Priory Park were looking for revenge after they were denied a victory in this fixture last year, when Pacific batted out for a draw without getting within a hundred of Priory’s total.
Priory Park 169 for 7 (Dilip 78*, Jeenal 44, Lucius Faisal 3-22, Rob Allum 2-41)
Pacific 137 for 9 (Dave Murray 37, Olli Haill 32*, A Roberts 17, Stefie 5-42 from 13 overs)
Priory batted first again, but were hampered in their efforts to set a big total by Pacific’s experienced opening bowlers Mike Alexander and Lucius Faisal, who both found life in the astroturf. St Lucian Faisal took the first three wickets, two of them clean bowled, and Alexander bagged one. Senior Priory batsman Dilip crafted an assured 71, ably supported by leg-side obsessed opener Jeenal and brown-shoed and -hatted Stefie.
Having declared on 169 after veteran twirler Allan Roberts hoodwinked a batsman to remove his own bail for the seventh wicket, Priory’s players absent-mindedly munched their tea – their brains undoubtedly focused on plans for Pacific’s downfall. And all started according to plan for them as they ate into Pacific’s higher batting order, until a partnership from Alexander and soon-to-be-wed Dave Murray steadied things. With hopes raised by Murray’s fluent strokes and Alexander’s dogged defence, the home team were disappointed when Murray allowed himself to be bowled when a large score looked on the cards.
Despite a heroic effort by the mercurial Haill, coming in at number 8 when all seemed lost, and capricious support from the rest of the tail, proximity to the target never materialised. Finally, ailing captain and usual opener Steve Lay was brought to the crease, having to just keep his wicket for three more overs. Assorted Priory bowlers attempted to wrest the final wicket from Pacific but the last pair held on to win the draw, with Haill larruping two boundaries off the last over from 5-wicket bowling star Stefie – keeping onlookers interested, if not bemused.
MOM: Steve Lay – ushered his team to safety despite debilitating illness.
Packing the Kit: Dave Murray – anxiety about imminent wedding resulted in distracted dismissal
XI:- Mike Alexander, Paul Attwood, Oli Haill, Steve Lay*, David Murray, Matt Patel, Rob Allum, Mark Herring, Rob Bastin, Lucius Faisal & Allan Roberts.