I (don't) got Five on it
Pacific v Fives at Highgate CC
Sun 02 Jun 2019 at 1pm
Lost by 158 runs
Middlesex & Essex Invitation League

An unmemorable match played in decent weather, with an appropriately short match report:

We lost for three reasons - most of our bowling was awful, nobody really got going with the batting, and we had their bat-carrying centurion out at least twice but the umpire didn't agree, and the discrepancy in opinion rattled us.

Regarding the calls, I can only really recall one in detail, the LBW shout. Their right-handed batsmen was hit low on his front foot stepping across his stumps and the umpire shook his head and said it was going down leg. Huh? From the perspective at point, I couldn't tell if it was in line or not, but down leg was a physical impossibility. Stockton, bowling well, was visibly perturbed by the call, ruminating that the umpire should have at least given him a reason that wouldn't beggar belief. At the break some of us responded that we shouldn't give any calls ourselves in order to level the game, although this plan was thwarted when Arup gave Sumeet a 2nd ball LBW, stating that it was plumb and he was too ethical to cheat. Which of course presents the eternal question: is it cheating, or is it simply playing by the same rules as your opponent, and arguably the more sporting choice? Regardless, I think it would be useful for us to have some sort of united front on strategy in such situations going forward.

Back to the game...we lost the toss and were put in the field, and I really don't want to dwell too much on it. Only Stockton and Riz bowled anything worth mentioning as Fives raced to a quick hundred after 14 or so overs without a decent stroke. At one point their top scorer was extras with about 30, none of them the fault of Sumeet's keeping, and one of their waiting batsmen allegedly asked one of our fielders if our game plan was really to bowl no-balls and full-tosses all day. We probably missed our captain A-bomb here, restricting himself as a result of ongoing shoulder tenderness, although there's usually little in this pitch for bowlers anyway. Fives ended up with 274, 45 of them to extras, with Riz able to stabilize things after drinks and get through their middle order. My enduring memories from the field are the sunshine and Mutz stomping around grumbling incomprehensibly about the umpiring.

275 felt briefly possible, JD and Jaz opened and chipped in 30-odd between then, although most hope faded after our 3 and 4 - Angus and Sumeet - were both out for ducks (see above). Stockton and Riz then fell for about 20 each, both also trying to push on against their non-spinning spinner, although I reckon that Riz's batting was affected by the mystery gastro-intestinal issue that had both perfumed the loo and forced his early evacuation from the pavilion post-match. Stay strong, brother, we've all been there. The rearguard didn't hold...horrible pun, sorry...but it was always unlikely as we needed either about 200 or to bat through at least 30 overs at that point. Perhaps we could have kept it going a bit longer, though, with Mutz out for 2, me for for 13, Arup for a battling 22 and Shaz with a duck (our third of the day). Ahmed boosted his average with another not-out, one of his runs coming off a glorious pull round the corner!

Personal observations: Tea was good, if a bit small for 22. The stir-fried veggie noodles with a bit of the chiu chow-style chili oil provided as condiment was a highlight, although there was only enough to go round thanks to those of us observing Ramadan. It was my first time seeing Shaz bust out the tappy card payment thingy for match fees...seems almost...classy? Weather was gorgeous early on, sunny and not too hot, and the resulting Vitamin D rush to my brain as we fielded repeatedly sent me direct to la-la land...at least, I told my captain it was Vitamin D, Ahmed helpfully reminding me to "Wakey-wakey Paul, you're in Highgate" as I stared at the grass. It became overcast with some wind later and we saw some light showers at the break, which perhaps didn't help our run total but I'd have to say its effect on the match outcome was negligible. And finally, the manner of my getting out - another run out, this time thanks to Arup's competitive spirit briefly overtaking any sort in-game logic as we were down about 180 and needed to stay in - made me curious about whether I really was being used as a run-out whipping boy by my fellow Pacificos, or if it just felt that way. So I checked the stats when I got home, and yes, my emotions matched the data. I've now been run out now thanks to calls from Arup, Kieran (twice), Vince Croft (infuriating), Luke Holman, Sam & Toby. Seems a lot for a part-time player, no? Please also note that I have never called for a run which has resulted in anyone else getting out. So let me put my beloved team-mates on notice, if you call me for a run, the safest strategy now seems obvious: I should ignore you. And if for some reason I forget to ignore you (which is likely), you will do like Arup, gentleman that he is, and buy me a beer after the game to apologize for the fall of yet another of my wickets in such a manner. Onwards and upwards!

Fives v Pacific
Toss won by Pacific
Fives innings  R  M  B  4  6
Gary   c Sharma b Timbadia   18  0  0  3  0  
Ajay   b Stockton   19  0  0  4  0  
Nikunj   not out    106  0  0  24  1  
Suri*   b Siddiqui   45  0  0  3  3  
Krishna†   lbw b Stockton   19  0  0  3  0  
Sid   b Siddiqui   1  0  0  0  0  
Suj   b Siddiqui   0  0  0  0  0  
Graham   b Stockton   4  0  0  1  0  
Rakesh   not out    10  0  0  1  1  
 Extras (b 14, lb 2, w 17, nb 12) 45    
 TOTAL (40.0 Overs) 274    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Ben Stockton   10  2  31  3  
 Sharan Timbadia   8  0  55  1  
 Arup Sen   3  0  40  0  
 Rizwan Siddiqui   12  1  69  3  
 Angus McKechnie   2  0  27  0  
 Paul Davis   5  0  36  0  
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
John Deighan   c & b hind b Ajay   22  0  36  3  0  
Jasbir Basi   c ? b Ajay   11  0  20  1  0  
Angus McKechnie   b Ajay   0  0  1  0  0  
Sumeet Sharma†   lbw b Sujan   0  0  2  0  0  
Ben Stockton   b Sujan   21  0  23  2  0  
Rizwan Siddiqui*   b Sujan   20  0  12  5  0  
Murtaza Siddiqui   c & b hind b Ajay   2  0  5  0  0  
Arup Sen   c & b hind b Ajay   23  0  21  4  1  
Paul Davis   run out    13  0  13  3  0  
Sharan Timbadia   c & b Sujan   0  0  3  0  0  
Ahmed Hussain   not out    2  0  8  0  0  
 Extras (b 0, lb 0, w 2, nb 0) 2    
 TOTAL (23.4 Overs) 116    
 Fall of wickets:  1-18 [Basi] , 2-18 [McKechnie] , 3-19 [Sharma] , 4-41 [Deighan] , 5-64 [Siddiqui] , 6-76 [Stockton] , 7-77 [Siddiqui] , 8-105 [Davis] , 9-105 [Timbadia] , 10-116 [Sen]
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Ajay   12  0  76  5  
 Sujan   12  1  39  4  
 Dina   1  1  0  0