Ramiz Khan't beat Village alone
Pacific v Village CC at Wray Crescent
Sun 22 Apr 2018 at 1.30pm
Lost by 139 runs
Friendly fixture

This was our first match against Village CC since 2011, and despite me being told by the square leg umpire that there had previously been a fight in a game between our two teams (perhaps an older Pacifico can fill in the gaps there), a good game was had by all, albeit mostly the visitors, who romped to a fairly comfortable 139 run victory.

On a hot April afternoon, Pacific lost the toss and were asked to field first to less than universal delight as it meant having to clear a large group of sunbathers and footballers from the outfield. With sunglasses on and factor 50 applied (although Jay was still wearing a sleeveless sweater), Pacific took the field and Alastair and Aravindan the new ball. With the Wray Crescent pitch providing good bounce and carry in early season, Pusinelli was a serious threat and got his reward when he sent the bails of the opener flying to make the first breakthrough with 29 runs on the board.

The second wicket partnership was productive for Village, with the #3, helpfully carded as "Sleu" but referred to by captain Hussain as "The Axe Murderer" after several sixes into the park, particularly vicious in taking it to the Pacific attack. Village lost two wickets in the nervous (team) 90s, both to third change bowler Ramiz Khan, who bowled very tightly and yet still managed to take his first two wickets with rank full tosses. Village CC were at least trying to live up to their name.

The second half of the Village innings consisted of a steady diet of boundaries, with number 5 batsman Toby (and how frustrating it was to have a high-scoring batsman called Toby on the other team for once) reaching 81 with an over to go. To much encouragement from the boundary, he attempted to reach his century in the final over, bowled by Khan, but missed two huge swings before taking a single to bring Thompson on to strike. Pacific breathed a sigh of relief, which was promptly proved to be premature as the junior partner took one step down the crease and thumped the ball straight over Khan's head, straight over the boundary netting and straight into the adjoining house with an ominously glassy sounding crash. Village finished on 253-6, with Toby 82* and The Axe Murderer 59 the main scorers.

The start of the second innings was delayed as captain Hussain borrowed the scorer's pen to write a note of apology to the householder, his normally inexhaustible patience being somewhat tested by a combination of deciding whose mobile phone number to put on the note and having to clear further errant children from the outfield before the chase could begin. By this point, the earlier blazing sun had ceded to cloud cover and dropping temperatures, which made conditions rather more bowler friendly than they had been earlier in the day.

With a tough target on the board, much would be required of Pacific's top three of Lakhani, Woodland and Sharma, so to have them all back in the pavilion (well, on the benches at least) having scored a combined total of four runs could be described as a blow to our chances, as Village's very tidy opening bowlers made early inroads. Number four Aravindan hit four boundaries in a pleasant 21, but couldn't go on to make a big impression and became the third victim bowled by Sheik.

At 40-4, Pacific were in deep trouble, but an enterprising and increasingly comfortable innings from Ramiz added some respectability to the score even though wickets continued to fall at the other end. As Pacific's bottom five batsmen all made their case for being specialist #11s, captain Hussain pulled rank and went out to umpire, leaving a 7, 8, 9 of Dinsey, Timbadia and Ratta battling vertigo at their elevated positions in the order.  

The lower order provided solid if unconvincing support to Khan as he approached his 50, with Snodin's 9 off 17 balls a decent contribution from 10 and Dinsey's 8 off 20 being cruelly brought to an end just 92 runs short of a maiden century after being adjudged caught behind. A special mention for the catch at second slip to dismiss Timbadia for a duck, which was exceptional.

Khan reached his 50 in the company of Snodin shortly before becoming the penultimate man out, and Snodin followed eight runs later to wrap up the Pacific innings for 114, a winning margin of 139 runs for Village CC... or at least it should have been. Unfortunately, in the countup, it was discovered that Village's left-arm spinner Francis has bowled nine overs, one more than allowed, and I'm sure that the ECB approved penalty for such a miscalculation is a run penalty of 140 runs.

Perhaps we'll be generous and call this one a draw...

Village CC v Pacific
Toss won by Village CC
Village CC innings  R  M  B  4  6
James DM   b Pusinelli    12  0  0  2  0  
G Pontin   c Pusinelli b Khan   26  0  0  4  0  
Sleu   c Pusinelli b Khan   59  0  0  6  4  
Deano   c Sub b Snodin   0  0  0  0  0  
Toby DM   not out    82  0  0  10  2  
Bosh   b Hussain   0  0  0  0  0  
Richard Cveney   c Lakhani b Dinsey   22  0  0  1  1  
Nick Thompson   not out    22  0  0  1  1  
Sheik   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Pitcher   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Eddy Francis   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 17, lb 5, w 3, nb 1) 26    
 TOTAL (40.0 Overs) 253    
 Fall of wickets:  1-29 [James DM] , 2-93 [James DM] , 3-99 [Deano] , 4-115 [Sleu] , 5-116 [Bosh] , 6-187 [Richard Cveney]
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Alastair Pusinelli   8  1  22  1  
 Aravindan Ilangovan   3  0  20  0  
 Sharan Timbadia   7  0  45  0  
 Ben Snodin   5  0  25  1  
 Ramiz Khan   7  0  46  2  
 Ahmed Hussain   5  0  23  1  
 Rafiq Ratta   4  0  32  0  
 Rob Dinsey   2  0  19  1  
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
Jay Lakhani   b Sheik   3  0  22  0  0  
Mark Woodland   lbw b Thompson   0  0  1  0  0  
Sumeet Sharma†   b Sheik   1  0  6  0  0  
Aravindan Ilangovan†   b Sheik   21  0  33  4  0  
Ramiz Khan   c ? b Pitcher   52  0  62  10  0  
Alastair Pusinelli   c ? b Francis   1  0  16  0  0  
Rob Dinsey   c Wicketkeeper b Francis   8  0  20  1  0  
Sharan Timbadia   2nd slip b Francis   0  0  7  0  0  
Rafiq Ratta   lbw b Pitcher   0  0  4  0  0  
Ben Snodin   c ? b Pitcher   9  0  17  1  0  
Ahmed Hussain*   not out    0  0  6  0  0  
 Extras (b 4, lb 1, w 7, nb 6) 18    
 TOTAL (32.5 Overs) 114    
 Fall of wickets:  1-1 [Woodland] , 2-2 [Sharma] , 3-22 [Lakhani] , 4-40 [Ilangovan] , 5-69 [Pusinelli ] , 6-88 [Dinsey] , 7-94 [Timbadia] , 8-95 [Ratta] , 9-106 [Khan] , 10-114 [Snodin]
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Thompson   6  0  13  1  
 Sheik   7  1  28  3  
 Richard   4  0  15  0  
 Francis   9  3  21  3  
 Pitcher   6.5  1  25  3