Peak Siddiqui provides Mutz more than Graces notes
Pacific v Graces at Paulin Ground, Winchmore Hill CC
Sun 20 May 2018 at 2pm
Won by 3 wickets
Friendly fixture

Pacific arrived on a perfect Sunday afternoon to a picturesque Winchmore Hill CC for a friendly 40 over match against long-time opponents Graces CC.

We were met by a small army of parents and children watching an U11 game. Kieran could hardly believe the standard of cricket on show and even suggested he might recruit one of two for Pacific – a clear indication of his faith in our abilities. Somehow the game managed to go on for about two hours longer than expected which delayed our game from starting. At almost 3pm the call finally came: “we’re fielding chaps”.

Alastair Pusinelli got Pacific off to the perfect start with a spell of hostile fast-medium bowling that had the opening batsman playing and missing at several balls before attempting a drive and nicking behind to a waiting Sharma. Credit must also go to the batsman, Leo, for walking. Phil Smith kept the pressure on from the other end with an equally impressive spell of fast medium bowling which had the batsmen guessing. The pressure, exerted by the duo of fast bowlers, paid off again when Pusinelli struck in his next over to dismiss Mamon – out LBW to a full ball.

Out came Graces’ main man, Mendis, to the crease. He looked good as he raced to 15 in no time, hitting some lovely shots through cover and midwicket with crisp timing. This time though, Smith struck as Mendis looked to play one too many across the line and was bowled! It was a huge wicket for Pacific and at 25-3, Graces were in danger of collapsing.

Then came a stand of 49 between captain Mahender and No 3 batsman Manish which steadied the ship and guided Graces through some quality bowling from Bing Stanley and pick-of-the-bowlers, Tim Garrett. Having done the hard work of getting in, Mahender was deceived by a good ball from Stanley and fell for 28. It was a top edge off a slog sweep which was swallowed by Alastair leaving Graces on 74-4. Manish fell shortly after, for 23, attempting a paddle shot and being caught by Stanley behind square on the leg side. The score was 87/5 and it was just rewards for Garrett who bowled exceptionally today (and ended with 8 overs 2 maidens 2-24).

A slow period of scoring followed thanks to more tight bowling from Stanley, Garrett and a maiden from Ahmed. After a snail’s pace 13 (off 40 balls), Graces’ batsman, Dom, wandered down the wicket and hit the ball straight to midwicket where Alastair took another smart catch. It was 105-6 and Graces were looking for a miracle to get to a respectable total. It came in the shapes of Stuart and Niroshan. The pair put on a fast-paced partnership of 80 runs which included some big hitting down the ground and some lovely placement for good measure. Stuart reached his 50 off just 31 balls to a standing ovation from his team-mates.

Kieran Mullens was brought on to bowl after catching the captain’s eye with some dramatic warm-up routines. He was immediately successful with a game-changing spell of three overs. His first over yielded two wickets: he first dismissed Manish who was caught well by Ahmed at fine leg attempting a scoop shot of sorts. The second wicket was the big wicket of Stuart and could not have been more dramatic: Kieran flighted in an inviting ball to new batsman, Ronnie, who obligingly skied an attempted cross-bat shot to Smith fielding at short cover. Smith took a second to evaluate the situation before "deciding" to drop the catch after the fifth juggle and instead run out danger man and non-striker, Stuart, for 50 runs. 185-8 and Pacific smelled blood. The innings was promptly wrapped up as Scott T skied another flighted ball from Kieran to Lakhani at cover with Smith at the other end getting Ronnie plumb LBW having dropped him an over earlier in the lead up to the run out.

Graces ended on 196 all out. An above par total given that Pacific would be chasing in deteriorating light. Tea was excellent at WHCC but we needed to rush through it to get Pacific’s innings started before 6pm.

Pacific Innings

It was an odd sight to see two spinners open the bowling with a shiny new ball but the innings got off to a bad start when Paul Rajkumar missed a straight ball to be given out LBW to Mendis (for 0), a spinner who effectively bowls fast darts into leg stump. Jay Lakhani and Toby Chasseaud were forced to play out some good bowling and the required scoring rate eventually told as Lakhani (bowled for 12) ran down the wicket and missing a slog looking to up the rate. It must have looked like an impression of a headless chicken. Sumeet Sharma fell (for 13) to a similar, though not quite as ugly, shot, leaving Pacific 54-3 (17 overs).

