Mayfield hang on after Sumeet’s fireworks
Pacific v Mayfield CC at Hazelwood Lane Sports Ground
Sun 14 Jul 2019 at 1.30pm
Middlesex & Essex Invitation League


Pacific battled to a well-fought draw at a sun-drenched Hazlewood Sports Ground against our MEIL friends Mayfield, on a day that will go down in cricketing folklore for England winning the World Cup just across town in St John's Wood.

Preparations for the match had been strenuous, match manager Tim Garrett having been brought close to the point of nervous breakdown while trying to put together a team on a Sunday which, as well as the World Cup final, also featured an epic Men's Wimbledon final between Federer and Djokovic, and victory for Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone in the British GP. In the end, the Pacific XI that made it to the ground just north of the North Circular was, on paper, one of the strongest we've seen in a while.

Tim's nerves had not been helped by the fact that five minutes before the start of the match only three Pacificicists (including the match manager) had turned up, although in fairness some of the team had gone to the wrong address (i.e. the one that had been provided over Whatsapp). Captains Mutz Siddiqui and (friend of the club and sometime Pacificicist) Mr Shaf Kazi reached the pragmatic consensus that Pacific should bat first, and the teams took to the field after a delay of only five minutes, with our batting order TBC depending on who turned up.

Captain Mutz (43) led from the front, watchfully seeing off the wily and charismatic Ravi Sondh, while the other opening berth was occupied by Ben Stockton (11), making his return to the front line after being MIA for the previous weekend's tour of the Netherlands. Rumours circulated before the game that the notoriously spicy Enfield track had assumed a more mellow flavour, although these proved to be unfounded, as the Mayfield Minefield played its part in ensuring that a number of Sondh's deliveries were as off-beat as his Dali-esque facial hair. Having come to the conclusion that "sometime on this wicket there's a ball with your name on it" and that you may as well try to play, the Lad Stockton was removed by a shooter that evaded even his railway sleeper of a bat (which only that morning his bus driver had dismounted from his cabin to inspect).

Burnham was next to the crease, although anyone watching the World Cup on the boundary (or blinking) would have missed it, as he was dismissed by Sondh for a three-ball duck. The ever-garrulous Sondh celebrated this (smooth) scalp with whoops and hollers, describing the ball as a "beauty", swinging as it did from outside leg to outside off, before jagging back in to claim middle and leg stumps. Sondh was later heard to remark that there was nothing that could be done about this magic ball, and your correspondent is inclined to agree.

With the two Bens back in the hutch, all-time Pacific great and time-game format enthusiast Kieran Mullens entered the fray, putting together a characteristically composed 11 from 31 deliveries, before being adjudged caught behind after what was – or may not have been - the most delicate of featherings. Certainly, the alleged edge was imperceptible to Mullens, who, in a departure from his Gentleman Cricketer Italian cotton look of recent seasons, was proudly attired in official club kit for the day.

Mullens was followed to the crease by Garrett, his successor as PCC Match Manager, and whom, had Tim not claimed the inaugural edition of the prize, would surely have been his successor as Clubman of the Year.  The similarities don’t stop there. Inspired by Mullens' calm authority at the crease, and having now been joined by Tom Ireland (36), Garrett batted long. For 78 minutes and 55 deliveries, to be precise. It was a superb innings, subject to the minor caveat that Tim only had 12 runs to show for his 78 minutes. Ever the selfless clubman, aware of the game situation and no doubt in the grip of an intolerable nicotine craving, Tim sacrificed his wicket by running himself out and getting Sharma to the crease. Having had a good session in the middle, Tim's countenance was by now much improved.

Prior to taking the field, the serene Sharma was heard to quietly express his admiration for England's Jason Roy ("He's aggressive … doesn't give a shit …"), and remarked on the similarities between Roy and India legend Virender Sehwag. The mild-mannered right-hander picked up where he had left off in Amsterdam the previous weekend, allowing his batting to scream profanities on his behalf as he biffed a glorious, Sehwag-esque 49 not out from 21 balls which, had Sumeet picked up just one more run, would have been one of the quickest Pacific 50s of all time (Sumeet currently holds the record for the quickest 100). The Sharmy Army has been treated to a glut of sumptuousness this season, and the universal view from the boundary was that watching Sumeet in this kind of fluent form is a very fine thing indeed. We declared on 214-5 after 45 overs, which looked like a defendable score on a tricky track.

A good tea followed, as we've come to expect from Mayfield, with suitable vegetarian and gluten-free options. The latter came as particularly welcome news, since Seamin' Sam Howes was due to open the bowling and Pacific could scarce afford to have him further fatigued following his arduous journey from South London and the daily exhaustion brought on by fending off the relentless advances of Dulwich's ravenous MILF population, as well as numerous advances from attractive women in general. A special mention must also go to Sam for 'carrying his pen' for the third match in succession (i.e. he scored for the entirety of our batting innings; good man).

Sam continued his good form with the ball, claiming four wickets and climbing to the top of the season's wickets table. This proved a source of great consternation to Garrett, who, having been dislodged from the top spot, repeatedly beseeched the umpires to call a no ball, but to no avail. Newcomer and Amsterdam tour veteran Reny bowled with the metronomic groove of his phonetic namesake, although neither opener was able to break right into heaven against Mayfield opening duo Kazi and affable South African (saffable?) Starck. The opening pair made batting on the Minefield look easy, smashing everything in the slot to the boundary. With the time pressure such as it was (Mayfield ultimately only got to bat 36 overs), the opening pair pushed hard.  

