Pacific Melt as Gnome's Turn Up the Heat
Pacific v Lord Gnome at Broxbourne Sports Club
Sun 29 Jul 2001 at 2pm
Lost by 126 runs
Friendly fixture

On the hottest day of the year so far, Pacific melted under a concerted assault from an impressive Lord Gnome team who were clearly intent on victory from the outset.

Lord Gnome 245 - 6 (Bellen 105, Godfrey 36*, Straker 35, M Ralph 8-2-29-2)
Pacific 119 all out (J Davies 65, Cannon 5-0-13-5, Twig 7.2-1-40-4)

A 40 over format was agreed and Gnome decided to make first use of a two-paced and slightly worn looking Broxbourne track - which never the less generally played well all day. Opening bowlers Matt Ralph and Jim Davies both made early breakthroughs leaving Gnome's reeling at 20-2 - with danger man Cannon back in the pavilion. However Bellen survived a few early scares - including a dropped catch off Davies when on 1 - and went on to plunder the attack with an impressive array of attacking strokes on his way to a fine 105. Davies bowled his 8 overs unchanged to finish with 1 for 38.

Soon after the introduction of Shane Rees, Bellen dispatched the ball into an adjoining garden and the loss of the hard ball significantly affected P's chances thereafter. Indeed - with several hits into the nearby river as well - several old (and soggy!) balls were either lost or ruined. Opener Straker (35) provided a suitable foil at the other end as a number of P's bowlers ended up with figures they would probably prefer to forget. Pick of the bowlers was a very impressive Ralph (8 overs, 2-29) - who with Captain Wilkinson (4 overs, 22-1) applied the brakes at the end of the innings despite a belligerent unbeaten 36 from Godfrey. 245 from 40 appeared a good but not impossible total - when at one point P looked like being batted out of the game.

The decision to allow both teams a new ball proved significant - as Matt Cannon made excellent use of the hard ball - extracting extra bounce and movement to dismiss Ralph in the first over. With Leon Yates receiving a similar rearing delivery from Finnegan in the second over - the tone of the Pacific innings was set. Rees was bowled first ball, and Cannon's pace and movement also soon accounted for Dave Murray, Joe Bennett and Chris Rice - all bowled. The introduction of impressive off-spinner Twig provided little respite for P - with Tim Mileham soon mistiming a drive to mid-on.

Mike Alexander joined Jim Davies and they set about adding at least some respectability to the P total. Despite never being at his most fluent - Davies managed to pick off the bad ball on his way to 65 - while Alexander (9) showed good temperament and technique in keeping him company in a stand of 65 for the 8th wicket - by far the biggest of the innings. When Davies fell to Twig - the latter soon mopped up the tail - taking 4 for 40 - leaving P a massive 126 adrift with 12 overs unused. Only Davies (65) reached double figures in the P innings.

"We can have no complaints" said Jim Davies. "Gnome's out played us in every department - batting, bowling and fielding. We had our chance to get on top early on but we let it slip away - but at least we showed spirit and kept going all the way in the field. Our early bating was disappointing though - the run rate may have been possible had we had had a few more wickets in hand. Lord Gnome are a good side and played very well as unit today - we will have to be at the top of our game to match them next year. Those are the standards we should set ourselves." he added.