Pacific Pride defeats young Lions
Pacific v President's XI at Wray Crescent
Sun 15 Oct 2017 at 1:30pm
Won by 58 runs
Friendly fixture

Autumns see a return of Pacific's nomadic cricket fan base, their annual pilgrimage of willow and leather ending each year on the benches of the Wray Crescent public space. Invariably, you'll also see urban foxes slinking their way across the field of play back to their den. But young lions? Never before! That is until President Peter Hollman's XI for our annual match featured Luke Hollman as the star performer in a glittering constellation of father and sons.

Young Hollman was recently selected for an England Young Lion squad touring this winter. Add fellow Middlesex U17 Hugh Teasdale to the mix, a scattering of Siddiquis, Becketts and Blyghtons, and Pacific were truly entering the Young Lion's den.

Skipper Ahmed won the toss and asked the President's XI to bowl first, with Teasdale H and Joe Beckett opening up with lively pace but finding openers Khan and Williams up for the challenge. 15-year-old Ramiz is a precocious talent too. He's got all the shots, a cool head and he continued the good work from last weekend. Ahmed's selection Pete showed a solid defensive game before being bowled by the worst ball of spinner Billy Blyghton's spell for 12.

Sharma arrived at the crease at 3. Moving from the opener's spot has given Sumeet a licence to express his more expansive talents. There have been studious knocks, such as a match winning 60 v Luton, and heavy hitting affairs, as seen in a Marble Hill ton. Sumeet's decisive 89 on Sunday was an amalgam of both. With his new bat he drove the ball powerfully into N4's long long grass, then he called for his 20/20 bat and sent a few balls into the boundary netting with the aptly named SLASHER.

After Ramiz was out off a skyer for a bright 40 odd, PCC hero Jon Webley increased the pace with a fine cameo (28) of three checked sixes in his inimitable silken style. To watch the Webley maximum is to be transported back to the West Country he grew up in - something mellow, artful and bucolic is how it feels. While the Sharma-Webley exhibition carried on, watching Pacificians were distracted by a pleasant Asian lady arriving to spectate with her pet rabbit! Plenty of bunnies have graced Wray's synthetic square but surely this was the first white fluffy, nibbling, doe eyed spectator [Editor's note: not quite]. Kieran found that Mouchi (1.5 human years, v fluffy) was a wabbit who enjoyed soaking up the rays while its owner watched the 'hockey' (ahem!). Mouchi may, or may not, have enjoyed seeing Websharm put on 100 between overs 15 to 25.

Once Webley was out, caught by Pete Hollman at backward point in a nod to PCC lineage, Pacific's star all rounder Stockton (737 runs@43, 45 wkts@14) continued the surge towards setting a tricky total with a 23 comprising long forward-defensive strides, elegant off and on drives and a maximum. There was also time for Kieran to return to some kind of form with three fours in a breezy 18 not out in the death overs. He cover-drove Teasdale for 4 and helped pinch 13 off the final over with Woodland, sweeping the club's Young Lion for consecutive fours.

During the break we enjoyed another fine tea - thanks to all who contributed, in particular to Ahmed for another curry and to Riz's wife for an outstanding lamb biryani.

Pacific got off to the best possible start with yet another Stockton LBW victim, this time a young Blyghton for 0. Mutz's alert fielding the previous ball had prevented the said bat getting off the mark. Earlier than we might have expected, the king of the N4 urban jungle, Hollman Jnr arrived to great fanfare. He didn't disappoint - easing the ball around at will. Anything short was punished; one flat pull off Stockton shot off the bat with a crack like gun fire. The Pacific XI was disquieted. The Wray arena was now Hollman's biospheric bubble and he was going to burst our hopes and dreams.

Then, the defining moment of the innings. A Webley delivery was venomously slashed to backward point. In the blink of an eye, Murtaza Siddiqui, champion centurion of the weekend of 14/15 Oct, took a staggering, jaw-dropping reaction catch to send young Hollman, if not back to the condemned pavilion, then at least away from this synthetic stage, for a classy 50.

