Luthra feels the Force, and Mortiboys the need for speed
Pacific v UCS Old Boys at UCS Playing Fields
Sat 26 Jun 2021 at 1pm
Lost by 5 wickets
Friendly fixture

Pacific 104 for 6 off 40 overs
UCS 105 for 5 off 33 overs
(40-over match)

We did well to get on a game on. We had originally been due to play against JMC CC at Wray Crescent but on Wednesday received an email from them saying that seven of their team had been watching the England v Scotland Euro 2020 match in a pub the previous Friday and had been notified by the track-and-trace app that someone in the boozer had tested positive and they must therefore all isolate. Bloody Covid strikes again!

So Timbob posted an ad on The Fixture List website looking for a game and luck would have it that his old outfit, UCS Old Boys, were searching for an opposition. The change of venue didn't help availability and we turned up at UCS on Saturday with a side composed largely of Sam Farnham ring-ins (the affable Chris Browne, the paceman Max Mortiboys and the one and only Alex Gasic) and put in a decent effort.

After UCS won the toss and inserted us we didn't get off to the best of starts, with openers Jasbir Basi and Toby Chasseaud both going cheaply to the swing and pace of Gangun Virk (who would finish with the impressive figures of 4 for 15 off 8). Toby got a peach that pitched on middle and clipped the off bail. He was later heard to comment that he wouldn't have bothered getting out of bed had he known that was going to happen. Jas was also bowled, by a quick full one.

Farnham stuck around a while for a nuggety 12, which would turn out to be the second highest score of the innings. John Deighan was caught at gully to a ball that bounced a bit more. 

The young Jedi, Kaleem Luthra, top-scored with 48, which would have been more in better conditions. Runs weren't easy to come by on the slowish pitch with a long, slow outfield. Browne hung around a while but failed to get off the mark as UCS kept things tight. After the match, drinkers in West Hampstead high street would be impressed by his kit arrangement. Currently moored on a narrow boat in Broxbourne (where we often used to play, funnily enough), Browne has apparently become expert at packing as one has to be organised in the confines of a boat. So he has taken to strapping his batting pads to the frame of his bicycle and, if memory serves this correspondent correctly, tying his helmet to his backpack. 

But the most colourful character in this tale is the ultra competitive Gasic, who wasn't going to give his wicket away without a fight. Video evidence would later suggest that early in his innings he had trodden on his own stumps, though when UCS pointed out that he'd done so, Gasic, cool as a cucumber, replied that the (non-existent) wind had blown the bails off and they somewhat charitably let him continue. Later, Browne would be recalled to the crease to act as a runner for Gasic, who somehow managed to bat for about 10 overs for his 11 before, much to his disgust (and dissent), he was adjudged LBW by UCS umpire Andrew.  

The Jedi Luthra, meanwhile, somehow managed to channel the Force to keep his concentration amid all the chaos and confusion. Jithin George added some valuable late-order runs. Luthra skied one in the final over when heroically hitting out but thankfully the point fielder didn't fancy it so he finished unbeaten, with his whites characteristically dirtied after three times diving to make his ground.

After tea (not provided), it was Pacific's turn to bowl. George steamed in and continued to impress in his first season for us. He would later take two catches in the field, the second of them a juggled effort that he did well to hang on to as his circus skills saw him collide with the running batsman Murya. 

At the other end, Mortiboys generated serious pace with his tall, slender frame. Like Michael Holding, he has a high, graceful action and was able to hurry the batsmen. At one point, he was on a hat-trick. At another point, he played human pinball, hitting the UCS stalwart Doran on the wrist with a full-bunger which then bounced up into Chasseaud's chin at slip. Thankfully both lived to tell the tale, to the relief of an apologetic Mortiboys. But otherwise his bowling had been fantastic, and in the field he almost executed a run out with a quick pick-up and throw. He finished with figures of 3 for 20 off eight.

The also economical Timbob Garrett picked up a wicket, while Colin Pollard twirled away at the other end with his offies. 

After playing himself in, UCS wicketkeeper-batsman Sher began to punish any loose balls and to take the game away from us with his 41 before being LBW to Mortiboys. Farnham, Deighan and Chasseaud (in his first bowl since 2019) turned their arms over at the end but by then the game was up.

Still, it had been a pleasant enough afternoon out, even if the outfield was too slow, and all credit to Timbob and Sam for getting the game on.

