Cannon Hodder
Pacific v Hoddesdon at Hoddesdon CC
Sun 21 May 2017 at 12:30pm
Lost by 381 runs
BERTIE JOEL Conference Cup

Our first ever foray into the Conference Cup led to an extraordinary mismatch that saw several club records broken... in a bad way. For those of us who played, the big orange numbers on Hoddesdon's electronic scoreboard will be forever seared into our heads:

Total: 499
Wickets: 5
Overs: 45

Well done to everyone involved for getting through it as a team. If you do need someone to talk to about your bowling figures, remember you can call the Samaritans anytime on +44 116 123.

The first few of us to arrive at Hoddesdon's ground were greeted with the disturbing sight of a dozen very large cricketers performing England-style warm-up drills in sponsored training kit and muscle-man vests. Some Pacifians apparently assumed they were at the wrong ground and drove off to find another pitch.

Somehow, we were playing Hoddesdon CC 1sts, who currently play in the Championship of the Saracens Hertfordshire League, the second tier of the county's 21 divisions, just a few rungs below professional cricket.

After losing the toss and trying not to cry in the changing room, we took to the field in bright sunshine in front of a small crowd of intrigued locals. And then… well, the scoreline says it all really. They hit 499 runs in 45 overs. They put on 231 before we took a wicket. They went from 399 to 499 in seven overs.

PCC had started positively, with immaculate and committed ground fielding keeping the run rate to four, then five, then six an over, despite hard-hitting openers and powerplay fielding restrictions.

The rest was pure carnage, with some notable exceptions: George Moses' bustling pace provided a decent challenge for the two 1st team openers, who were otherwise placing the ball in the gaps at will, and he took our first, desperately needed wicket; Sumant Kumar started encouragingly, stemming the flow of boundaries briefly, but he had to leave the field with a badly swollen hand as he attempted to stop a very well-struck drive off his own bowling; Sam Howes endured some brutal switch-hit punishment to lure the second opener into a skier with his flighted leg spin. Sumeet 'kept tidily and did not conceed a single bye all day (possibly because the batsmen rarely missed or left the ball...).

Despite facing the most unwelcoming return to cricket possible, Pacific legend Jon Brown shook off a few years of inaction to instantly find his old off-stump line and picked up a wicket in his first over, well pouched in the deep by Andy Birley.

Unsurprisingly, as the score flew past 300, and 350, and then 400, and 450, Pacific's fielding effort went from dogged to dog-eared, and a spate of skiers, blasts, and half-chance catches were dropped or missed. Tom Ireland and Kieran survived mostly unscathed from a nasty Celtic collision in the outfield as they both sprinted and leaped to make a catch, which sent the latter flying and gave the former an excuse not to bowl any more overs.

Locals walking by squinted at the scoreboard and tried to figure out what the hell was going on.

In the final over Kieran took a truly excellent running catch in the deep off Sumant's bowling that prompted a round of appreciative applause from the opposition and their support. The catch stopped the opposition reaching 500, and gave PCC something to smile about after an almighty thumping in the field, by far the most runs ever conceded by the club in its history (the previous being 409-3 - thanks Steve Lay).

After lunch Sumeet and Mutz opened the batting and made a tidy and dignity-restoring start against Hoddesdon's sympathy bowlers. Coming in at four, George Moses again showed he could compete at a high level and gave the Hoddesdon big boys a taste of their own medicine, boshing a spirited 57 off just 39 balls, including several meaty maximums.

When Hoddesdon bought on their proper bowlers, PCC provided little resistance and fell one by one, only Ravi (15) and Jon Brown (5) hitting some sweet shots to ease the pain as we slipped to a mind-bogglingly massive defeat by 381 runs – again a club record.

Despite the trauma, we stayed smiling throughout and Kieran commented later that "in typical Pacific spirit we were united rather than undone by the experience and the good vibes and camaraderie kept us going until the end".

We should also say a big thank you to Hoddesdon CC for absolutely pasting us in the most polite and professional way, with not a single disparaging comment or sledge heard all day. They even bought us a much-needed jug of beer at the end to commiserate and have asked us back to play their friendly XI next season. (Hopefully we can keep them under 400.)


Hoddesdon v Pacific
Toss won by Hoddesdon
Hoddesdon innings  R  M  B  4  6
Rob Walters   c Chasseaud b Howes   140  0  0  0  0  
James Achillea   c Chasseaud b Moses   71  0  0  0  0  
Sam Davis   b Patel   115  0  0  0  0  
Rob Jones   c Birley b Brown   17  0  0  0  0  
Jamie Curtis   not out    61  0  0  0  0  
Jayden Broodryk   c Mullens b Kumar    63  0  0  0  0  
George Blemkin   not out    0  0  0  0  0  
Martin Brown   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Rhys Jones   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Bill Thorne   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Harry Mason   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 0, lb 1, w 29, nb 2) 32    
 TOTAL (45.0 Overs) 499    
 Fall of wickets:  1-231 , 2-233 , 3-316 , 4-400 , 5-489
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Ravi Patel   9  0  100  1  
 Tom Ireland   5  0  41  0  
 George Moses   9  0  70  1  
 Toby Chasseaud   6  0  57  0  
 Sam Howes   5  0  84  1  
 Sumant Kumar   5  0  62  1  
 Jon Brown   5  0  74  1  
 Kieran Mullens   1  0  11  0  
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
Sumeet Sharma   c Walters b Brown   16  0  0  0  0  
Murtaza Siddiqui   b Brown   14  0  0  0  0  
Tom Ireland   run out    0  0  0  0  0  
Toby Chasseaud   run out    1  0  0  0  0  
George Moses   b Thorne   57  43  35  7  3  
Kieran Mullens   c Rhys Jones b Thorne   1  0  0  0  0  
Ravi Patel   c Mason b Curtis   15  0  0  0  0  
Andy Birley   run out    0  0  0  0  0  
Sam Howes   c Rhys Jones b Walters   0  0  0  0  0  
Jon Brown   not out    5  0  0  1  0  
Sumant Kumar   absent hurt    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 7, lb 0, w 1, nb 1) 9    
 TOTAL (32.0 Overs) 118    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W