Star of our team
Pacific v Old Minchendenians CC at Wray Crescent
Sun 02 Aug 2020 at 1:30pm
Lost by 45 runs
Middlesex & Essex Invitation League

Basking in the summer sun, both teams gathered at Islington’s field of dreams for this fixture. Nerves heighted when the latest episode of footballers vs cricket took place, during which a stand-off between a footballer and Mutz took place. “Stop with the passive aggressive phrases bruv” said an anonymous individual, citing that an ‘agreement’ had been reached that the footballers would finish at 2.30. 

Personally, I find this peculiar when the Wray Crescent information area (inset) clearly implies a different agreement. Pacific Seniors highlight that this episode is just the latest in a long-running saga over the contested community space, which has recently been bought into question by the recent ‘Friends of Wray’ consultation. A dive into the Pacific archives confirms this, with a match report from 2012 going right to the heart of the issue “When will the council begin to enforce their own booking policy and actually allow us to start on time?”.

Anyway, I digress. After a couple of pitch invasions, and a getting a member of the oppo to stop the footballers being hit, cricket was allowed to resume. With a reduced 35-over contest taking place an hour later at 2.30pm. Pacific won the toss and bowled first, with Hugo Forrest and James McGinnigle (cheered on by his local fan club) the opening bowling pair. Thanks to tidy bowling and great catches by keeper Amandeep Dhir, Pacific got off to a bright start in removing the top order, leaving Old Michendians at something like 50-odd for 4. As the players approached the drinks break, Pacific were firmly in control.

The oppo, namely, Sree Pillooq was going to have something to say about that. Sree accelerated to a rapid 50, hitting the ball around the bowler’s graveyard of Wray. Thanks to some tidy bowling from Nick ‘Eppy’ Epstein, Pacific pulled a wicket back. This time courtesy of an honourable decision of the oppo to walk on a LBW. “Not often you’d get that honest a bat” mused Pacific skipper Tim Garratt, as Shah was replaced by a new bat courting a Bradmanesque cap.

As both sides accelerated to the end of the first innings, with the pressure building, there was to be another twist in the day’s drama. In a frantic dash for singles between the wickets, the oppo batsmen was caught by a throw at the stumps from Skipper Tim Garrett. A pause followed in the game, as the batsmen sported a nasty cut below the eye and retired hurt, departing in an ambulance. For some, this period provided a moment of optimism, in the form of the arriving ambulance woman. “She looked cute. Even with a facemask on – that’s the best kind of cute” lamented the Pacific Pair of Tom and Amandeep later in the day. Unfortunately for Pacific Skipper Tim Garrett, Sree responded with a few heavy sixes to finish on 138 not out as Old Michendians finished on 228-5 of 35 overs. With Sree alone carving up 60% of the total (funny that, reminds me of a recent Pacific game I played this year).

With time of the essence and cheered on by PCC’s youngest fan, Pacific went out to bat. With the oppo a man down, they had a new fielder in the form of Pacifico Rob Dinsey who had originally come to watch the occasion (“I brought a magnum” laughed Rob). With the exception of yours truly (need to bat lower down the order), Pacific made a strong start with Tom Williams (43) and Amandeep Dhir (32) putting on a solid partnership of 48. With both falling to the slow Shamoon, Mutz and John Deighan took to the crease. Building on recent performances, the pair kept the scoreboard ticking over with a 47 run partnership, courtesy of some lovely cut shots from Deighan. At drinks, Pacific looked in good shape, around 100-odd for 4.

Then in a moment of confusion between the two batsmen at the wicket, Mutz was run out, courtesy of a moment of brilliance from sub Rob “Judas” Dinsey. “Would have been nice to see you do that regularly” cried Mutz as he departed from the crease. With hard-hitting Maccy G at the crease, Deighan powered Pacific onwards. After playing a few lovely drives, Deighan hit a 6 to bring up his first weekend 50.

Following a solid 30-odd partnership, Deighan departed the crease, bowled by Sree for a well-played 62. With Pacific needing around 58 runs or so off the final 7 overs, the game was evenly poised. Could the handy pair of Forrest and Eppy see us home? After a few promising shots, including a 4 from Hugo, it seemed the chase was on.

However, the oppo had other minds. Returning as a spinner, opening bowler Shah took 3 quick wickets removing Hugo, Garratt and Ahmed Hussain to finish on 4-25. Pacific were all out for 183 in the end, falling 46 runs short. As the oppo celebrated, they congratulated Pacific substitute Rob Dinsey for his performance in the field. ”Star of our team!” cried the Captain, congratulating Rob. After the game, Dinsey provided his own perspective on the day,  notably the run out of Mutz. ‘Dozy running’ he chuckled.

As the Pacificos drank tinnies after the game, they reflected on an end to a dramatic day. Which began with the possibility of cricket looking unlikely, - “I came here to play football” cut a frustrated Ahmed. Thankfully, a good game of cricket was had by all.

Wray Crescent information board Photograph: Jas Bas

John Deighan departs for a solid 62 Photograph: Toby Chasseaud

Old Minchendenians CC v Pacific
Toss won by Pacific
Old Minchendenians CC innings  R  M  B  4  6
Pranav Dave   c & b McGinnigle   20  0  15  5  0  
Waqar Mir   c Dhir b McGinnigle   10  0  25  0  0  
Shamoon Choudhry   lbw b Forrest   0  0  2  0  0  
Halik Buckor   c Dhir b Forrest   7  0  14  0  0  
Sree Pillooq   not out    138  0  0  0  0  
Shah Khan   lbw b Epstein   4  0  14  0  0  
Haroon Shinwari   retired hurt    24  0  0  0  0  
Hemanth Tumalla   not out    1  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 5, lb 0, w 14, nb 0) 19    
 TOTAL (35.0 Overs) 228-5    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Hugo Forrest   7  2  20  2  
 James McGinnigle   7  1  50  2  
 Joe Deighan   5  0  28  0  
 Ahmed Hussain   7  1  46  0  
 Nick Epstein   5  0  34  1  
 Tim Garrett   4  0  42  0  
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
Tom Williams   b Shamoon   43  0  31  8  0  
Jasbir Basi   c Sri b Shah   1  0  9  0  0  
Amandeep Dhir†   b Shamoon   32  0  20  6  0  
John Deighan   b Sree   62  0  48  9  1  
Murtaza Siddiqui   run out Judas    8  0  16  0  0  
James McGinnigle   b Hemanth   12  0  16  1  0  
Nick Epstein   b Sree   3  0  4  0  0  
Joe Deighan   not out    2  0  3  0  0  
Hugo Forrest   lbw b Shah   5  0  4  1  0  
Tim Garrett*   b Shah   0  0  1  0  0  
Ahmed Hussain   c wk b Shah   0  0  3  0  0  
 Extras (b 4, lb 2, w 4, nb 1) 11    
 TOTAL (29.5 Overs) 183    
 Fall of wickets:  1-21 [Basi] , 2-69 [Williams] , 3-86 [Dhir] , 4-133 [Siddiqui] , 5-170 [Deighan] , 6-176 [McGinnigle] , 7-176 [Epstein] , 8-183 [Forrest] , 9-183 [Garrett] , 10-183 [Hussain]
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Shah   5.5  0  25  4  
 Pranav Dave   6  0  55  0  
 Shamoon   7  0  36  2  
 Hemanth   7  0  31  1  
 Manesh   2  0  15  0  
 Sree   2  0  14  2