Pacific valiantly fall short in search of history against Graces
Pacific v Graces at Broxbourne Sports Club
Sun 09 Jul 2023 at 1pm
Lost 7 wickets
Friendly fixture

Elite athletes dressed all in white, a sense of tradition and decorum, and many shouts of “new balls please”. It wasn’t Wimbledon, but Broxbourne Sports Club Pitch 2 (we couldn’t use pitch 1 because rather chasteningly it was being used by more talented twelve year olds). 

Pacific won the toss and chose to bat, half a tactical decision and half a ‘not everyone is here yet’ decision. Simon miscued one to mid off early doors, but Pacific Started well with Amandeep and skipper Mohan building a strong second wicket partnership. One square of the wicket boundary was a massive hedge and one was a canal, and Mohan set one of the day’s main themes of splashed balls and searching the undergrowth in motion by peppering both. The boys put on 99 together before Amandeep fell LBW and Mohan holed out at long on for a great 92. 

Despite the great platform that had been set, the Pacific middle order faltered as lots of batters played themselves in before falling cheaply. Eventually Mutz and debutant Kaustubh steadied the ship and put on an unbeaten 55 for the 7th wicket to take Pacific to 225 off 40 overs.

After lunch we set about warming up for the second innings with what Simon dubbed “the worst fielding drill I’ve ever seen”. Sadly this proved to be incredibly prophetic. 

Nostradamus Wedlock and Tom took the new rock (the word rock is appropriate as it was one of those horribly hard, dark and rock-like NECL balls because Zee had accidentally/generously given the oppo our nice new ball that actually swung) and within four overs we’d dropped both of their openers. This introduced the days other two main motifs, dropped catches and the spirit of cricket. 

Graces  played aggressively and set about bringing the run rate down with some strong hitting. The openers reached 88 in quick time before Kaustubh revealed his secret weapon of an absolute cannon of a throw and ran out Pittman for a well-made 45. Then just before drinks Mutz utilised some creative footwork to stump Pal off Mohan's bowling (Mutz will say he meant it on the tik tok I’m sure). 

One he definitely did mean however was a good stumping off Faisal. Credit also has to go to Ahmed who bowled very well depsite minimal protection from the short canal-side boundary and also did Grace’s skipper Sen with a beautiful googly that seemed to rap the pad and the finger duly went up. However, Mutz told the umpire it was glove and the appeal was duly rescinded. Pat Cummins would never. 

With the run out and two stumpings, we wondered if a team had ever won a game by taking all ten wickets with these two modes of dismissal only. Emboldened by this opportunity to make history, we endeavoured to shell every catch that was offered to us throughout the innings. Whilst the Saturday XI the day before had taken all of their chances, on Sunday we managed to drop all 8 as we pioneered with our bold new stumpings and run outs only tactic. Perhaps the moment of the match was when the seventh went down and we realised that would have been ten wickets. That’s the real quiz.

An added level of irony was that our ground fielding was actually very good, with numerous direct hits and good stops on the boundary. Korgy and Jas in particular put in good shifts. Another strong point of the performance was that the worse the WinViz got, the better the chat in the field. A Pacific tradition upheld.

Led by a good 56 from Sen, Graces chased the score down in 36.2 overs and Pacific were left wondering what could have been.

