Rea the wizard of Wray
Pacific v Canary Wharf Royal CC at Wray Crescent
Sat 07 Sep 2019 at 12.30pm
Won by 7 wickets
Friendly fixture

Many an Australian has landed on Pacific shores over the years – Darren Tempany, Chris Atkin and Kurt Rademaker to name but a few. And today another would take centre stage in what would turn out to be a magical match at Wray Crescent. With the Tardis unlocked and a scoreboard etched in chalk on the side of the condemned pavilion, the scene was set for a high-scoring thriller against 2019's NELL newcomers Canary Wharf Royal.

Royal elected to bat and started as they meant to go on: in positive fashion. Openers Sam Howes and Hugo Forrest both bowled well but the batsmen played with aggression to set a good scoring rate. Howes helped out his partner by snaffling a flat-ish catch at fine leg which came quite hard (this was to be the first of Sam's three catches – an impressive tally). But the Royalists seemed to be enjoying the pace, so Ahmed "A Bomb" Hussain and Paul "Knuckleball" Davis were brought into the attack to slow things down. They were indeed able to reduce the scoring rate a little, with A Bomb taking three wickets, which should have been more had it not been for a couple of drops at midwicket off swirling top edges.

Ahmed was later replaced by another leggie in the form of Michael Rea, fresh off the boat from Perth, who had got in touch with Pacific via Twitter. He'd introduced himself as "a leg-spinner who can bat a bit", and he proceeded to bowl some nice twirlers, though at the spinner's graveyard of Wray many of them were dispatched by Royalists looking to again increase the scoring rate. Still, he looked good and picked up two wickets for his efforts. More on him later.

Now batsmen might not be to fearful of facing a bowler called "Ki-Ki", but at the other end that is who was charging in at them with considerable pace, bounce and menace when let off his leash in the 26th over. Sapp kept things tight thanks to good fielding from Cancio, who had bought a box specially that morning, and debutant John Francis, who kept the team's spirits up after taking the place of a no-show. 

And so Pacific were set a target of 286 to win and PBD was able to eat a well-earned roti. Opening the batting were the debutant Michael ("I may as well get it out of the way") and Archie Faulks, who had earlier kept wicket impressively, taking both a leg-side catch and a leg-side stumping off the A Bomb. Michael and Archie played crisp shots, picked the gaps and ran well, putting on 75 for the first wicket. When Archie was caught at deep cover point playing a Riz-esque upper cut, Chasseaud came to the crease and tried to keep up the positivity. But it was Michael who shone brightest, using his feet to good effect, wielding Ahmed's wand, and casting his spell over the crowd. He effortlessly glided his way to a century, before seeming to give his wicket away in order to give others a bat. 

Rea and Chasseaud had put on 149 for the second wicket, the skipper quietly passing 10,000 Pacific runs in the process (the famous Jon Webley being the only other man to do so). The dangerous Reny Ponnamkunnath hit a quckfire 20 off 14 balls before Keyana joined Chasseaud to see Pacific home. With four runs needed off the final over, the skipper hit the winning runs with a lofted drive over extra cover and the celebratory fireworks went off at Wray. Well, John came to unlock the Tardis at least.

So considering this was a relatively inexperienced team, it really was quite a result to successfully chase down such a high target – and thanks largely to the Aussie Michael, who later admitted he'd been out until 4am. Imagine what he can do if he awakes from a proper slumber – the Wonderful Wizard of Aus.

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 6.0px 0.0px; font: 11.0px Helvetica; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} span.s2 {text-decoration: underline ; font-kerning: none}

Pacific’s Australian history

The mentions above have triggered some fond memories for the chairman of Pacific's rich history of Australians. (Hoping Pete can fill in some gaps too, as I'm sure I've missed some Aussies out.)

Why are these men from Down Under attracted to our club - perhaps it's cos we are named after an ocean that’s not too far from their homeland. 

Anyway, our first antipodean was Leon Yates, who made his d’boo, as they say Down Under, back in 1990. Wrist-spinner Leon scored 1645 runs over 79 innings and took 71 wickets at just over 15 runs apiece and at a strike rate of under 22. He was not a bad fielder either, winning the fielder of the season award in its first year. Last time I checked, he’s opened an ice cream parlour in Tasmania. 

Talking of fielding, Matt Ralph won the fielder of the year award twice, in 2000 and 2001, also making a return with his seamers and some nifty reverse sweeps in 2016 for a couple of games, more than 12 years after his previous outing. 

In a similar era was Tim Marshall, often dubbed the ‘burley Aussie all-rounder’ in the match reports of the time. He’s in the record books for taking 4 wickets in six balls, 

Kurt Rademaker d’booed in 2003, and was followed close behind by Braden Grigg and Martin Cowling, neither of whom figure in the ‘Pacific Debuts’ in the official records but are both listed as having captained once and also both for holding several records. And I know they played a lot, cos I was there.

