Ferocious fast bowling from Lucius Faisal demolished the Weasels top order - ably supported by Mike Alexander with the ball and skipper Paul Attwood with three catches at the wicket. Despite a late recovery to post a total of 133 – this was never enough as Pacific recorded their second 9-wicket win of the season against the Home Office side. Mohinder Ranatunga impressed for the second week – scoring an unbeaten 49 – while Jim Davies struck 53 not out.
New Barbarian Weasels 133 All Out (Michaels 60, L Faisal 3-31)
Pacific 134-1 (J Davies 53*, M Ranatunga 49*)
With both sides bizarrely reduced to 8-a-side by late withdrawals, the Weasels made first use of the Wray Crescent strip. Lucius Faisal soon showed his liking for the synthetic surface – bowling at great pace and finding steep bounce. He took the first wicket with a bouncer fended off the batsman’s face – the easy catch looping to skipper Paul Attwood in his comeback game from injury. Attwood soon had two further victims behind the stumps – as both Faisal and Mike Alexander (1-28) generated pace and movement to tear through the Weasels top order. Then Faisal first hit – and then clean bowled – his third victim.
Opener Michaels had survived the early onslaught – and set about rebuilding the innings along with veteran keeper Hunley. The pair took the score from 31-4 to 114 – when a rash call and a fierce throw from Faisal resulted in Michaels run out for 60. His partner soon followed to an even crazier run out - and the innings was soon wrapped up by Tim Marshall (1-13).
The ever-involved Michaels opened the bowling. Following one flowing off-drive – a full-length ball bowled Matt Patel (6) with the score on 14. Davies joined Ranatunga and each batsman found the boundary with regularity – the unfortunate Pagan’s first over going for 17. Davies used the late cut to good effect – taking advantage of the gaps in the field – while Ranatunga drove the spin bowlers with authority.
There were a few half chances that did not go to hand – and the unlucky Michaels saw Ranatunga dropped at mid-off and narrowly avoid hitting wicket after being struck by a bouncer. He tried to repeat the tactic to Davies – who promptly dispatched the short-pitched balls to the fence.
With both men now timing the ball well - there were 11 boundaries for Davies and 9 for Ranatunga - as their unbroken 120 run stand saw Pacific home before the last hour had started. Davies reached his fourth unbeaten half-century of the season – while despite winning the game with a boundary – Ranatunga fell just one short of reaching that mark in only his second appearance for the club.
“Somehow we managed to win by 9 wickets – even though we only had 8 players!” said a relieved Paul Attwood later. “Lucius was fearsome – and our guys batted very well and made the most of the gaps. I think Mohinder will be an excellent addition to the club. But I was surprised my cherry (tarts) remained untouched at the end of the game!” the Pacific skipper concluded.
Pacific : P Attwood +*, M Patel, M Ranatunga, J Davies, R Ash, T Marshall, L Faisal, M Alexander