Toby and Kieran set about building our total with some lovely shots and excellent running between the wickets. A highlight was a pair of fours to Kieran with a flick off his pads through midwicket followed by another boundary straight down the ground to a straight drive. After getting doing a lot of hard work, Toby fell (for 29) to Dominic when he was caught trying to up the rate. 80-4.

Enter Bing. Pacific needed an innings to match Stuart’s earlier performance for Graces and the call was answered by an aggressive and unorthodox Bing Stanley. He played a glorious reverse sweep for four to spread the field and followed it up with a nailed slog sweep which would have been six on many international pitches! Badabing! With Kieran for company, the pair upped the run rate and put our innings back on course until Kieran was bowled by Mahender (for 27 off just 33 balls) leaving us on 115-5.

Mutz Siddiqi is in a wonderful purple patch and played a lovely innings today full of crunching drives, good running and punctuated with a touch of smokers’ cough. He matched Bing shot for shot and kept up the tempo. Bing was going after every ball in this partnership but sadly played around one from Mendis to be bowled for 42 off 26 balls. The damage had been done by his innings and left Pacific with a gettable run rate to chase. 152-6.

Tim Garrett provided Mutz with solid company scoring a handy 9 off 12 balls before falling to Manish. 173-7. Mutz played some more powerful shots and milked the bowlers with some aggressive running – his experience was clear for all to see as he guided us to victory with a classy run-a-ball 36 red inker with Alastair for company (a chanceless 12 off 14 balls).

My man of the match was Bing Stanley for his innings of 42 (26) and his bowling of 1-48 off 8, though Alastair (wickets, catches and not out at the end), Kieran (27 and 2 wickets) and Mutz (guided us home) had an equally good shout. 


Graces v Pacific
Toss won by Graces
Graces innings  R  M  B  4  6
Leo   c Sharma b Pusinelli    0  0  0  0  0  
Mamun   lbw b Pusinelli    0  0  0  0  0  
Manish   c Stanley b Garrett   23  0  0  0  0  
Mendis   b Smith   15  0  0  0  0  
Mahender   c Pusinelli b Stanley   28  0  0  0  0  
Dom   c Pusinelli b Garrett   13  0  0  0  0  
Niroshan   c Hussain b Mullens   37  0  0  0  0  
Stuart   run out Smith    51  0  0  0  0  
Ronnie   lbw b Smith   1  0  0  0  0  
Scott   c Lakhani b Mullens   8  0  0  0  0  
Jonners   not out    2  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 5, lb 5, w 6, nb 3) 19    
 TOTAL (38.4 Overs) 196    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Alastair Pusinelli   8  0  31  2  
 Phil Smith   7  0  27  2  
 Bing Stanley   8  0  48  1  
 Tim Garrett   8  2  24  2  
 Ahmed Hussain   4  0  36  0  
 Jay Lakhani   1  0  14  0  
 Kieran Mullens   2.4  1  6  2  
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
Paul Rajkumar   lbw b Mendis   0  0  7  0  0  
Jay Lakhani   b Mamun   12  0  27  1  0  
Toby Chasseaud*   c Square leg b Dominic   29  0  57  2  0  
Sumeet Sharma†   b Mamun   13  0  20  2  0  
Kieran Mullens   b Mahender   27  0  33  4  0  
Bing Stanley   b Mendis   42  0  26  5  1  
Murtaza Siddiqui   not out    36  0  33  2  0  
Tim Garrett   c Mahender b Manish   9  0  12  1  0  
Alastair Pusinelli   not out    12  0  14  1  0  
Phil Smith   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Ahmed Hussain   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 5, lb 1, w 6, nb 9) 21    
 TOTAL (38.3 Overs) 197    
 Fall of wickets:  1-0 [Rajkumar] , 2-28 [Lakhani] , 3-54 [Sharma] , 4-80 [Chasseaud] , 5-115 [Mullens] , 6-152 [Stanley] , 7-173 [Garrett]
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Mendis   8  1  29  2  
 Manish   8  2  28  1  
 Mamun   8  1  23  2  
 Mahender   8  0  42  1  
 Ronnie   4.3  0  45  0  
 Dominic   2  0  24  1  

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