James Nuggsy Gleadow cemented his place amongst the ranks of Pacific's elite all-rounders on Sunday, inspiring with both bat and ball and producing the pick of two or three MoM performances in the PCC side. After losing the toss, Pacific were inserted on a cold, windy and exposed AP wicket, Ben and Toby taking to the crease and yielding a 50 partnership before Ben departed, caught after being hindered by an ankle injury. Lahrie's blink-and-you'll-miss-it innings was subject to a contentious LBW decision, and offered latecomer Webbo the chance to replicate his lightning AP 137n.o. of last season. Toby succumbed not long after, and Webbo raced to a typically stylish 44, ably supported by the lesser-spotted Treasurer, and then Giaco and Lucius. But the real talking point of the Pacific innings was Nuggsy's 42, racked up with a cultured panache as he drove Chiggers' slow/spin attack all around the AP outfield. His delightful knock had fellow Pacifists going wild on the boundary, and ensured that a respectable 217 was posted on the board.
A very beige and very expensive tea was wolfed down, and umpire Fred ensured that play was resumed with a formality befitting a game that could potentially decide who is to take the Middlesex and Essex Invitation League title this year. A good atmosphere on the field was boosted further as Giaco and Satish generated superb pace and swing, and were rewarded with early wickets which lifted Pacific spirits sky high. However, Chiggers' middle-order had other ideas, installing themselves, limpet-like, at the crease, settling in to block out Lucius' pinpoint bowling, and slog Aroon's flighty deliveries. With some occasionally woeful fielding (two dropped catches, several nutmegs and too many instances of shepherding the ball over the boundary), Chiggers were suddenly back in the game. A change was needed, and it came in the form of one Toby Chasseaud. In just three overs the Sussexian removed both problematic batsmen, finding some excellent grip on a hard, dry wicket. The danger was not over though, and it required that man The Nugget to step up and produce another metronome-like display to increase the tally of Chiggers scalps, drawing a top-edged shot from one Chiggers bat which was pouched by a diving Toby. Honorable mentions for fielding must also go to Aroon, throwing himself on anything that came within diving distance, and VC Giaco for a cool direct hit under pressure. With the end in sight, Chigwell required 7 runs from 10 balls, having included a couple of useful boundaries in between somewhat cynical blocking. Vice-vice captain Webbo had a word in the skipper's shell, like, and Lucius returned for the final over of the game. Probably the masterstroke of the match, the big St Lucian almost immediately tempted Chiggers' bespectacled batsman into edging through to captain/custodian Boorman, and an edge-of-your-seat finish was rounded off with a couple of blocks from Chiggers final batsman to seal the draw.
Although frustrating not to win a game that at several stages looked to be there for the taking, Pacific can take some comfort from having been part of another thrilling draw (Tie!? Ed.), with both teams thoroughly enjoying a healthy competition, and fielding a side rich in both talent and spirit which promises big things for the 2013 league campaign.
Other matches: Sun 10-Sep-2017, North Middx CC, Sun 07-May-2017, Old Chigwellians Club, Victory is sweet in last-ball thriller, Sun 11-Sep-2016, Alexandra Palace, Won 2 wickets Burnham sees red as runfest unfolds, Sun 08-May-2016, Old Chigwellians Club, Drawn Another tight finish, Sun 30-Aug-2015, Old Chigwellians Club, Lost 5 wickets PCC realise Chig ambitions , Sun 31-May-2015, Alexandra Palace, Won 7 wickets Plucky Pacific hang on for draw, Sun 31-Aug-2014, Old Chigwellians Club, Drawn Pacific 'Chig' deep for victory, Sun 25-May-2014, Alexandra Palace, Won 19 runs Pacific on top, Sun 01-Sep-2013, Old Chigwellians Club, Won 7 wickets To Mankad or not to Mankad? Scores level despite skipper's heroics, Sun 02-Sep-2012, Old Chigwellians Club, Drawn - scores level! Sight screens as rafts, Sun 29-Apr-2012, Broxbourne Sports Club, Cancelled Could not raise team, Sun 28-Aug-2011, Old Chigwellians Club, Forfeited If you thought South Africa choked ..., Sun 31-Jul-2011, Broxbourne Sports Club, Lost 8 runs Perfect April As Draw Sanctuary for Chigwell Removed, Sun 25-Apr-2010, Wray Crescent, Won By 117 runs Allum the key for Chigwell, Sun 26-Apr-2009, Wray Crescent, Drawn The Fairest of Draws, Mon 06-May-2002, Met Police Grd, Drawn Marathon spell from Mileham seals it, Mon 07-May-2001, Away, Won by 3 wkts