Pacific trump the president's men
Pacific v President's XI at Wray Crescent
Sat 27 Oct 2018 at 11am
Won by 137 runs
Friendly fixture

As Presidential thrashings go, this is the sort of result that most of the sane world hopes to see in both the forthcoming US mid-term elections and the next White House race in 2020. The trump card on the Pacific campaign trail was a third-wicket partnership between Aly Duncan and Sumeet Sharma, which easily toppled the seemingly powerful President's XI.

President for the season Oli Haill and his Veep, Sam Howes, had put together a pretty strong-looking team and it was set up to be a good game, despite the brass monkeys conditions. Grant Dixon, the Kiwi opening bowler recruited for the day from rivals Strongroom, got the invitational XI off to a rip-roaring start as he removed Creatures and Walt for single single figures apiece. 

The Alygator, having not passed 25 so far this season, was joined in the middle by sumptuous shotmaker Sumeet, who had passed 100 twice in earlier matches, with the team score on 13. With his favourite scoring area square on the offside well marshalled by vice-vice-President Riz's fielders, Aly scored runs all round the ground, including a spanked six and several punishing shots off the President. Sumeet means 'good friend' and Mr Sharma has been involved in some key Pacific partnerships this season, with this no exception as he timed the ball typically sweetly, with 74 of his 110 runs coming in boundaries. 

By the time Duncan fell to a juggling catch from former Pacific legend Rob Bastin behind the stumps, the pair had scored a combined 145. Not long after, having notched up his third century of 2018, Sumeet saw the friendly face of Sam coming back on to bowl and his sky-high confidence wavered. He gestured to enquire whether Howes would be changing from seam to spin and the seamer-turned-leggie-turned-seamer nodded happily. Sumeet's brow knotted, he shook his head and a few balls later he was bowled. With a patient 30-odd from Toby and a blitzed one from Ben Stockton, Pacific made it to 268 from their 40.

Lunch saw the President's two kegs of ale opened and some tasty scran, with special praise going to Walt for some delicious home-made items. Mutz's enthusiam to keep his hands warm meant that he wrestled the gloves off Summeet.

None of the President's top four were seen enjoying a tipple but the invitational XI was soon wobbling, four wickets down with only 27 on the board. The marvellously monikered Rupert Style, normally a Nomad and recruited a few week ago by Sam on the Victoria underground line, looked as flamboyant a batsman as his name but was the first of James Soden's wickets as the big Brummy looked in the sort of great rhythm where at other times in the season he has been unlucky not to bag more wickets. Soden also removed Jon Thornton, a Pacific occasional, who was adjudged lbw.

In between Soden's wickets, Treasurer Timbadia was pleased to economically remove two Actual Pacific Legends, in the form of Johnny Hardisty, now of Graces CC, and Rob Bastin, now of south London. Hardisty and Bastin brought a massive 317 and 164 Pacific appearances respectively, as the 12th and 17th highest-scoring players in the club's history. Jonners, who made his PCC debut in 1988, is recorded in the Pacific 'Wisden' for some special batting records - having the slowest score in the club's history, with 1 off 46 balls, and also the sixth most ducks. On Saturday he added another quacker to his lifetime tally, while astrophysicist Dr Bastin tested out a few small experiments of motion and force before his pad proved an immovable object for the ball and the umpire removed him with his finger alone.

Stuart Anthony, another friendly face from Graces, admitted he was struggling with form but battled hard out in the middle. He repeatedly found fielders with his best shots and found edges otherwise before becoming one of three wickets for Yorkshire workhorse Stocko, who will be favourite to retain his best-in-show award in the coming end-of-season gongs. Stockton also induced an edge from Sushant Gupta, a houseparty-hosting friend of Sam's, for just 1. Vinay Venkateshan, another Strongroom recruit, sported a bright red helmet and some dazzling shots all round the wicket in an entertaining innings that was the fluid antithesis of most of his teammates on the day. 

