Early declaration leaves Pacific stumped by weather forecast
Pacific v Chigwell at The Paddock
Fri 14 Aug 2020 at 12:30pm
Lost by 4 wickets
Friendly fixture

Pacific faced Chigwell away in a Friday friendly after a week of chaotic weather, with most forecasts certain rain was coming and we’d struggle to play past 5pm at best. With that in mind Mutz chose to be proactive and bat first, give Chigwell something to chase and hopefully skittle them before the heavens opened.

The two Tom’s Williams and Gane opened for Pacific on a green pitch that could be mostly described as sodden. Williams faced a first over that most openers dread. One big away swinger, one that popped from back of a length to shoulder height and then a yorker that clipped off stump. Sometimes it’s just not your day.

This brought Toby to the crease, who batted out a few careful overs with Tom G, before Tom fell for 9 in a very village way. A ball a foot outside leg stuck on the pitch, back of the bat and straight to first slip who stuck a hand out.

Riz came in at three and after a few watchful overs began a counter attack which included a few booming drives over cover for four as he made a pacey 26 off 23 balls. Eventually the pitch had a ball for him too though as one kicked off a length, brushed the glove and went sharply to slip who took a really solid, low one handed grab.

This brought the in-form John Deihgan out to join Toby, who had started to quietly and solidly accumulate. John was coming off back to back weekend fifties and after surviving a few early chances settled in nicely.

Toby passed fifty and began to open up, increasing the run rate and finding the boundary regularly on a very soggy outfield. The plan had always been to try to score quickly enough to have a shot at bowling the oppo out before the predicted deluge (most apps suggested a 90% chance of rain from 5pm). We passed 150 and captain Mutz set a time of 2:50 for the declaration. Toby and John continued to increase the run rate, punishing bad balls and watching the good on a pitch that still held a few demons.

Toby reached the 80’s as the 2:50 deadline approached and was on 85 as the last over before the decided time started. Talk on the sidelines moved on to how acceptable it would have been to declare with Pacific’s new record run scoring in touching distance of another ton, but we needn’t have worried. Three lovely strikes for four and a quick run three brought up Toby’s hundred and Mutz called the boys in after a fantastic partnership with Toby 100* and John 39*. There had been a brainstorm about the best way to make the declaration, but sadly Mutz didn’t lean out of the bathroom window or climb onto the roof. Next time.

After a quick turn around Chigwell came out to bat with openers Balakumar and Allum. Balakumar, a new face for Chigwell and unknown from previous contests, had already proven himself to be a suspciously excellent fielder and soon showed he was equally adept with the bat. After a very tight opening over McGinnigle, Balakumar started throwing the bat at Forrest from the other end, finding the boundary regularly.

Pacific’s seamers failed to find the assistance in the pitch that Chigwell’s did as Tom Gane replaced Hugo after three overs and was also dispatched frequently by Balakumar who seized upon any loose deliveries. McGinnigle continued from the other end and bowled a fantastic 10 over spell. Constantly troubling both batsmen with excellent control and movement, but went criminally under-rewarded for his efforts.

Ahmed Hussain took over from Gane and immediately changed the game. Allum (26) fell to a ball that turned, caught the edge and went to Riz at slip who took a good catch. Number three Johnny lasted 7 balls before being tempted down the track to one that gripped and clipped the top of off stump (chef’s kiss). McTaggart then swept straight to Toby behind square (who Riz had placed there a few balls earlier, prompting a throwing of his cap and a deserved declaration of “god damn, I know my cricket”). Gane then replaced McGinnigle for a second spell and in his first over took the wicket James had earned as number five Dan L played on for a duck. From 92-0 Chigwell were 117-4 and Pacific were rejuvenated.


Hussain continued to bowl excellently, finding turn, bounce and deceiving regularly with his googly. Chigwell opted to rest all their hopes on Balakumar, with the remaining batsmen choosing to block out and let him get the runs. Riz joined Hussain and took two good wickets as Pacific’s spinners did well to keep Balakumar off strike and attack the other batsmen. A few chances fell agonisingly close as Pacific crowded the bat with two slips, a gully, leg slip, two men on the drive and Rob Dinsey gamely donning batting pads to go in at short leg.

Sadly Pacific couldn’t find the breakthrough to further expose the tail as Balakumar brought up an excellent hundred (ending 111* off 81) and took Chigwell home with number eight Orange. The promised rain never materialised and perhaps Pacific could have batted for a while longer, but we weren’t to know and the consensus was this was the right way to play cricket and far more entertaining than batting out a draw. How often will we have 7 catchers crowded around the bat at our level as we chase an improbable win in fading light? Excellent declaration. Proper fun cricket.


Stats Corner


John Deighan has already passed his 2019 total runs (176 in 15 innings) and now has 186 in 4 innings for 2020.


Toby's ton was his 22nd for Pacific.


The excellent Balakumar scored almost exactly two thirds of Chigwell's runs off the bat (111 out of 164).

Pacific v Chigwell
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
Tom Williams   b Hutchinson   0  0  4  0  0  
Tom Gane   c R Allum b McTaggart   9  0  16  1  0  
Toby Chasseaud   not out    100  0  97  10  0  
Rizwan Siddiqui   c Drabnell b R Allum   26  0  23  5  0  
John Deighan   not out    39  0  49  4  0  
Jasbir Basi   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Rob Dinsey   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Murtaza Siddiqui*†   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
James McGinnigle   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Hugo Forrest   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Ahmed Hussain   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 5, lb 1, w 6, nb 0) 12    
 TOTAL (34.4 Overs) 187-3d    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Hutchinson   9  1  33  1  
 McTaggart   6  0  28  1  
 R Allum   3  0  20  1  
 Charlton   6  0  33  0  
 Orange   8  0  42  0  
 N Allum   2.4  0  25  0  
Chigwell innings  R  M  B  4  6
Visakan Balakumar   not out    111  0  81  11  3  
R Allum   c Siddiqui b Hussain   26  0  44  4  0  
Johnny   b Hussain   3  0  7  0  0  
R McTaggart   c Chasseaud b Hussain   8  0  20  1  0  
Dan L   b Gane   0  0  2  0  0  
S Drabnell   b Siddiqui   10  0  20  0  0  
N Allum   b Siddiqui   0  0  8  0  0  
R Orange   not out    6  0  11  0  0  
M Hutchinson   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
R Charlton   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
B Evans   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 6, lb 0, w 6, nb 12) 24    
 TOTAL (35.5 Overs) 188-6    
 Fall of wickets:  1-92 [R Allum] , 2-98 [Johnny] , 3-117 [Ross] , 4-117 [Dan L] , 5-168 [Drabnell] , 6-171 [N Allum]
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 James McGinnigle   10  1  32  0  
 Hugo Forrest   3  0  45  0  
 Tom Gane   6  0  68  1  
 Ahmed Hussain   11.5  0  42  3  
 Rizwan Siddiqui   5  0  9  2  

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