Timbadia finally made the breakthrough in his first over of loopy swing by removing Starck (with the aid of Sumeet on the boundary – having handed the gloves to Burnham for the day to give the latter something to do), although Shaz was punished for some inconsistent length in the second over, which went for 21 and started to make our 214 look a little too close for comfort. Useful contributions were made with the ball by Stockton, Garrett, Kumar and Ireland, and we managed to restrict Mayfield to 206 at the end – resulting in a draw which, in truth, had always looked likely.



Who cares about our match? This happened.

Pacific v Mayfield CC
Toss won by Mayfield CC
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
Murtaza Siddiqui*   c Amir b Amir   43  120  72  6  0  
Ben Stockton   b Sondh   11  31  13  2  0  
Ben Burnham †   b Sondh   0  4  2  0  0  
Kieran Mullens   c WK b Kueshi   11  61  31  2  0  
Tim Garrett   run out    12  78  55  1  0  
Tom Ireland   not out    36  67  43  5  0  
Sumeet Sharma   not out    49  30  21  5  3  
Sharan Timbadia   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Randheer Ponnamkunnath   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Sumant Kumar   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Sam Howes   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 16, lb 0, w 17, nb 13) 46    
 TOTAL (45.0 Overs) 214    
 Fall of wickets:  1-19 [Stockton] , 2-19 [Burnham ] , 3-73 [Mullens] , 4-88 [Siddiqui] , 5-138 [Garrett]
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Sondh   12  2  34  2  
 Jain   11  2  56  0  
 Kureshi   4  0  29  1  
 Amir   12  3  57  1  
 Sondh   6  0  22  0  
Mayfield CC innings  R  M  B  4  6
Stark†   c Sharma b Timbadia   69  0  0  0  0  
Kazi   c & b Stockton   30  0  0  0  0  
Salim   b Howes   19  0  0  0  0  
Kureshi   c Stockton b Howes   40  0  0  0  0  
Amir   c Ponnamkunnath b Howes   0  0  0  0  0  
Drake   c Ponnamkunnath b Howes   2  0  0  0  0  
Jain   not out    19  0  0  0  0  
R Sondh   b Garrett   0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 3, lb 3, w 12, nb 7) 25    
 TOTAL (36.0 Overs) 206    
 Fall of wickets:  1-92 , 2-122 , 3-176 , 4-177 , 5-182 , 6-190 , 7-196
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Sam Howes   9  0  50  4  
 Randheer Ponnamkunnath   5  0  23  0  
 Ben Stockton   7  1  35  1  
 Tim Garrett   4  0  30  1  
 Sumant Kumar   6  1  20  0  
 Sharan Timbadia   2  0  29  1  
 Tom Ireland   3  1  13  0  

Other matches:
 Minefield, Sun 22 May 2022, Hazelwood Lane Sports Ground, Lost by 4 wickets
 Covid can't take away happy memories of Mayfield, Sat 21 Aug 2021, Hazelwood Lane Sports Ground, Lost by 62 runs
 Sun 12 Jul 2020, Hazelwood Lane Sports Ground, Cancelled Mayfield Committee
 Sun 31 May 2020, Highgate CC, Cancelled Covid-19
 Eid Mubarak Forfeit, Sun 11 Aug 2019, Highgate CC, Won Forfeit
 Bing's Bish Bash Bosh not enough, Sun 12 Aug 2018, Hazelwood Lane Sports Ground, Lost by 3 wickets
 PCC fall short despite accumulating, good Sharma, Sun 13 May 2018, North Middlesex CC, Lost by 3 wickets
 Tigerish Pacific earn their stripes, Sun 13 Aug 2017, Hazelwood Lane Sports Ground, Won by 61 runs
 Pacific batsmen wilt in the downpour at Ally Pally, Sun 14 May 2017, Racecourse Ground, Alexandra Palace, Lost by 47 runs
 Sizzled on spicy square, Sun 14 Aug 2016, Hazelwood Lane Sports Ground, Lost 2 wickets
 Drain pain, Sun 24 Apr 2016, Racecourse Ground, Alexandra Palace, Cancelled
 Mayfield Chandramoulied, Sun 16 Aug 2015, Hazelwood Lane Sports Ground, Won 46 runs
 Mayfield floored but deliver knockout punch, Sun 07 Jun 2015, Racecourse Ground, Alexandra Palace, Lost 18 runs
 Pacific soak up the Mayfield spice, Sun 17 Aug 2014, Hazelwood Lane Sports Ground, Drawn
 Sam sinks Mayfield's ship, Sun 08 Jun 2014, Racecourse Ground, Alexandra Palace, Won 5 wickets
 Resounding win keeps title hopes alive, Sun 18 Aug 2013, Hazelwood Lane Sports Ground, Won 10 wickets
 Mayfield make hay whilst the sun doesn't shine, Sun 09 Jun 2013, Racecourse Ground, Alexandra Palace, Lost 43 runs
 Glory in the sun, Sun 19 Aug 2012, Hazelwood Lane Sports Ground, Won by 3 wickets
 Plucky Pacific draw strength, Sun 10 Jun 2012, Broxbourne Sports Club, Drawn
 Seamers crush Mayfield to end barren run, Sun 14 Aug 2011, Hazelwood Lane Sports Ground, Won 7 wickets
 Smith superb but middle order bowled over, Sun 15 May 2011, Broxbourne Sports Club, Drawn