Juniors joyless against superior Seniors
Seniors XI v Juniors XI at Wray Crescent
Sat 07 Apr 2018 at 12:30pm
Won Snrs win by 29 runs
Intraclub fixture

“Oh ignorant youth, the world is not a joyous place," wrote an 18-year-old Hunter S Thompson in 1955. "The time has come for you to dispense with the frivolous pleasures of childhood and get down to honest toil."

That message rings true today for Pacific’s Juniors, who scuppered a strong position at the halfway mark to once again lose out to the Seniors in the annual intra-club fixture. No one would accuse the Juniors' captain, Ben Stockton, of clutching to the frivolous pleasures of childhood, but some toil perhaps would have served the young side well in their run chase. Experience showed to be lacking, as a handful of starts could not be turned into big scores as they ultimately fell 30 runs short of the 211 target.

After a week’s delay, the Pacific CC season finally got under way on Saturday. On what was reportedly the hottest day of the year so far – with temperatures threatening to creep into balmy double figures – the thwack of red leather on willow could once again be heard ringing out from Islington’s premiere cricketing venue.

The Seniors' skipper, Riz Siddiqui, won the toss and elected to bat. But opening pair Jon Thornton and Toby Chasseaud were kept quiet early on by two fresh faces in the Pacific squad, Jonas Nisse and James McGinnigle. Nisse consistently beat the bat in the corridor of uncertainty, while McGinnigle’s pace and bounce troubled both batsmen. The latter made the breakthrough in the sixth over, removing Thornton for three.

A change of bowling gave Chasseaud a chance to free his arms as he marched on to 34. But it was perhaps one expansive shot too many, as Ramiz Khan tempted Chasseaud into slashing one to point, where a waiting Luke Hollman made no mistake.

With two new batsmen at the crease, the Juniors looked to turn the screw. But James Hogg and Rob Allum at first absorbed the pressure and then began to motor. Good spells from leggie Sam Howes and Shaz Timbadia brought chances, but the fielders couldn’t hold on to their catches. So it wasn’t until after the drinks break that the Juniors added another mark to the wickets tally.

The job fell to Mr England himself. In his first over, Hollman ripped through Hogg’s stubborn defence, and he departed for 36. A mix-up in the middle saw new batsman Craig Jones run out and heading back to the hut without bothering the scorers. Hollman struck once again to remove Allum for 35. And after an epic performance in the field, Rob Dinsey’s crafty medium pace removed Dan Lewis (9).

Tom Ireland and the skipper were the new batsmen at the crease. And it didn’t take either long to get going. With Siddiqui and Ireland seeing the ball well, it looked as though the pair could set a daunting target for the Juniors in the closing overs of the innings. But coming back for his second spell, Nisse tempted Siddiqui (16) to swat at one outside off, which was expertly snaffled by Hollman at deep cover.

Saving the best until last, Ireland hit Stockton for a straight six in the final over of the innings to finish on 43 not out from just 30 balls. Aroon Korgaonkar (6) selflessly ran himself out on the final ball.

Given that the Seniors set 260 runs from 30 overs in last year’s fixture, it’s perhaps no surprise that Siddiqui felt the 210 target was a little under par. But with a boggy outfield and a wily, experienced bowling attack, it was set to be a competitive run chase.

Paul Rajkumar and Mark Woodland opened the batting for the Juniors and – much like the Seniors in the first innings – struggled to get going. Sumant Kumar and Allum gave little away in the early overs, with the latter eventually removing both of the opening pair (Rajkumar, 14; Woodland, 12). Number three Jay Lakhani battled to 12 before Korgaonkar had him caught out of the sun by Chasseaud.

Not to worry, thought captain Stockton, with Luke Hollman and Ramiz Khan at the crease, a pair with spades of talent between them. But in the penultimate over of a long spell, Allum caught and bowled the England-U19s player for 12, leaving the Juniors 69 for 4.

With 20 overs left, Khan and Stockton set about chipping away at the 142 runs still needed to win. Slowly, the required run rate began to fall, as Khan, who had started slowly, built some momentum and Stockton attacked. But the decision to bring opening bowler Kumar back on for his second spell proved a good one, after he bowled Khan for 34.

The new man in the middle was Howes. Arguably nobody has worked harder than the leggy in the off season. And there were no signs of rust as he looked to pick up where Khan had left off. But when Siddiqui took 2 wickets in as many balls – bowling both Stockton (40) and Dinsey (0) – and Howes fell for 14 soon after, victory for the Juniors looked unlikely.

Timbadia fought valiantly but also fell to Siddiqui for 8. Opening bowlers McGinnigle and Nisse now found themselves once again in partnership, this time with the bat. And McGinnigle’s six over extra cover showed that perhaps the 30 or so needed from the final 4 overs might not be out of reach. But, the pressure proved too much and on the final ball of the 37th over McGinnigle was run out, leaving the Juniors 181 all out.

Seniors XI v Juniors XI
Toss won by Seniors XI
Seniors XI innings  R  M  B  4  6
Jon Thornton   c & b McGinnigle   3  0  24  0  0  
Toby Chasseaud   c Hollman b Khan   34  0  23  5  1  
James Hogg   b Hollman   36  0  61  6  1  
Rob Allum   st Rajkumar b Hollman   35  0  52  6  0  
Craig Jones   run out    0  0  2  0  0  
Dan Lewis   b Dinsey   9  0  6  1  0  
Tom Ireland   not out    43  0  30  4  2  
Riz Siddiqui*   c Hollman b Nisse   16  0  10  1  1  
Aroon Korgaonkar   run out    6  0  10  0  0  
Murtaza Siddiqui†   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Sumant Kumar   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 4, lb 1, w 16, nb 1) 22    
 TOTAL (40.0 Overs) 210    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Jonas Nisse   8  1  30  1  
 James McGinnigle   8  2  34  1  
 Ramiz Khan   4  1  26  1  
 Ben Stockton   4  1  20  0  
 Sam Howes   4  0  32  0  
 Sharan Timbadia   4  0  28  0  
 Rob Dinsey   4  0  26  1  
 Luke Hollman   4  0  11  2  
Juniors XI innings  R  M  B  4  6
Paul Rajkumar†   c Lewis b Allum   14  0  19  2  0  
Mark Woodland   c Hogg b Allum   12  0  30  1  0  
Jay Lakhani   c Chasseaud b Korgaonkar   12  0  31  1  0  
Luke Hollman   c & b Allum   12  0  12  2  0  
Ramiz Khan   b Kumar    34  0  56  3  0  
Ben Stockton*   b Siddiqui   40  0  25  3  2  
Sam Howes   c Siddiqui b Kumar    14  0  23  1  0  
Rob Dinsey   b Siddiqui   0  0  1  0  0  
Sharan Timbadia*   b Siddiqui   8  0  21  0  0  
James McGinnigle   run out    11  0  6  0  1  
Jonas Nisse   not out    0  0  1  0  0  
 Extras (b 5, lb 3, w 10, nb 2) 20    
 TOTAL (37.0 Overs) 181    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Sumant Kumar   8  1  35  2  
 Rob Allum   8  0  28  3  
 Tom Ireland   8  0  27  0  
 Aroon Korgaonkar   3  0  21  1  
 Craig Jones   2  0  10  0  
 Rizwan Siddiqui   6  0  24  4  
 Toby Chasseaud   2  0  15  0  
 Dan Lewis   1  0  4  0  

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