Pacific v UCS Old Boys
Toss won by UCS Old Boys
Pacific innings  R  M  B  4  6
Jasbir Basi   b Virk   3  24  22  0  0  
Toby Chasseaud   b Virk   3  16  11  0  0  
Sam Farnham   b Crofts   12  43  27  1  0  
John Deighan   c Klinger b Virk   4  9  7  0  0  
Kaleem Luthra†   not out    48  117  74  3  1  
Chris Browne   c Tang b Dev   0  7  8  0  0  
Alex Gasic   lbw b Vidhu   11  52  48  0  0  
Jithin George   b Virk   8  21  18  0  0  
Colin Pollard   not out    1  6  3  0  0  
Max Mortiboys   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Tim Garrett*   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 6, lb 5, w 2, nb 1) 14    
 TOTAL (40.0 Overs) 104    
 Fall of wickets:  1-8 [Chasseaud] , 2-13 [Basi] , 3-19 [Deighan] , 4-32 [Farnham] , 5-35 [Browne] , 6-74 [Gasic] , 7-100 [George]
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Virk   8  2  15  4  
 Farook   4  1  9  0  
 Dev   6  3  9  1  
 Crofts   8  2  13  1  
 Vidhu   7  0  19  1  
 Ward   7  0  28  0  
UCS Old Boys innings  R  M  B  4  6
R Klinger   c George b Garrett   11  0  0  0  0  
I Ullah   c & b Mortiboys   1  0  0  0  0  
Maurya   c George b Pollard   13  0  0  0  0  
Sher†   lbw b Mortiboys   41  0  0  0  0  
D Garfunkel   not out    15  0  0  0  0  
Tang   b Mortiboys   0  0  0  0  0  
Virk   not out    15  0  0  0  0  
Dev   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
J Ward*   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Vidhu   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
Farook   did not bat    0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 2, lb 0, w 5, nb 2) 9    
 TOTAL (34.0 Overs) 105    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling  O  M  R  W  
 Jithin George   8  3  13  0  
 Max Mortiboys   8  2  20  3  
 Tim Garrett   8  2  20  1  
 Colin Pollard   6  0  27  1  
 Sam Farnham   2  0  10  0  
 Toby Chasseaud   1  0  4  0  
 John Deighan   1  0  9  0  

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 Ireland's marathon spell not enough after collapse, Mon 28 May 2018, Highgate CC, Lost by 4 wickets
 PCC retain the cup!, Mon 29 May 2017, Mill Hill Village CC, Drawn
 Memorial Cup comes home!, Mon 30 May 2016, UCS Playing Fields, Won 9 runs
 Victory denied, Sun 27 Sep 2015, Walker Cricket Ground, Drawn
 So close no matter how far, Mon 25 May 2015, UCS Playing Fields, Drawn
 UCS - Unfortunate consistent showers, Mon 25 Aug 2014, UCS Playing Fields, Cancelled
 Messing About In Puddles, Mon 26 May 2014, Alexandra Palace, Drawn
 Pacific crackers deny cheesy boys, Sat 25 Aug 2012, UCS Playing Fields, Drawn
 Same old Story.., Sun 24 Jul 2011, Queens College, Lost 125 Runs
 Craig Secures Another Year of Possession, Sun 25 Jul 2010, Queens College, Lost 7 wickets
 Final Trophy Challenge Slips From Grasp, Sun 26 Jul 2009, Queens College, Lost 128 runs
 That Monday feeling, Mon 28 Jul 2008, Queens College, Postponed
 Challenge Dissipates Like The Flood Water, Sun 29 Jul 2007, Queens College, Lost 83 Runs
 No CCC Bail Out as UCS Drop Out, Sat 16 Jun 2007, UCS Playing Fields, Cancelled
 Wrong End of Another Record, Sun 30 Jul 2006, Queens College, Lost 7 wickets
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 Webley's Weekender Smashes Records, Sun 17 Jul 2005, UCS Playing Fields, Won 156 Runs
 Lindridge-McDougall Memorial Cup, Sun 01 Aug 2004, Queens College, Lost 5 wickets
 6 a side ? No Thanks !, Sun 18 Jul 2004, UCS Playing Fields, Cancelled
 Pacific End Win Drought in Run Deluge!, Sun 03 Aug 2003, Queens College, Won by 139 Runs
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 Lindridge-McDougall Memorial Cup, Sun 04 Aug 2002, Queens College, Drawn
 Damp Forecast came True, Sun 09 Jun 2002, UCS Playing Fields, Cancelled
 Lindridge-McDougall Memorial Cup, Sun 05 Aug 2001, Queens College, Won by 7 wkts
 Late assault sees Pacific home, Sun 03 Jun 2001, Away, Won by 4 wkts
 Lindridge-McDougall Memorial Cup, Sun 06 Aug 2000, Queens College, Lost by 5 wkts
 Bowlers on top, Sun 04 Jun 2000, UCS Playing Fields, Won by 5 wkts
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 Game off, Sat 25 Jul 1998, Oakhill Park, Cancelled
 Too many injuries, Sun 31 May 1998, UCS Playing Fields, Cancelled
 Waterlogged ground., Sun 29 Jun 1997, Oakhill Park, Cancelled
 Garfunkel in rearguard action, Sun 01 Jun 1997, Eve Field, Drawn