Quality bowling from Pacific, matched with sharp fielding, led to a swift demolition of Mayfield, with a few body blows chucked in for good measure. Although the oppo didn't bowl badly, it was all a little toothless, and they failed to convince the previously verbose wicket to talk. Ben and Toby had few problems knocking off the small target, although Toby's split lip and crushed thumb will serve as a reminder of the dangers of batting on a vegetable patch.
A dentist’s dream - Mayfield’s council-cared pitch has a history of crazy juiciness, note Sandy Nair’s 2012 jaw crack and K Mullens‘ solar plexus leather cherry issues. 2013’s installment was no different, creating a compelling, low scoring and, just occasionally, dangerous contest. At Mayfield’s clubhouse post-match, Mayfield’s IT project analyst Ravi Sondh regaled us with stories of the square’s brutal history, the notorious 2011 witnessing a summer of teeth dropping like catches.
A pitch offering such assistance can excite the bowler in such a way as to make him feel like Peter Siddle, or a better bowler, and lead him down errant, expensive paths. None of PCC’s bowlers allowed the pitch to get the better of him on Sunday, the unit from Thiagarajan to Haill forming a sweetly balanced, skilled bowling collective which created problems for Mayfield one to 11. Thiagarajan was often unplayable, continually getting the ball to rear alarmingly from just short of a length, as Mayfield’s old boy Raymond Victor would testify. It’s becoming cliched but Brown was again economy personified. A rhythmic Gleadow is a dangerous Gleadow and once he found his mojo the Nugget flourished, a baker’s dozen of dot balls bringing two wickets (I think). Timbadia hooped it and took out Mayfield’s most technically accomplished bat with a ball hitting the top of off. When the italo fires weren’t burning too brightly, allowing him to focus on his game, Bridgett displayed his accomplished abilities. And special mention goes to Daddy Cool Mr Oli Haill, whose return to the Pacific fold following the birth of his first child in February was spectacularly assured. The devoted family man, without a net or a practice match in a year, took it all in his stride, prising out three quick wickets with deadly, fast left arm off breaks. Spiteful spit indeed.
The bowlers were in such control of their efforts that this was a relatively serene Pacific field day out. 2013’s streamline Satch was alert, Gleadow and Bridgett took neat catches. Highlights included Steve Richards' pouch low at slip off a Haill fizzer and a slick Boorman dive.
After an arid July and early August for PCC’S opening partnership, Boorman (58 not out) and Chasseaud (41 not out) came good again and oh how good - to win by ten wickets on that pitch speaks volubly of their assured display on the day. Against a self-confessed loose cannon of an opening bowler, Mr Kazi, Boorman stayed calm and showed the full face of a straight bat while getting onto the front foot, showcasing his formidable power play once he’d settled. Chasseaud, after being clattered on the lid first ball, essayed shots all round the wicket, and, when not distracted by a little black and white dog, showed typically smooth composure, driving, flicking, forcing.
Ravi got the family Sondh in on the act to produce a tea worthy of the contest - a spread so good that Boorm was seen devouring tuna mayo sarnies outside the Primal Health Tennis Academy late into the evening. There were jerk/barbecue chicken wings, silver foil platters and platters of classic cricket sandwiches, falafel, pasta salads and a curiously luminous Mr Kipling selection. Thanks to to the endearingly quirky Mary R Archer, girlfriend of Mayfield’s leading runscorer, Martin R Bentley. Was it the shared middle initial which brought this cricket love story to a heady start?
Spirit of Cricket Award
Mayfield’s website front page advertises for prospective players to join a club which purports to “achieve a fine blend of sociability with a passion for the game”. Sounds about right on a day in which Mayfield’s batsmen talked and talked and talked a good game, despite the absence of Femi, but also walked without a thought of hoodwinking the umpire. Ravi, a man who, hearteningly, doesn’t forget a name, came and sat with PCC post-match for a beer and a chat. Top, top vibes.