A strong Pacific line up wilted in the heat - ending their run in the Middlesex Shield with a limp display. An important toss was lost - and then three vital dropped catches meant a consistent bowling display was denied the breakthroughs it deserved - allowing the home side to reach a challenging 230 from their 45 overs on a wearing pitch in sweltering conditions.
The top order then showed signs of fatigue as wickets fell regularly - leaving Pacific at 71 for 6 and well behind the required run rate. Only 61 from stand-in skipper Jim Davies and useful unbeaten contributions from veteran Peter Hollman and apprentice Rob Bastin gave the scoreline any respectability.
Turnham Green 230 for 2 from 45 overs (E Lush 110*, B Smith 51, Darryl Roberts 2-38)
Pacific 154 for 8 (Jim Davies 61, Peter Hollman 27*, S Phillips 3-9, T Porter 2-26)
On a sweltering day in West London stand-in skipper Jim Davies lost an important toss as home side Turnham Green understandably opted to bat first n this Third Round match of the Middlesex Federation Shield.
There was some early swing for Aussie Martin Cowling and stocky South African Marcel Boonaert with appreciably low bounce from one end of the worn and dusty track. However the home sides openers made steady progress and were content to allow a number of maidens to be bowled as the rather strange looking ball quickly showed signs of deteriorating. After the first ten overs or so there was little hope of getting any swing.
Change bowlers the experienced duo of Darryl Roberts and Mike Alexander continued to bowl well. Alexander was unlucky to see a very difficult chance spilled at point and also to have a strong appeal for lbw turned down with the batsman trapped on his crease. However it was Roberts who made the breakthrough thanks to an excellent tumbling catch from Peter Hollman at point removing Lovell for 22.
With both bowlers needing a break the spin of Braden Grigg and the off-cutters of skipper Davies were employed to regain control. Each bowler should have had a wicket early on but easy catches were spilled by Hollman and Cowling and the batsmen gained in confidence. The returning Roberts eventually did for Smith for 51 caught at gully by Kurt Rademaker but the damage was done. However the veteran seamer could be pleased with his figures of 2 for 38 from 9 overs. Another miss this time a skyer left for the fielder with most ground to cover gave their South African Murray a life and he blasted some quickfire runs at the end whilst Lush went to a well deserved unbeaten 110. That said 230 at a shade over 5 an over was a good but gettable target for a strong Pacific line up.
However after a decent first couple of overs openers Miles Picknett and Guy Wiehahn found scoring difficult against the accurate slow medium bowlers used by the home team on the lifeless track. Unable to repeat their successful little and large act from the first round it was the diminutive South African who lost his patience and went for a slower ball only to sky it to cover for 12.
Run machine Braden Grigg was next in but he too struggled to settle and was then adjudged lbw trying to slog sweep a Porter slower ball. He was perhaps unfortunate - given how far forward he was when hit on the thigh - and also given the appeals that had been rejected earlier. Equally the home players were convinced that they had got their man either way he was back in the pavilion for only 1.
There was no disputing the next wicket to fall as burly Aussie Kurt Rademaker got hold of one only to bring a stunning reaction catch from short mid-wicket and he departed without troubling the scorers.
Welsh left-hander Davies joined the lofty Picknett and the pair showed why they have so often added vital stands together - as they stopped the slide and gradually set about adding runs. Just as things were stabilised Picknett mistimed a full toss from spinner Phillips and hit it straight at mid-wicket.
From here the game took its final decisive twist as big hitters Martin Cowling (1) and Marcel Boonaert (2) both went cheaply leaving Pacific bereft of fire power for an assault on the target. Davies continued to blast away in his lone hand while wizened old pro Peter Hollman demonstrated his value in building a useful 44 run stand.
There was only a remote chance of a comeback with 130 needed from 13 overs but that ended when Davies attempted late cut resulted in him hitting wicket to end his 61 run innings. Darryl Roberts did not last long bowled for 1 and Hollman was then joined by his apprentice Rob Bilbo Bastin. They chipped in with an unbeaten stand of 38 but the target had long since sailed out of reach as Pacific fell 76 runs short.
A very disappointing end to a good cup run said stand-in skipper Davies afterwards. The toss was important then we did ourselves no favours with the dropped catches even though the bowlers kept going well in the heat. he added. The top order batting what should have been our trump card just did not come off today. Fair play to Turnham Green they were good value for their win and the match was played in good spirit. We wish them well in the rest of the competition. he concluded.
MOM Jim Davies economical overs and the old Welsh warhorse was the only batsman to impose himself.
Packing the Kit Peter Hollman and Martin Cowling for those fielding howlers.
XI: Miles Picknett, Guy Wiehahn, Jim Davies*, Braden Grigg, Kurt Rademaker,
Martin Cowling, Pete Hollman, Rob Bastin+, Marcel Boonaert, Mike Alexander,