Pacific battered New Barbarian Weasels as they sauntered to a rare 10 wicket win. Skipper Steve Lay used 9 bowlers as the Weasels' innings never really got going on a good Cambridge batting track - and he then combined with fellow veteran Peter Hollman in an unbroken 135 run opening stand. Hollman blasted an uncharacteristically belligerent 65 - while Lay secured his fifty just before the target was reached - despite initial fears that he had been left just short of the milestone.
New Barbarian Weasels 132 All Out (Wheldan 44, Braden Grigg 3 for 6, Martin Cowling 3 for 20)
Pacific 135 for 0 (Peter Hollman 65*, Steve Lay 51*)
On a muggy day at Caius College Cambridge New Barbarian Weasels won the toss and decided to bat first in this all-day game. They got off to a disastrous start when Nigel Richards was bowled second ball by a Martin Cowling inswinger. This was soon followed by a smart caught and bowled by the same bowler.
Wheldan was showing signs of resistance although bowler Olli Haill might have hoped one of his airborne shots could have gone to hand instead of to the boundary. However the early introduction of Braden Griggs left-arm spin paid dividends as first Woodhead was brilliantly caught behind by Ian Lay and then dangerman Wheldans slog was well held in the deep by skipper Steve Lay the batsman departing for 44.
With Kurt Rademaker getting a wicket via a juggling Sammy Purcell at gulley and Grigg claiming his third when Ali was comprehensively bowled the game looked like it was coming to a premature end. The Weasels problems were compounded as they had started one short. Veteran wicketkeeper Hurley has often provided resistance in the past and so it was left to him and Pagan to see the visitors through to lunch effectively 7 wickets down.
During the pre-lunch session medium pacer Colin Black bowled a spell of four consecutive maidens and Aussie Shane Mundie enjoyed his first spell for the club. Even old-timer Peter Hollman was given the pre-lunch over!
After lunch Sammy Purcell had his first ever bowl for Pacific with Welshman Jim Davies keeping things tight at the other end. It was Davies who eventually broke through trapping Pagan leg before. When Cowling returned to trap Hurley in front for 24 skipper Owen enjoyed a few big hits before anxiety about avoiding the strike led to last man Wilson being run out.
132 all out so early n the day on a good track with 9 Pacific bowlers used really never looked like being enough for the Weasels. It soon became clear that they also had a weakened bowling attack and veteran pair Peter Hollman and Steve Lay were soon tucking into some buffet bowling. The old timers were soon helping themselves to runs as with no time pressure they waited for the fairly frequent bad balls to put away.
With the rest of the batsmen green with envy the pair batted easily either side of tea with Lay offering the only difficult chance to slip. Otherwise they made serene progress only in Owens opening spell and when Wheldan was belatedly introduced was there any pressure exerted by the bowlers. Indeed Hollman became uncharacteristically flamboyant once his fifty had been reached mowing a ball over midwicket for four!
The only tension at the end of the game was whether the pair could bat through for an historic 10 wicket win and whether skipper Lay would join Hollman in reaching 50. It seemed he had only to learn on his return to the pavilion that he might only have scored 49! He bought a consolation jug but a recount showed he had in fact scored 51!
The clubs best ever 10-wicket win was achieved eclipsing much smaller targets against Redbats and Porlock the only other two triumphs. However the weakened nature of the Weasels side meant the victory was slightly disappointing with the game wrapping up more than 2 hours before the scheduled close.
Its great to have a 10 wicket win said skipper Steve Lay later But a few of our guys were left a bit frustrated not getting more of a game even though I gave everyone except myself and the keeper a bowl! he added.
MOM - Peter Hollman - first fifty for over a year in a welcome return to form for the veteran opener
Packing the Kit - Steve Lay - the skipper was the only outfielder not to have a bowl - and then nearly missed out on his fifty.
Stat Corner - This was only the third time in 21 years that Pacific have achieved a 10 wicket win - and it was by far the highest total overcome with no wickets down - being the first time a score of over 100 had been beaten without losing a wicket.
XI: Jim Davies, Peter Hollman, Shane Mundie, Sammy Purcell, Oli Haill, Kurt Rademaker, Colin Black, Martin Cowling, Steve Lay, Ian Lay, Braden Grigg.