Veteran spinner Allan Roberts claimed his 200th Pacific wicket as Aussies Kurt Rademaker (68*) and Martin Cowling (4-22) starred as the Islington team overcame Denham for only the second time in 8 meetings between the sides. Pacific successfully chased a target of 204 to win - the 6th highest successful run chase in their history and tellingly their 6th successful chase of over 200 in 2 years.
Denham 203 for 7 in 40 overs (Nicholas 87, Payne 40, Cowling 8-3-22-4, A Roberts 7-0-47-2)
Pacific 204 for 3 in 38.4 overs (Rademaker 68*, Davies 38*, Duthie 37, Faisal 29)
Denham batted first on a glorious day Pacifics travel plans having been disrupted by the non-appearance of keeper Matt Holliday for the second time this season. The returning Ian Lay gamely volunteered to keep for the first time in two years whilst Denham youngster Daniel Leach did well for us in the field.
Martin Cowling produced an inswinging yorker to dismiss Leach senior a good breakthrough as he had scored a century the previous day. Whilst Cowling and Kurt Rademaker bowled well with the new ball Nicholas and Payne ensured that there were no further wickets. On a low and slow wicket Jim Davies kept things tight from one end but Lucius Faisal found conditions less to his liking from the other as he struggled a little with his line.
At the halfway stage things were evenly poised at 92 for 1 with the home side hoping to use their wickets in hand to accelerate the run rate and Pacific looking to keep the pressure on to get some breakthroughs.
Davies bowled straight through his 8 overs conceding only 26 runs. Meanwhile veteran spinner Roberts replaced Faisal and conceded 13 in his first over before seeing a difficult diving chance spilled by Davies from a skimming drive at short cover. However he soon had his 200th club wicket when he bowled Payne for 40 and his 201st when the new batsman drove straight to the safe hands of Faisal at long-off. The Roberts brothers are the second pair of brothers to reach 200 wickets for the club following in the footsteps of John and Frank Baglivi.
Stuart Mullin produced a useful spell of medium pace bowling on debut before Cowling and Rademaker returned to finish their spells. This was the crucial stage of the match and Cowling responded with a series of swinging yorkers the first of which did for Nicholas on 87. The bowlers were backed up by some sharp fielding highlighted by a direct hit run out from new boy Mullin. 204 to win at just over 5 an over looked a challenging but attainable target.
Openers Lucius Faisal and Adrian Duthie got the innings off to a measured but brisk start Faisal depositing the last ball of the first over for six over extra cover! More controlled hitting on a wicket getting ever lower kept things going as they added 48 in 9 overs before Faisal was surprisingly bowled behind his legs for a well made 29. Skipper Steve Lay and Duthie consolidated in a stand of 33 but the required rate began to rise as the runs dried up for a while the score was 83 in the 20th over when Lay departed bowled for 10 by another low ball.
Duthie soon followed for 37 leaving 107 needed from 16 overs. Kurt Rademaker was already striking the ball well when Welshman Davies joined him in what was to prove the match winning stand. The Aussies good form with the bat continued as he dispatched anything loose with both men running well between the wickets to keep the pressure on the fielders.
Star bowler Akhil was seen off and as Davies showed the first signs of form for the season the run rate required was gradually reduced as each over passed. Rademaker offered one difficult diving chance but otherwise the pair proceeded without alarms highlighted by a stunning straight six from the burly Aussie all-rounder.
In the end it was a deceptively comfortable run chase with Rademaker chalking up his first Pacific half-century (68* from 63 balls) and Davies on an unbeaten on 38 (from 43 balls) as the target was reached with 8 balls to spare in an unbroken stand of 107.
Im delighted to join the Pacific legends who have taken 200 wickets! said a clearly thrilled Allan Roberts after the match Its an honour to be in such illustrious company the veteran spinner added.
MOM Allan Roberts for reaching 200 wickets with a vital breakthrough and Kurt Rademaker for his maiden matchwinning 50.
Packing the Kit the missing Matt Holliday.
The IX were Steve Lay*, Daniel Leach, Jim Davies, Martin Cowling, Kurt Rademaker, Lucius Faisal, Stuart Mullin, Colin Black, Adrian Duthie, Ian Lay+ & Allan Roberts.