Pacific claimed their second win in as many days at the picturesque Porlock ground. Batting first on a green pitch offering lateral movement and uneven bounce – Pacific reached 179 for 5 – thanks mainly to an opening stand of 78 from Jim Davies and Steve Lay. Porlock struggled throughout and despite some resistance in the middle order just failed to break the century mark.
Pacific 179 for 5 (Jim Davies 52, Jonathan Campbell 27, Taylor 3-30)
Porlock 97 All Out (Waters 35, Leon Yates 4-28, Jonathan Campbell 2-0)
With Porlock opening bowlers Taylor and Glossop finding exaggerated movement and variable bounce – new opening pair of skipper Steve Lay and old crock Jim Davies took few risks early on – with impressive youngster Taylor in particular troubling Lay with some good outswing and seam movement.
The first ten overs yielded only 17 runs – but the pair upped the pace as they settled in – sensibly ignoring the heckling of teammates on the sidelines! With Davies depriving Lay of a number of singles due to his gammy leg – the left-hander started to hit out – and caused panic on the nearby bowling green when a huge six sailed over the high fence!
Having reached the first fifty (by a Pacific batsman!) on tour – Davies fell to a good catch down the legside by the keeper off a leg glance. With Jonathan Campbell maintaining the upbeat tempo – Pacific lost Lay for a patient 20 and Marcel Boonaert for a less patient 3.
Campbell’s bright innings ended when he was bowled by the returning Taylor for 27 – and the youngster soon accounted for Peter Czabotar for 8 as he managed to get a touch to a ball that would otherwise have been called a wide!
Ollie Haill had barely connected with a ball before tea – but a change of bats brought a change of fortune – one-shot being dispatched one bounce into the pavilion. The ball was eventually found lodged behind the toilet cistern – a crap shot! With bulky Aussie All-rounder Tim Marshall batting for his average – eventually hitting his first boundary off ten-year-old bowler Keen – skipper Lay was happy to call a halt with Haill unbeaten on 22 and Marshall 17.
Both opening bowlers – Martin Cowling and veteran seamer Darryl Roberts – accounted for an opening bat for a duck – immediately putting Porlock on the back foot. This was just as well – as a ball from Cowling reared off a length and narrowly missed Waters’ head!
The opening spells were however but the aperitif for the arrival of wizened old pro Pete Hollman – unusually these days being used as a bowler – and searching for his 600th wicket for Pacific in only his 6000th appearance for the club. A few wide looseners landing one the next square and belts to the boundary off some juicy long-hops softened the batsman up for the inevitable cunningly disguised slow full-toss – which equally inevitably found the outside edge of the batsman’s flashing blade – and flew to slip where Player of the Tour Leon Yates took a routine one-handed catch above his head. A typical Hollman wicket to bring up the milestone!
After that there was only the question of whether JC would field in the right place - and also whether he would wait for the batsmen to run 50 before deciding the ball was still in play near the boundary!! We wondered whether Yates would get a much deserved Michelle – only to be deprived by a combination of careless fielding at silly point by skipper Lay and a blast of two wickets for no runs from Jonathan “Bob Willis” Campbell.
“What a great ball to take my 600th wicket!” enthused a gasping Hollman later. “That’s the way I like to get them – just when they think I’m bowling toilet I get them with that cunning change of flight!” he added.
Talking of toilet – Ollie Haill's bog shot had skipper/stato Steve Lay rushing off to check if that was the first REALLY crap shot to be played by a Pacific batsman.
MOM – Peter Hollman – Rolling back the years with 600 wickets and counting!
Packing the Kit – Steve Lay – for missing the catch for Leon’s Pfeifer – even if it was off a ten year old!
XI – Davies, Lay S *, Campbell, Boonaert, Haill, Czabotar, Marshall +, Yates, Cowling, Roberts D, Hollman.