After a fast fifty Vinay was inveigled into playing round one by Tim 'Chocolate Wrists' Garrett, who was returning from several weeks in his smokey garret due to injury. The former Crowthorne and UCS man known as Milky by his previous clubs feels firmly a Pacific fixture this season, thanks in large part to his off-the-field heroics as match manager. But after months of frustration, Garrett got his groove back and remained as cool as a chocolate Yazoo straight from the fridge amid several big heaves from Vinaym, Riz and Sam to keep his line and length and inveigle all three with some excellent spin bowling.

An enjoyable, if cold, game finished on a high with pitchside beer, some shared with the remainder of our coterie of huddled late-season fans, before the players repaired to the White Lion for Naked Ladies and then Papagone's for pizza. 

Full team lineups:

Pacific XI: Toby Chasseaud (c), Mutz Siddiqui (wk), Ben Stockton, Ben Burnham, Sumeet Sharma, Sharan Timbadia, Rob Dinsey, James Soden, Tim Garrett, Aly Duncan, Mark Woodland 

President’s XI: Oli Haill (c), Sam Howes, Rob Bastin (wk), Jon Thornton, Riz Siddiqui, Jonathan Hardisty, Stuart Anthony, Grant Dixon, Vinay Venkateshan, Sushant Gupta, Rupert Style esquire.

Pacific v President's XI
Toss won by Pacific
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
Mark Woodland   c Dixon b Dixon   3  0  12  0  0  
Rob Dinsey   b Dixon   1  0  11  0  0  
Aly Duncan   c Bastin (Wkt) b R Siddiqui   42  0  72  3  1  
Sumeet Sharma   b Howes   110  0  72  8  7  
Toby Chasseaud*   c Vinay (deep midwicket) b Dixon   35  0  41  1  0  
Ben Stockton   c Bastin (Wkt) b R Siddiqui   32  0  21  1  3  
Murtaza Siddiqui†   not out    7  0  11  0  0  
Ben Burnham   run out ?    1  0  1  0  0  
Sharan Timbadia   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
James Soden   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Tim Garrett   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 8, lb 9, w 20, nb 1) 38    
 TOTAL (40.0 Overs) 268    
 Fall of wickets:  1-7 [Woodland] , 2-13 [Dinsey] , 3-158 [Duncan] , 4-202 [Sharma] , 5-247 [Stockton] , 6-267 [Chasseaud] , 7-268 [Burnham ]
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Grant Dixon   7  0  43  3  
 Sam Howes   8  0  55  1  
 Vinay   6  0  37  0  
 Shushant G   6  0  26  0  
 Oli Haill   5  0  43  0  
 R Siddiqui   8  0  48  2  
President's XI innings  R  M  B  4  6
J Thornton   lbw b Soden   11  0  0  0  0  
R Style   c Sharma b Soden   5  0  0  0  0  
R Bastin†   lbw b Timbadia   3  0  0  0  0  
J Hardisty   b Timbadia   0  0  0  0  0  
S Anthony   c Siddiqui b Stockton   12  0  0  0  0  
Vinay V   b Garrett   54  0  0  0  0  
S Gupta   c Siddiqui b Stockton   1  0  0  0  0  
R Siddqui*   Garrett    14  0  0  0  0  
G Dixon   c Burnham b Stockton   9  0  0  0  0  
S Howes   c Burnham b Garrett   4  0  0  0  0  
O Haill   not out    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 7, lb 0, w 7, nb 7) 21    
 TOTAL (0.0 Overs) 140    
 Fall of wickets:  1-12 [Style] , 2-20 [Bastin] , 3-20 [Hardisty] , 4-27 [Thornton] , 5-82 [Anthony] , 6-104 [Vinay] , 7-105 [Gupta] , 8-127 [Siddiqui] , 9-129 [Dixon] , 10-131 [Howes]
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Sharan Timbadia   8  1  39  2  
 James Soden   8  0  29  2  
 Tim Garrett   6.2  0  38  3  
 Ben Stockton   6  1  13  3