Murtaza also refrained from running out John Beckett after the Highgate Taverner slipped going for a run - showing the spirit of cricket is alive and well among the Sidduqui brethren.

Tom Ireland (3fer in 7 overs) continued his trend of clean bowling batsman at Wray by removing Doug Teasdale and John Beckett in just this very manner. But Joe Beckett, son of John, still dreamed of reaching the 248, heaving anything in his zone for sixes. He favoured the fast bowlers, reacting instinctively to swing through the line. Ahmed registered this and brought himself on. He bowled a fine length and line, frustrating Beckett into one too many biffs, bowling him all ends up. Amir Mapara belied his casual gear (an all grey tracksuit) to show he was a serious bowler, returning after a testing opening burst to claim the wicket of the initially circumspect then later free-scoring opener D Blyghton.

A succession of the President's men, including Skipper Rizwan, perished in the deep, including several bowled Hussain caught Stockton combinations. With the light fading, spinners were brought on at both ends. Peter Hollman, premier all rounder in Pacific's 34-year history, showed a two-year absence hadn't dulled his gifts, hitting Ahmed through mid on for four.

The President's XI were bowled out just after 6pm. There were handshakes and back pats after a match of quality from both sides.


Rewind 10 years, Luke Hollman at Wray

Pacific v President's XI
Toss won by Pacific
 
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
Ramiz Khan   c Luke Hollman b S Blyghton   43  0  0  5  1  
Pete Williams   b Billy Blyghton   12  0  0  2  0  
Sumeet Sharma†   b Hugh Teasdale   89  0  0  8  4  
Jon Webley   c Pete Hollman b D Blyghton   28  0  0  2  3  
Ben Stockton   lbw b Luke Hollman   23  0  0  2  1  
Tom Ireland   b Luke Hollman   5  0  0  1  0  
Kieran Mullens   not out    18  0  0  3  0  
Mark Woodland   not out    4  0  0  0  0  
Amir Mapara   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Murtaza Siddiqui   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Ahmed Hussain*   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 16, lb 7, w 4, nb 0) 27    
 TOTAL (35.0 Overs) 248    
 
 
 Fall of wickets: 
 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 H Teasdale   7  0  38  1  
 Joe Beckett   4  0  19  0  
 B Blyghton   6  0  30  1  
 S Blyghton   6  1  27  1  
 I Siddiqui   3  0  40  0  
 D Blyghton   4  0  39  1  
 Luke Hollman   5  0  34  2  
 
 
President's XI innings  R  M  B  4  6
B Blyghton   lbw b Stockton   0  0  0  0  0  
D Blyghton   c Sharma b Mapara   42  0  0  0  0  
Luke Hollman   c Siddiqui b Webley   50  0  0  0  0  
D Teasdale†   b Ireland   1  0  0  0  0  
Joe Beckett   b Hussain   55  0  0  0  0  
John Beckett   b Ireland   3  0  0  0  0  
Riz Siddiqui*   c Stockton b Ireland   11  0  0  0  0  
Hughie Teasdale   c Stockton b Hussain   0  0  0  0  0  
S Blyghton   c Stockton b Hussain   6  0  0  0  0  
Peter Hollman   not out    4  0  0  1  0  
I Siddiqui   st Sharma b Mullens   1  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 0, lb 2, w 14, nb 1) 17    
 TOTAL (31.1 Overs) 190    
 
 
 Fall of wickets: 
 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Ben Stockton   4  0  26  1  
 Amir Mapara   7  0  31  1  
 Jon Webley   4  0  17  1  
 Tom Ireland   7  0  52  3  
 Mark Woodland   2  0  18  0  
 Ramiz Khan   1  0  14  0  
 Ahmed Hussain   6  0  30  3  
 Kieran Mullens   0.1  0  0  1