This was another golden period for Pacific’s Australians. Like most of the antipodeans who’ve played for us, they were highly competitive but enjoyed the more relaxed attitude to the amateur game in this hemisphere. All three were good with bat and ball, and participated on the great France tour of 2004 with the Hospital Griffins. 

but perhaps the best batsmen of them was curly haired, Melbourne lad Braden, who notched up at least a couple of centuries in his short time with us, and also bowled canny spin, where he holds the record for most overs bowled in an innings, three balls ahead of our current Tom Ireland’s 21 overs. 

Brisbaner Kurt was another burley Aussie allrounder, full of party tricks in his bowling, like being able to release the ball halfway through his action - just brought out for inter-club games unfortunately. He still notched up 1937 runs and 80 wickets, including one hat-trick. 

Marty was another bowled some lethal swing bowling and he played some great tunes in his car, including where I first heard Jean-Jacques Perrey: 

Chris Atkin, who debuted 2006, bowled a hooping ball and has one of the club’s most successful win rates as captain, with 13 wins from 19 games in charge. He's also on the 500 runs and 50 wickets list, and in the records for one of the best partnerships for the 5th and 7th wickets. 

Nick Fuller had a short career for Pacific, but the Bill Murray lookalike won the best newcomer award in 2007 and was a thoroughly nice bloke. He js now living in Thame, Oxfordshire, where he coaches one of the local junior teams.

Darren Tempany’s name stands out in the records. He’s mentioned 46 times and the fact he scored 2252 in 66 innings looked good until Ben Stockton overtook him in 60 games. But Tempany was also less of a grumpy fecker and he and Conrad Chandler once scored 34 off one over at London Fields, where you can imagine the disarray beyond the boundary as those sixes came flying. A big tall fella, Darren hit the ball harder than anyone I’ve ever seen and smashed a total of 110 sixes for Pacific in just three seasons - many of them will have skimmed just above head-height all the way to the boundary and you would never even think of putting your hand in the way.

He holds the joint third-fastest 100 in the club’s history, off 51 balls, with fellow Aussie Sam Parkinson.

In our current squad we have Paul Rajkumar, who was yet another Aussie to dazzle us and win best newcomer in his d’boo season. Nice-guy Rajku has several batting records already in the club annals.

Bolstered by his hundred on d-boo, newcomer Michael Rea still could win best newcomer, after all it seems to be a tradition. 


Canary Wharf Royal CC v Pacific
Toss won by Canary Wharf Royal CC
Canary Wharf Royal CC innings  R  M  B  4  6
Charan†   c Howes b Forrest   15  0  0  0  0  
Nipak*   c Faulks b Hussain   31  0  0  0  0  
Arjun   c Howes b Hussain   50  0  0  0  0  
Sandesh   c Faulks b Rea   64  0  0  0  0  
Sam   st Faulks b Hussain   14  0  0  0  0  
Akash   c Howes b Rea   20  0  0  0  0  
Dhruv   b Sapp   0  0  0  0  0  
Archit   run out Chasseaud    5  0  0  0  0  
Venkat   run out Ponnamkunnath    32  0  0  0  0  
Dhomesh   not out    7  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 6, lb 4, w 6, nb 0) 16    
 TOTAL (39.3 Overs) 285    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Sam Howes   6  0  46  0  
 Hugo Forrest   7  1  56  1  
 Ahmed Hussain   8  0  50  3  
 Paul Davis   8  0  44  0  
 Michael Rea   4  0  48  2  
 Keyana Sapp   6.3  0  30  1  
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
Archie Faulks†   c Deep cover point b Sandesh   44  0  36  7  0  
Michael Rea   c & b Charan   107  0  87  16  1  
Toby Chasseaud*   not out    71  0  71  6  1  
Randheer Ponnamkunnath   lbw b Sandesh   20  0  14  3  1  
Keyana Sapp   not out    5  0  9  1  0  
Hugo Forrest   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Cancio Rodrigues   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Sam Howes   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
John Francis   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Paul Davis   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Ahmed Hussain   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 8, lb 0, w 15, nb 4) 27    
 TOTAL (39.1 Overs) 286    
 Fall of wickets:  1-75 [Faulks] , 2-224 [Rea] , 3-260 [Ponnamkunnath]
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Danesh   4  0  27  0  
 Venkat   8  0  47  0  
 Sandesh   8  0  39  2  
 Akash   3  0  23  0  
 Archit   2  0  22  0  
 Chopra   2  0  19  0  
 Arjun   4  0  34  0  
 Deepak   3  0  24  0  
 Charan   5.1  0  40  1