Mehta's knock not enough as tempers fray at Botany Bay
Pacific v Hadley Wood Green at Botany Bay CC
Sun 27 Jun 2021 at 1pm
Lost by 6 wickets
Middlesex & Essex Invitation League

 

This game had it all: stunning catches, dodgy umpiring, heated arguments. Some players left with a bitter taste in their mouth, whilst one M. Siddiqui left feeling like a proud uncle, in spite of his team’s loss.

Botany Bay CC in Enfield gave the teams a slow, sticky wicket to play on and an even slower outfield, which made life hard for Pacific’s opening batters Mehta and Chasseaud.

It was slow going with runs hard to come by, but the openers put on 41 for the first wicket. When Toby sent a leading edge to point, off walked Mehta’s last reliable partner.

Those tuned into Mutz’s live stream on TikTok would have seen a quick 20 from John Deighan. However, apart from the openers, he was the only Pacific batter to pass double figures.

Mehta had dug in, reaching his half-century, but the wickets kept tumbling with Pacific falling from 111-3 to 124-8, with No 7 Mutz dismissed by a stunning one-handed catch by the bowler.

But in at 11, straight from the mean streets of Guildford strode A Bomb. Thus begun a heroic, Jack-Leach-at-Headingley-esque knock of 1 run off 24 balls, allowing Mehta to clobber another 24 to make it to 88.

Mehta didn’t fancy carrying his bat, so generously decided to edge behind to the keeper on the last ball of the innings.

Hadley Wood Green were set 161 to win, with skipper Mutz opting to keep the old ball from the previous innings and open with the wrist spin combination of Hussain and Epstein.

It started well enough for Pacific with both openers falling cheaply to Tom Gane and the Guildford Twirler, leaving Hadley Wood Green 34-2.

Midway through this innings historic tensions between the two sides were inflamed by some disappointing umpiring by Hadley: wides that weren’t wides, knee-high no-balls… And who knew that grunting whilst bowling wasn’t allowed?

A stray swear word or two led to heated discussions and many fingers in faces. Skipper Mutz was loving the passion from his players, encouraging them to “get stuck in”. Not quite “once more unto the breach dear friends”, but close enough. I digress…

By now the pitch seemed to have dried out since the first innings and batting seemed easier. Despite Jithin picking up another wicket, reducing Hadley to 78-3, it wasn’t to be Pacific’s day.

The Hadley No 3 made an unbeaten 57, helping to put the game out of reach for Pacific.

Hadley made the target for the loss of four wickets, with the winning runs coming from a six. Nevertheless, it was a solid bowling effort from Pacific, with Ed Hart and Ahmed producing some tight spells.

If there is half as much tension and drama in this game next year, the spectators are in for a treat.

MM

 


Pacific v Hadley Wood Green
Toss won by Hadley Wood Green
 
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
Mark Mehta   c Keeper b Bilal   88  0  110  11  1  
Toby Chasseaud   c Point b Abdullah   24  0  48  2  0  
Nick Epstein   c Gully b Saif   5  0  18  0  0  
John Deighan   c Extra cover b Bilal   20  0  22  3  1  
Tom Gane   c Keeper b Saif   7  0  14  0  0  
Rafiq Ratta   b Bilal   0  0  4  0  0  
Murtaza Siddiqui*†   c & b Saif   1  0  6  0  0  
Jithin George   b Saif   0  0  7  0  0  
Harry Rix   b Bilal   0  0  2  0  0  
Ed Hart   c Long off b Saif   0  0  3  0  0  
Ahmed Hussain   not out    1  0  21  0  0  
 Extras (b 5, lb 1, w 5, nb 0) 11    
 TOTAL (45.0 Overs) 160    
 
 
 Fall of wickets:  1-41 [Chasseaud] , 2-64 [Epstein] , 3-87 [Deighan] , 4-111 [Gane] , 5-112 [Ratta] , 6-115 [Siddiqui] , 7-123 [George] , 8-124 [Rix] , 9-135 [Hart] , 10-160 [Mehta]
 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Tareq   8  1  24  0  
 Abdullah   10  0  34  1  
 Rana   5  0  15  0  
 Saif   10  4  37  5  
 Bilal   12  0  45  4  
 
 
Hadley Wood Green innings  R  M  B  4  6
Shipon   c Rix b Gane   16  0  0  2  0  
Neehara   c Deighan b Hussain   11  0  0  0  0  
Rana G   not out    57  0  0  7  1  
Shah   b George   19  0  0  4  0  
Saif   b Rix   30  0  0  4  0  
Steele Jon   not out    4  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 7, lb 1, w 12, nb 6) 26    
 TOTAL (34.2 Overs) 165    
 
 
 Fall of wickets:  1-32 [Neehara] , 2-34 [Shipon] , 3-78 [Shah] , 4-130 [Saif]
 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Ahmed Hussain   8  0  30  1  
 Nick Epstein   4  0  22  0  
 Tom Gane   4  0  18  1  
 Jithin George   7  0  41  1  
 Ed Hart   9  1  32  0  
 Harry Rix   2.2  0  21  1  
 
 

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