Pacific batsmen wilt in the downpour at Ally Pally
Pacific v Mayfield CC at Racecourse Ground, Alexandra Palace
Sun 14 May 2017 at 1.00 pm
Lost by 47 runs
Middlesex & Essex Invitation League

Pacific slumped to a second league defeat in an all too familiar fashion, with a remarkable batting collapse which saw the final six wickets fall for a mere 22 runs. Chasing a target of 238 posted by Mayfield, Pacific climbed to 135 for two, with 17 overs left to find the remaining 103 runs. But with rain interrupting play and some accurate bowling from Mayfield’s Kureshi, Pacific’s innings stuttered, and eventually came to a halt 47 runs short.

With the sounds of a bustling birthday party drifting across Alexandra Park, Mayfield’s innings got off to a tumultuous start under the warmth of a bright, mid-May sun. Aussie Matt Ralph – who is still searching for his first Pacific win in nearly 14 years – took a sharp slip catch, just managing to get his fingers underneath the red leather before it hit the sandy turf, to remove opener Pooran in the second over. Sumant Kumar and Ben Stockton continued to bowl tight through the opening stages, restricting the batsmen to just 25 runs from the first nine overs.

But the deft-of-touch left-handed Mizra, supported by the steadfast Kazi (23), stroked his way to a half-century which explored all corners of the ground. After two quick-fire wickets from Ralph and Toby Chasseaud swung the momentum back in Pacific’s favour, another left-hander strode to the crease. The hard-hitting Khan bludgeoned his way to 61, tempting the fielders with a number of balls hit long into the deep.

But Kumar felt that this was his day, giving the skipper a nudge to bring him back on for a second spell. And his self-belief showed. Homing in on the stumps, Kumar first bowled Khan and then his partner Jain (40). He disrupted the bails twice more again, finishing with five wickets from his seven overs, and bringing the Mayfield innings to a close in the 42nd over with 237 on the board.

2017 newcomers James Soden and Jay Lakhani negotiated the early stages of the Pacific innings, before Lakhani (2) fell in the seventh over. After Soden (27) was bowled in the 12th, Chasseaud and George Moses set about building on this promising start. Together, they clocked up 90 runs – Moses punishing the bad balls and Chasseaud caressing them – before ominous dark clouds began to roll over Alexandra Palace.

With the drizzle falling, Moses struck one skyward. After juggling it once, long-on fielder Stark finally brought the ball under control, ending Moses’ innings just three short of a half-century. Two balls later, the players were running for shelter from the downpour.

This rain delay proved a pivotal point for the Pacific innings. Sat waiting for the weather to abate was a well-set Chasseaud, and Stockton, who was yet to face a ball. Some 10 minutes later, they returned to the field, only to turn around and head for cover again before a ball could even be bowled. 

Once the second heavy bout of rain eased, Pacific struggled to regain their footing in the game. They began on 135, with seven wickets still in the hut. But Chasseaud (42) knicked one to the keeper soon after the re-start and Stockton (8) followed a few overs later. Resistance came in the form of Aravindan Ilangovan (22) – the wicketkeeper-batsman looked comfortable in the tricky conditions. But after Ben Burnham gloved a rogue throat-bound bouncer to slip, the momentum was undoubtedly with Mayfield.

More accurate bowling from Kureshi – who finished with seven wickets to his name – proved too much for the remaining Pacific batsmen. Kumar, looking to channel his earlier heroics but this time with bat instead of ball, was unable to stop the rot. After a dismayed Rafiq Ratta was given LBW, Kumar’s edge to the keeper was the final nail in the Pacific coffin, leaving Ahmed Hussain with what must now be a long-list of red-inkers.

With eight overs remaining in the game, Pacific ended 191 all out, handing Mayfield an important league victory.

Mayfield CC v Pacific
Toss won by Mayfield CC
Mayfield CC innings  R  M  B  4  6
Starck   c Ilangovan b Stockton   2  0  0  0  0  
R Pooran   c Ralph b Kumar    0  0  0  0  0  
Mirza   lbw b Ralph   63  0  0  0  0  
Kazi   c Soden b Chasseaud   23  0  0  0  0  
Kureshi   c Burnham b Chasseaud   20  0  0  0  0  
Khan   b Kumar    61  0  0  0  0  
Jain   b Kumar    40  0  0  0  0  
Shaw   b Kumar    0  0  0  0  0  
Patel   b Stockton   6  0  0  0  0  
Sandh   b Kumar    0  0  0  0  0  
S Pooran   not out    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 5, lb 3, w 13, nb 1) 22    
 TOTAL (43.0 Overs) 237    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Ben Stockton   9  3  20  2  
 Sumant Kumar   7  0  29  5  
 Matt Ralph   7  1  50  1  
 George Moses   2  0  21  0  
 Toby Chasseaud   8  1  28  2  
 Ahmed Hussain   7  1  53  0  
 Rafiq Ratta   3  0  19  0  
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
James Soden   b Sondh   27  37  36  3  0  
Jay Lakhani   b Kazi   2  19  19  0  0  
Toby Chasseaud*   c unknown b Kureshi   42  98  47  3  0  
George Moses   c Mid on b Kureshi   47  50  40  7  1  
Ben Stockton   b Kureshi   8  45  9  1  0  
Aravindan Ilangovan†   b Kureshi   22  0  19  4  0  
Ben Burnham   c Slip b Kureshi   0  0  1  0  0  
Sumant Kumar   c unknown b Kureshi   9  0  6  0  0  
Matt Ralph   b Kureshi   0  0  3  0  0  
Rafiq Ratta   lbw b Shaw   2  0  2  0  0  
Ahmed Hussain   not out    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 15, lb 4, w 9, nb 4) 32    
 TOTAL (35.0 Overs) 191    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Kazi   9  2  38  1  
 Jain   5  1  17  0  
 Sondh   4  0  26  1  
 Khan   5  0  31  0  
 Kureshi   9  0  34  7  
 Shaw   4  0  21  1  
Mayfield CC innings  R  M  B  4  6
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  

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