Sharma steers Pacific to victory in Richmond
Pacific v Crossbats at Marble Hill Park
Sat 19 Aug 2017 at 1pm
Won by 85 runs
Friendly fixture

A sublime Summet Sharma century helped Pacific secure a dominating victory over Crossbats at Marble Hill Park in Richmond. The travelling XI climbed to 255 as Sharma (116) and Ben Stockton (73) piled on the runs in the middle overs. Then accurate swing bowling with the new ball by Sharan Timbadia (3 wkts) and similarly devilish spin with the old by Kieran Mullens (4 wkts) saw the hosts fall 85 runs short of the target.

After speaking with the opposition’s skipper, Mullens accepted their offer to bowl first. With the prospect of a weakened Crossbats bowling attack, opening duo Mullens and Aly Duncan confidently strode to the middle. But Mullens soon found himself back in the hut, scratching his head as to how the supposedly ‘weak’ opposition had dislodged his offstump within the first over. Duncan followed shortly afterwards for just 1.

James Soden (7) seemed to be seeing the ball well, before lofting one over the bowler Skinner’s head. Somehow, a scampering mid-off threw out a right paw and the ball stuck. But a slightly bizarre decision to take off Skinner after just two overs allowed the new batsmen, Sharma and Stockton, to settle. 

Sharma brought up his half century in no time, and converted it into his second ton for the club without offering even a hint of a chance to the bowling side. His 116 matches the similarly masterful century he scored against Graces last year. At the other end, the story for Stockton was quite the opposite – he’d been dropped twice and had hit a number in the air through square leg. As the pair looked to kick on as the 40-over mark loomed, Stockton’s luck finally ran out as a high ball was comfortable snaffled by Scotsman McAlpine.

That brought George Moses to the crease under the close gaze of the day’s visiting umpire, Fred Thomas – a distinguished Dorset man, Thomas has 49 years of club cricket under his belt and is the proud grandfather of Pacifician Moses. He went hard at the ball and looked untroubled by the bowling, racking up 21 off just 11 balls. Until, he was unfortunately run out.

Mark Woodland came and went without troubling the scorers, after nicking a good ball from Skinner who had returned for his second spell. A couple of runs apiece from Paul Davis and Rajesh Thind brought Pacific to 255 for 9.

During the break, Crossbats laid on one of the best teas in memory. Cooked up by the opposition’s captain and Executive Chef, ‘Boom’, on offer was haute cuisine the likes of which have never been seen pulled out of two cool boxes and consumed on the side of a cricket pitch. Salmon, octopus, homemade quiche, freshly baked bread, artisanal cakes and more filled the bellies of both teams. Never to be ones to over indulge, the fine athletes of PCC limited themselves to a maximum of three cakes each.

The hearty meal fuelled a nippy bowling performance from Timbadia. He removed the Crossbats no.1 for a duck and took no.4 and 5 in similarly swift fashion. Ably supported by Davis from the other end, his 8 overs for just 20 runs and 1 wicket stifled Crossbats’ response.

But the Crossbats middle order held firm with McAlpine quickly surpassing 50. But as wickets started to fall again once Mullens was brought into the attack, Crossbats looked sure to come up short of the target. 

Emotions started to run high and it looked as though the game may end on a sour note. But after Mullens removed the 10th wicket, it was handshakes all round and off the local. We look forward to welcoming Crossbats to Wray in early September for the return fixture. Special thanks also goes to Fred Thomas who umpired for the best part 80 overs and certainly earned the pint or two the team enjoyed in Richmond and Islington later that evening.

Pacific v Crossbats
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
Kieran Mullens*   b A Skinner   0  0  3  0  0  
Aly Duncan   c Sayers b A Skinner   1  0  10  0  0  
Sumeet Sharma   c ? b S Skinner   116  0  92  12  1  
James Soden   c Shirley b S Skinner   7  0  9  0  0  
Ben Stockton   c McAlpine b McAlpine   73  0  62  11  0  
George Moses   run out S Skinner    21  0  11  2  1  
Murtaza Siddiqui†   run out    11  0  11  0  0  
Mark Woodland   c Wkt b S Skinner   0  0  4  0  0  
Paul Davis   not out    2  0  3  0  0  
Rajesh Thind   not out    2  0  3  0  0  
Sharan Timbadia   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 3, lb 1, w 9, nb 0) 13    
 TOTAL (40.0 Overs) 255    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
Crossbats innings  R  M  B  4  6
Spiro   b Timbadia   0  0  0  0  0  
Carter   c Mullens b Davis   4  0  0  0  0  
S Skinner   c Mullens b Stockton   24  0  0  0  0  
Owen   b Timbadia   9  0  0  0  0  
A Skinner   b Timbadia   6  0  0  0  0  
McHunt   c Stockton b Mullens   59  0  0  0  0  
Shirley   run out Sharma    35  0  0  0  0  
Sayers   c Sharma b Mullens   29  0  0  0  0  
Lawrence   not out    2  0  0  0  0  
Michael (Boom!)   b Mullens   0  0  0  0  0  
Gray   c Woodland b Mullens   0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 0, lb 0, w 18, nb 0) 18    
 TOTAL (37.5 Overs) 170    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Sharan Timbadia   8  1  22  3  
 Paul Davis   8  0  20  1  
 Rajesh Thind   3  0  41  0  
 Mark Woodland   3  1  21  0  
 Ben Stockton   8  1  22  1  
 Kieran Mullens   8  0  49  4  

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