Wilkinson makes hay
Pacific v Graces at Wray Crescent
Sat 28 Apr 2001 at 2pm
Friendly fixture

The teams arrived & were greeted by light rain & spots of pools of water in the outfield. Grace's Captain Ian Crossland immediately declared it unplayable, but luckily the other 21 players were not of the same mind & thoroughly compelling & engrossing match went ahead.

G: 166-6 dec. R Bielby 47. N Wilkinson 12-3-32-5
P: 139-7. D Murray 37, P Hollman 33* R. Bielby 7-0-39-3

Pacific Captain Nigel Wilkinson won the toss & opted to field, but with Paul Attwood & Nick Swinburne making a 50 run opening partnership, this may not have appeared so wise. A wet outfield, a delayed start & 2 rain interruptions did little for the batting side's fluency however, but following the subsequent dismissals of Swinburne 36, bowled by Wilkinson & Attwood 19 lbw Alexander, Richard Bielby followed & impressed with shots all around the wicket. With Mike Alexander apart, Nigel Wilkinson's spell of controlled accurate swing & seam stood out as he picked up 5 of the 6 wickets to fall, 4 bowled & 1 caught at 1st slip.

One shortcoming in Pacific's team selection, was the unavailability of 10 players any one of whom would have been chosen to keep wicket, although Craig Jones kept well enough before debut keeper Darryl Roberts was prepared to give it a go & replaced him. The former's long term knee injury took its' toll. However 2 key catches did go down , & contrasting with the key dismissal that Grace's keeper was to undertake later.

Grace's unorthodox tactic of opening with leg spinner Spencer-Baird paid early dividends when Shayne Rees was caught at 1st slip with the score 8-1. However, Peter Hollman (33) & David Murray (37) made the highest partnership of the match with 67 before Hollman was caught at 1st slip again by Swinburne off the all round impressive Bielby. The run chase at a required 6.5 an over with 9 wickets in hand was the ask at the commencement of the final hour. Matthew Ralph (12) continued the approach with David Murray & then beyond with Craig Jones (19).

A positive result for P still looked feasible, until however, keeper Paul Attwood's one handed catch to dismiss Ralph full stretch down the leg side. It was an absolute blinder & Grace's were visibly lifted by the feat. The incoming middle/lower order batsmen made a brave attempt to keep the required run rate below 8 an over but wickets fell to the cause. Then with the final over to bowl, P needed 33 to win but just 5 runs ensued leaving the side 28 runs short & bemoaning the rain interruptions. In an evenly balanced match & a draw a fair outcome, P had at least achieved a higher run rate & for the rain interrupting G's innings, P may well have achieved the win Wilkinson's bowling would have earned.

"It was great that we got a game in, given the conditions - I can't imagine many other games taking place today - & the fact that it was such a good game was a bonus - a credit to the spirit & attitude of both teams" - Fixture Sec - Peter Hollman An unbeaten April then for the home side as they look to get their league campaign off to similarly positive start against Caledonian Conquerors on Mayday at Wray Crescent.

Pacific: P Hollman, S Rees, D Murray, M Ralph, C Jones+, J Hardisty, D Roberts+, H Patel, M Alexander, A Roberts, N Wilkinson

Other matches:
 Sun 31 Jul 2022, Broxbourne Sports Club,
 No disGrace in a losing Chase , Sun 20 Sep 2020, Highgate CC, Lost by 24 runs
 Pacific end MEIL campaign on a high , Sun 22 Sep 2019, Highgate CC, Won by 4 wickets
 There but for the Graces, Sun 30 Jun 2019, HSBC Sports Ground, Beckenham, Lost by 2 wickets
 Peak Siddiqui provides Mutz more than Graces notes, Sun 20 May 2018, Winchmore Hill CC, Won by 3 wickets
 Too soggy in Greenford, Sun 23 Jul 2017, London Marathon Playing Field Greenford, Cancelled
 Sharma special not quite enough, Sun 19 Jun 2016, London Marathon Playing Field Greenford, Lost 44 runs
 It's a wash-out, Sun 26 Jul 2015, London Marathon Playing Field Greenford, Cancelled
 Golden Brown 'nearly' brings up his hundred (wickets), Sun 27 Jul 2014, London Marathon Playing Field Greenford, Won 5 wickets
 Cricket 0 Football 1, Sun 13 Apr 2014, Wray Crescent, Cancelled
 Pacific cook Graces' goose in the blazing sun, Sun 07 Jul 2013, London Marathon Playing Field Greenford, Won by 8 wickets
 Pacific see off battling Graces, Sun 14 Apr 2013, Wray Crescent, Won by 11 runs
 Sub-zero hero, Sun 15 Apr 2012, Wray Crescent, Lost by 1 wicket
 Good Gracious Atkin Wins Honour Back, Sun 19 Apr 2009, Wray Crescent, Won 3 wickets
 Smashing Darren Gives Graces The Breaks, Sun 20 Apr 2008, Wray Crescent, Lost 2 wickets
 Hi & Lo Notes for Webley as Shofiq steals Show at Graceland, Mon 27 Aug 2007, Broxbourne Sports Club, Lost 3 wickets
 And Yours is no Disgrace, Sun 28 May 2006, West Essex Cricket Club, Won 79 Runs
 Graces Win Due a Whyle !, Mon 17 Apr 2006, Wray Crescent, Lost 25 runs
 Double 100s ! Batters Reign in Grace with Fervour, Sat 28 May 2005, Wray Crescent, Drawn
 Skippers Secure Success!, Sat 17 Apr 2004, Wray Crescent, Won by 2 Wickets
 Pacific Draw Gracefully, Sat 03 May 2003, Wray Crescent, Drawn
 Faisal & Duthie recapture form, Sat 27 Apr 2002, Wray Crescent, Won by 5 wkts
 Fri 21 Apr 2000, Wray Crescent, Cancelled