Pacific v Graces
Toss won by Pacific
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
Simon Wedlock   c Sen b S Mendis   1  0  13  0  0  
Amandeep Dhir   lbw b Pittman   39  0  37  2  3  
Mohan Kumar Raja*   c Malik b S Mendis   92  0  67  12  3  
Jasbir Basi   c Sen b Pittman   1  0  6  0  0  
Tom Gane   b L Mendis   10  0  12  2  0  
Faisal Alam   lbw b S Mendis   16  0  31  1  1  
Kaustubh Wankhade   not out    28  0  47  4  0  
Murtaza Siddiqui†   not out    21  0  30  2  0  
Zahid Ali   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Ahmed Hussain   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Aroon Korgaonkar   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 8, lb 1, w 5, nb 3) 17    
 TOTAL (40.0 Overs) 225    
 Fall of wickets:  1-3 [Wedlock] , 2-102 [Dhir] , 3-106 [Basi] , 4-130 [Gane] , 5-157 [Kumar Raja] , 6-170 [Alam]
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 S Mendis   8  1  24  3  
 C Sherwood   7  1  32  0  
 I Shinuaria   2  0  25  0  
 I Malik   4  0  30  0  
 K Pittman   8  0  34  2  
 L Mendis   4  0  31  1  
 M Pal   6  0  32  0  
 A Sen   1  0  7  0  
Graces innings  R  M  B  4  6
M Pal   st Siddiqui b Kumar Raja   49  0  52  5  3  
K Pittman   run out Wankhade    45  0  40  7  0  
A Sen*   retired    56  0  61  6  0  
S Mendis   st Siddiqui b Alam   16  0  0  1  0  
M Mccann†   not out    24  0  27  3  0  
R.   not out    22  0  20  5  0  
 Extras (b 5, lb 1, w 6, nb 1) 13    
 TOTAL (36.2 Overs) 226    
 Fall of wickets:  1-88 [K Pittman] , 2-130 [M Pal] , 3-160 [S Mendis]
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Simon Wedlock   6  0  31  0  
 Tom Gane   4  0  28  0  
 Mohan Kumar Raja   8  0  43  1  
 Kaustubh Wankhade   3  0  26  0  
 Ahmed Hussain   7  0  41  0  
 Faisal Alam   4  0  21  1  
 Zahid Ali   2.2  0  10  0  
 Aroon Korgaonkar   2  0  19  0  

Other matches:
 Sun 13 Oct 2024, Hackney Downs,
 Goodness Gracious - Honour Regained, Sun 15 Oct 2023, Hackney Downs, Won 2 wickets
 “None of the Batters Came Off”, Sun 09 Oct 2022, Hackney Downs, Lost by 6 wickets
 No dis-Grace in narrow defeat, Sun 10 Oct 2021, Hackney Downs, Lost by 3 runs
 No disGrace in a losing chase, Sun 20 Sep 2020, Highgate CC, Lost by 24 runs
 Pacific end MEIL campaign on a high , Sun 22 Sep 2019, Highgate CC, Won by 4 wickets
 There but for the Graces, Sun 30 Jun 2019, HSBC Sports Ground, Beckenham, Lost by 2 wickets
 Peak Siddiqui provides Mutz more than Graces notes, Sun 20 May 2018, Paulin Ground, WHCC, Won by 3 wickets
 Too soggy in Greenford, Sun 23 Jul 2017, London Marathon Playing Field Greenford, Cancelled
 Sharma special not quite enough, Sun 19 Jun 2016, London Marathon Playing Field Greenford, Lost 44 runs
 It's a wash-out, Sun 26 Jul 2015, London Marathon Playing Field Greenford, Cancelled
 Golden Brown 'nearly' brings up his hundred (wickets), Sun 27 Jul 2014, London Marathon Playing Field Greenford, Won 5 wickets
 Cricket 0 Football 1, Sun 13 Apr 2014, Wray Crescent, Cancelled
 Pacific cook Graces' goose in the blazing sun, Sun 07 Jul 2013, London Marathon Playing Field Greenford, Won by 8 wickets
 Pacific see off battling Graces, Sun 14 Apr 2013, Wray Crescent, Won by 11 runs
 Sub-zero hero, Sun 15 Apr 2012, Wray Crescent, Lost by 1 wicket
 Good Gracious Atkin Wins Honour Back, Sun 19 Apr 2009, Wray Crescent, Won 3 wickets
 Smashing Darren Gives Graces The Breaks, Sun 20 Apr 2008, Wray Crescent, Lost 2 wickets
 Hi & Lo Notes for Webley as Shofiq steals Show at Graceland, Mon 27 Aug 2007, Broxbourne Sports Club, Lost 3 wickets
 And Yours is no Disgrace, Sun 28 May 2006, West Essex Cricket Club, Won 79 Runs
 Graces Win Due a Whyle !, Mon 17 Apr 2006, Wray Crescent, Lost 25 runs
 Double 100s ! Batters Reign in Grace with Fervour, Sat 28 May 2005, Wray Crescent, Drawn
 Skippers Secure Success!, Sat 17 Apr 2004, Wray Crescent, Won by 2 Wickets
 Pacific Draw Gracefully, Sat 03 May 2003, Wray Crescent, Drawn
 Faisal & Duthie recapture form, Sat 27 Apr 2002, Wray Crescent, Won by 5 wkts
 Wilkinson makes hay, Sat 28 Apr 2001, Wray Crescent, Drawn
 Fri 21 Apr 2000, Wray Crescent, Cancelled