Loughton scrape to damp draw despite shining light of Lay
Pacific v South Loughton at Broxbourne Sports Club
Sun 04 Sep 2011 at 1pm
Drawn 
Middlesex & Essex Invitation League

Unrelenting drizzle delayed the start of this final Middlesex & Essex Invitation League game until after tea was taken at 3pm in a function room ringed with barrels of real ale and cider from a previous night's festival. The excellent main ground at Broxbourne drains quickly, and the wicket was slow but not too low, while the outfield was merely damp after the rain had abated.

A toss had optimistically been made earlier, with stand-in captain Lahri Mohammed chosing to bat first. Both openers fell fairly quickly, the skipper wrongly given caught behind when his bat struck the ground, but this only brought a sparkling Steve Lay to the middle all the sooner.

Steve's innings was certainly his most fluent of recent years, with a Greenidge-like Calypso pull early on being a sign of things to come. This was followed by stylish cover drives, a brutal and distinctly un-Lay-like wallop back over the bowler's head, as well as the flicks, glance and nurdles expected of Pacific's second highest run scorer. 

Abhi also looked to score quickly and keep the strike rotating, though was unable to time his most brutal swipes. This was not the case for Oli Haill, who thanks to this innings broke through the 100-runs-in-a-season barrier for only the second time in seven seasons as he aims to no longer be a batter that flatters to deceive. His punchy drives were mixed with some hard running between the wicket with Abhi and then James 'Nuggsy' Gleadow.

The Pacific innings dwindled to a conclusion, though continued good running helped drag the score past the bonus-point mark of 150 before Lahrie declared to leave Loughton chasing 153 from 25 (Nugs???) overs. 

After a tea of curry sandwiches and a sample or two of the festival ales, play resumed with Nuggsy coming off a shortened run-up to help give the oppo an extra over or two, while at the other end Croft's sightscreen-bothering run up was more Colin than Vincent. However, venomous Vincent evoked the spirit of his (very) distant Guyanese relation and rattled through the Essexmen's top order, not slowing down nor relenting his aggression for even the younger batsmen. 

His four wickets were supported by others from Nugs, Haill (thanks to an excellent running catch from Lahrie), Aroon Korgaonkar (with Oli dropping one pretty easy chance and then happily snaffling an almost identical one a few overs and runs later) and Alan Roberts.

However, despite bringing back his openers as the light dimmed, Lahrie could not conjure up the last wickets and South Loughton battled on to a draw before sloping off home as Pacific's jolly brethren instead stayed on to take advantage of the £1-a-pint real ales.

The XI was: Lahrie Mohamed (*), Ben Boorman, Steve Lay, Abhi, Justin Roy ()Oli Haill, James Gleadow, Aroon Korgaonkar, Vincent Croft, Alan Roberts, Ahmed Hussain


Pacific v South Loughton
 
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
Lahri Mohamed   c sub b Smith   13  0  0  0  0  
Ben Boorman   c sub b Smith   2  0  0  0  0  
Steve Lay   b Smith   37  0  0  0  0  
Abhi Patel   st ? b Smith   21  0  0  0  0  
Justin Roy   b Smith   12  0  0  0  0  
Oliver Haill   c sub b Saif   35  0  0  0  0  
James Gleadow   c sub b Liam   8  0  0  0  0  
Allan Roberts   run out    4  0  0  0  0  
Vincent Croft   c Liam b Liam   2  0  0  0  0  
Aroon Korgaonkar   not out    3  0  0  0  0  
Ahmed Hussain   not out    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 9, lb 1, w 5, nb 1) 16    
 TOTAL (30.0 Overs) 152/9    
 
 
 Fall of wickets:  1-8 , 2-31 , 3-64 , 4-84 , 5-101 , 6-140 , 7-144 , 8-148 , 9-149
 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Smith   12  2  33  5  
 M Choudhury   5  0  26  0  
 K Choudhury   5  0  46  0  
 Saif   3  0  18  1  
 Baker   3  0  13  0  
 Liam   2  0  6  2  
 
 
South Loughton innings  R  M  B  4  6
Bauer   b Croft   1  0  0  0  0  
Scherer   b Roberts   62  0  0  0  0  
Beard   b Croft   4  0  0  0  0  
Saif   c Haill b Gleadow   8  0  0  0  0  
Amos   b Croft   0  0  0  0  0  
K Choudhury   c Mohamed b Haill   11  0  0  0  0  
L Hill   c Haill b Korgaonkar   14  0  0  0  0  
M Choudhury   not out    0  0  0  0  0  
S Hill   b Croft   3  0  0  0  0  
Battle   not out    0  0  0  0  0  
Smith   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 2, lb 1, w 2, nb 1) 6    
 TOTAL (24.0 Overs) 109/8    
 
 
 Fall of wickets: 
 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 James Gleadow   6  2  15  1  
 Vincent Croft   7  2  29  4  
 Oliver Haill   4  0  16  1  
 Aroon Korgaonkar   5  0  34  1  
 Allan Roberts   2  0  12  1