Pacific welcomed back left-hander John Green from a long injury layoff - and the veteran rolled back the years with a classy 26. Then Jonathan Hardisty hammered a quickfire unbeaten 29 to add a rapid 34 with Marcel Boonaert (17) for the last wicket to boost the total to a useful 169 all out on a damp Roehampton wicket.
Welsh warhorse Jim Davies then added four quick wickets with the ball to add to his earlier 33 runs with the bat – leaving the hosts slumped at 23 for 5. The Bank’s rate never rose high enough to attract interest in the target – but a dogged unbeaten 50 from J Kendall ensured that they held on for a draw – finishing well short on 86 for 7 at the close.
Pacific 169 All Out (Jim Davies 33, Jonathan Hardisty 29*, John Green 26. J Kendall 9.2-0-45-4)
Bank of England 86-7 (J Kendall 50*. J Davies 10-3-21-4, Marcel Boonaert 10-3-29-2)
The Bank of England’s sumptuous grounds in Roehampton played host to Pacific’s visit – with the Islington side determined to end a run of three straight defeats in “Black” August. The pitch showed signs that water had leaked under the covers – there was some concern for the condition of the wicket.
The Bank chose to field first and gained immediate reward as Matt Holliday dragged a wide one back onto his stumps for a duck. Veteran duo Peter “The Wiz” Hollman and Steve “The Skipper” Lay steadied the ship with a measured 27 run stand – before Hollman mistimed one to point for 11.
Lay was joined by returning star John Green – playing his first match for a couple of years. The classy left hander was soon dispatching the bowling with ease – but both fell to the persevering Powell – Lay for 16 and Green for an elegant 26.
New pair of John Hill and Jim Davies began to up the tempo – but a second run proved too much for old-timer Hill and his despairing dive was not enough – run out for 10. Davies continued to punish the bad balls – as did new partner Rob “Bilbo” Bastin. With 39 added the stand ended when the niggardly Kendall bowled the burly Welshman behind his legs.
The same bower soon accounted for Bastin (14) and Ian Lay (0) – whilst in-between Matt “The Slugger” Patel failed to find his range and fell to Simon Eddolls for just 1.
At 135 for 9 and time pressing – enter the late arriving Jonathan Hardisty and stocky South African Marcel Boonaert. With beautifully timed drives through the covers (Hardisty) and mighty clubs over mid-wicket (Boonaert) – 34 valuable runs were added in double quick time before Kendall had his revenge via Boonaert’s top edge.
169 looked a good enough total on a wicket where quick scoring was never going to be easy. Welsh warhorse Davies made the early inroads – bowling Eddolls and having Adey well caught at slip by Bastin. 3 further wickets then fell with the score on 23 – two in one over from Davies and then Boonaert joining in the fun from the other end.
At 23 for 5 – survival became the Bank’s target. Powell added 25 with Kendall before becoming Boonaert’s second victim – and then Vaughan added 30 with him before falling to a diving catch at short cover from Davies off a visably shocked Hollman. Indeed most of the team did not bother appealing for the catch - having assumed the Welshman would spill the chance!
However Pacific were to rue a few spilled chances behind the stumps and in the outfield as Kendall Junior was able to see it through with his father – who reached an unbeaten 50 with the last hit of the match.
“It was a shame we could not finish them off in the end” said skipper Steve Lay later “But at least we stopped our run of 3 defeats!” ha added.
MOM – Jonathan Hardisty – fine batting from the late arriving batsman.
Packing the Kit – Matt Holliday – a duck and a couple of missed chances behind the stumps.
XI: Steve Lay*, Ian Lay, Rob Bastin, Marcel Boonaert, Jim Davies, John Hill, Matt Holliday+, Matt Patel, Peter Hollman, John Green, Jonathan Hardisty