Aussie paceman Martin Cowling produced a searing spell of fiery pace bowling on the hottest day on record in the UK – his 6 for 16 was too hot for Tenterden to handle. With fellow Antipodean Guy Wiehahn also enjoying himself in the hot temperatures – stroking his way to a classy 69 – Pacific recorded a surprisingly comfortable win against their Kentish opponents.
Pacific 218 for 6 Declared (Guy Wiehahn 69, Jim Davies 46, Peter Hollman 42, Illingworth 3-42, Douglas 2-13)
Tenterden 67 All Out (Martin Cowling 9-5-16-6, Ollie Haill 2-20)
With Britain’s highest ever temperature being recorded just down the road in Gravesend, stand-in skipper Jim Davies was grateful to call correctly on the baking hot Kent day with a rock hard and grassless pitch.
Batting first was the only option and openers Peter Hollman and Guy Wiehahn took their time coming to terms with the low bounce and lack of pace in the pitch. However any bad balls were punished and with a lightening quick outfield anything piercing the inner ring got full value. Illingworth was particularly accurate and bowled 4 maidens in his opening 8 over spell.
However patience paid off for both batsmen as they gradually upped the tempo – the first 50 coming in the 18th over – the hundred in the 28th. It was Hollman who was to fall first – the veteran showing admirable stamina to keep it up for 30 overs in the hot temperatures before playing an ambitious reverse sweep and being trapped in front for 42 in an opening stand of 114. It was a welcome return to form for the old timer.
With little more than ten overs left before the declaration – the platform had been set for an acceleration from the middle order. Welshman Davies joined Wiehahn in fierce assault on the bowling that brought 56 runs for the second wicket in only 7 overs.
Wiehahn’s 69 climaxed when he got a little tickle behind off the returning Illingworth. However there was no respite for the tiring attack as Aussie Ed Blake announced his arrival at the crease with consecutive bludgeoned fours. Both he and Davies struck straight sixes over the bowler’s head - and it was a disappointment for the bar staff when Davies top edged a pull to fall for 46 – scored from only 28 balls.
With Blake’s whirlwind cameo ending on 17 and both John Hill and Matt Holliday missing out with ducks – it was left to Lucius Faisal (10*) and Martin Cowling (6*) to blast the boundaries needed to bring the declaration on 218 for 6 from 42 sweltering overs.
As if by magic – blazing sun was replaced with humid cloud cover over the tea break – giving Pacific an almost unfair advantage with the conditions. With the weather in their favour – opening bowlers Martin Cowling and Lucius Faisal both took wickets in their first overs. Both men were finding prodigious swing and also appreciated the uneven bounce that the pitch had shown all day.
Cowling soon struck again – bowling full and straight to produce a triple wicket maiden to destroy the home batting line up with a series of devastating swinging yorkers to bowl all three batsmen.
There was a brief revival thanks to a well-struck 20 from Illingworth. His innings produced the highlight of an enthusiastic display in the field from John Hill - who twice chased boundary-bound shots into a fence protecting a pond - with the veteran clattering into a heap in the netting - much to the amusement of everyone else!
However Illingworth was undone by a ball from left-arm seamer Ollie Haill that pitched short and kept low to bowl him. Cowling then produced two further wicket maidens to finish with 6 for 16 from 9 overs – his best return in his fledgling Pacific career.
With Haille again hitting the stumps and new bowler Rob Bastin taking the final wicket thanks to a second neat catch behind by Blake – it was all over for Tenterdon for only 67 in the 19th over – with the unlucky Pacific debutant Alex Tomlin missing out on his chance to bowl due to the success of the others.
“We were very lucky with the conditions – and I was so glad I won the toss!” said stand-in skipper Davies afterwards. “It was a scorcher out there while we batted – full credit to Guy and Pete for their stamina – and top marks to Martin for making full use of the swinging ball when we bowled – top quality from everyone today.” he added.
Chirpy South African Guy Wiehahn said “I couldn’t have enjoyed my 69 without Pete’s support – he helped me keep it up when it got hot and sweaty out there. It was nice to get a big one away from home too!” he grinned.
MOM – Martin Cowling – great swinging balls from the Aussie to get 6-16.
Packing the Kit – Matt Holiday – A Golden Duck.
Big Thanks – to John Hill and Yve for organising a very enjoyable BBQ before the game – may it become a tradition for the fixture!
XI:- Jim Davies*, Lucius Faisal, John Hill, Matt Holliday, Peter Hollman, Guy Wiehahn, Rob Bastin, Oli Haill, Martin Cowling, Ed Blake+, & Alex Tomlin.