsène Wenger's departure, Sovereigns arrived in dribs and drabs and disappeared as quickly as they arrived in search of free parking. If Riz had a pound for every time he directed one of them to Sussex Way he'd be rich man. In the absence of James Soden, missing out due to a job interview, Ben Stockton took charge of erecting the gazebo, which was to prove useful in keeping off some drizzle which would further dampen the already soggy setting.


The Pacific innings

Eventually we started, the match reduced to 35 overs due to the risk of further rain. With the grass of the outfield long and wet, Toby opted for the aerial route, hitting sixes to break the shackles after playing out a couple of maidens against the accurate swing bowling of J Lee. His opening partner Stockton remarked how it was funny that the normally Boycott-esque club captain was playing the lofted shots while he was working the ball nicely around to score freely himself. Chasseaud fell playing a shot too many, his horrible and somewhat uncharacteristic heave across the line leaving his stumps in a mess as he became the first of five (!) Pacific batsmen to be bowled. He was replaced by Tom Ireland, skipper for the day, who carried on his recent good form by hitting crisp drives with a free-flowing bat. The bowler always feels he has a chance against Tom, who shows his full set of stumps but then hits the ball so cleanly that the bowler's hopes are quickly sapped. It was a successful top three, their scores being 49, 50 and 59. But unfortunately the brothers Siddiqui were both cleaned up by the debutant Matt. Tim Garrett was unable to reproduce his heroics of the Windermere match a couple of weeks earlier. At least Sam Howes, armed with his new bat, kept the scoreboard ticking. He hit the last ball of the innings for a glorious shot towards the pavilion. Matt Dempsey, making his debut in the place of Paul Rajkumar who was nursing Tori back to health after a nasty fall from her bike, finished on 1 not out.


The tea

After swearing Gordon Ramsay-style at the already broken table, head chef Stockton took charge of laying out a pretty good spread, including sandwiches, pizza and an impromptu kim chi salad, the latter provided by Matt. We hoped he might pop home and make us a cup of tea to warm us up but, alas, Turlewray Close's newest resident claims to be suffering from a mug shortage. Still, it wasn't a bad meal, and a passing spectator/umpire in the form of social secretary Burnham made the most of it, somewhat apologetically. "It's OK, Ben," Tom reassured him. "You're allowed some because at least you talk to us, unlike some other cricketophiles." Suitably renourished and not quite insulted, Ben stayed a bit longer to soak up the Caribbean atmosphere, or what there was of it on a miserable April day in N4.


Royal Sovereign's innings

Sov came out of the blocks pretty quickly, showing a disgraceful lack of respect to our esteemed club treasurer Shiran Timbadia, who had kept a pretty clean scorebook during the Pacific innings. One hit over long off caused some controversy as it just evaded Riz, who said it was a four. Sov said it was a six and much chuntering ensued. In the end it was called a six. Had Riz not been wearing a blue hoody, the visiting side and umpires might have taken his word for it, but alas his wife had, without his knowledge, donated both of his lovely woollen long-sleeved jumpers to charity. The man mountain was not happy about this at all, but could at least take heart from being backed up in the six/four controversy by his little brother Mutz, so at least one family member was on his side. "It's all right, Buzz, I've got your back," the reluctant wicketkeeper could be heard to say. Little did we know that the six-gate affair would turn out to be a game-changer, perhaps robbing us of victory.

Aroon Korgaonkar didn't get the nicest of welcomes to the party when his third ball was hit for six over the pavilion, but Korgy held his nerve and proceeded to bamboozle the batsmen with his flight and overspin. The Wray-aphobe was unlucky not to pick up a wicket when a full-stretched Garrett, at fine leg, could only get his fingertips to a lofted sweep shot by Nick. Nick was limping and retired hurt, which was handy in disrupting a decent partnership. But still Sovereign were up with the run rate as a few misfields and dropped catches hampered our containment effort. The off-spinners Garrett and Rafiq Ratta bowled well, the latter picking up two wickets for his efforts. The left-armer Dempsey bowled with good pace though he did concede the odd loose delivery and Howes was wishing for a July turning wicket rather than the Wray road as his single over went for 15. Even one of the cold day's few spectators could be seen biting his fingernails, the bottle of beer he was drinking failing to calm his nerves. He looked like he wanted to join the fray, to do something – anything – to help the Pacific cause but, alas, having pulled out earlier in the week to attend that (ultimately successful) job interview, he was stuck on the sidelines.

And so it was left to Riddick to make his mark. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Could Riz be the man to save us? He moved the field around, gesticulated, and bowled that heavy ball of his. The Totteridge Millhillian blasted out three of Sovereign's lower-order batsmen for just eight runs in his final three-over spell, including their number nine and ten with the scores level. What a legend.

Hands were shaken, boundary markers collected and those present were left to reflect on what couldn't have been a closer finish against one of our North East London League oppositions.

Pacific v Royal Sovereign
Toss won by Pacific
Pacific innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  Toby Chasseaud b Lucius  49  0  47  4  3  
  Ben Stockton b Evans  50  0  46  8  0  
  Tom Ireland* c Keeper b Lee  59  0  55  7  1  
  Murtaza Siddiqui† b Matt  5  0  9  1  0  
  Rizwan Siddiqui b Matt  5  0  3  1  0  
  Tim Garrett b Evans  2  0  7  0  0  
  Sam Howes not out  16  0  22  2  0  
  Matt Dempsey not out  1  0  4  0  0  
  Sharan Timbadia did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  Aroon Korgaonkar did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
  Rafiq Ratta did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 13, lb 3, w 5, nb 3) 24    
 TOTAL (35.0 Overs) 214    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling O M R W  
 J Lee 6 2 22 1  
 Nick 3 0 18 0  
 Lucius 7 0 40 1  
 Wayne 3 0 21 0  
 Evans 7 0 42 2  
 Matt 6 0 24 2  
 Ben 3 0 19 0  
Royal Sovereign innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  Evans lbw b Stockton  45  0  0  0  0  
  David† c Siddiqui b Ratta  51  0  0  0  0  
  Nick retired hurt  28  0  0  0  0  
  Lucius c Chasseaud b Ratta  3  0  0  0  0  
  Ian b Siddiqui  0  0  0  0  0  
  Sabri not out  34  0  0  0  0  
  Wayne c Stockton b Dempsey  18  0  0  0  0  
  Ben b Siddiqui  1  0  0  0  0  
  Elroy b Siddiqui  4  0  0  0  0  
  Matt b Siddiqui  0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 7, lb 1, w 10, nb 4) 22    
 TOTAL (35.0 Overs) 214    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling O M R W  
 Ben Stockton 7 0 28 1  
 Sharan Timbadia 4 0 40 0  
 Aroon Korgaonkar 5 0 36 0  
 Tim Garrett 3 0 25 0  
 Rafiq Ratta 4 0 19 2  
 Rizwan Siddiqui 7 1 24 4  
 Matt Dempsey 4 0 26 1  
 Sam Howes 1 0 15 0  

Other matches:
 Sat 24 Aug 2019, Springfield Park,
 Sovereign Authority, Sat 02 Jun 2018, Springfield Park, Lost by 2 wickets