Grammarians given a lesson
Pacific v Old Grammarians at Wray Crescent  Sun 22-Oct-2017 at 1.30pm
Won by 9 runs
 

The PCC extended its late-season flurry of victories to ten out of twelve, in what was (despite a close finish) for the most part a tedious, autumnal snore-fest

To both sides' credit, participation in outdoor cricket in late October requires the sort of fervent zeal exhibited only, perhaps, by Pacific's itinerant troupe of superfans, a pleasing complement of whom were present at Wray, including virtuosic scoring duo Vic and The Guv'nor. Not everyone was best pleased by what they saw on and off the pitch, however.  One ambivalent voice from the boundary was heard to chirp "if it was raining I wouldn't be here, believe me!", while Vic was forced to use his table tennis bat as a table for the scorecard. Our very own Nuggsy even got in on the act by heckling the umpire to vent his fury at some ambiguous signalling. Your correspondent, for his part, was a bit chilly and running low on Golden Virginia.

The day did not get off to a great start. Two of OG's initial VIII arrived early, only to be told by the footballers that they would be not playing for at least another two hours. Unaccustomed to this weekly, ritualistic display of manhood, the two Grammarians in question took the remark at face value, assumed that Captain Khalid was playing a prank, and disappeared home leaving only six OGs. In order to make some sort of game of it, we gifted to the opposition veteran batsman Jon Thornton and mercenary all-rounder Rizwan Siddiqui for the day – the latter arguably an OG in his own right.

Pacific duo Murtaza "Whacker Younis" Siddiqui and Mark "The" Woodland "Creature" went in to bat first. Sadly, Mutz (9) was unable to replicate his record-breaking heroics of the previous weekend. Pending a CT scan, it is not possible to say whether this resulted from his being encumbered by the helmet foisted upon him by older brother Riz (at mum's insistence), or whether severe motor neuron damage had been sustained in the absence of said encumbrance the previous week. The Creature (8), meanwhile, continued to impress with his new-found authority at the crease, before a cruel twist of fate led to him being run out – having comfortably made it home to the danger end while Captain Chasseaud, having not heard Mark's call, remained rooted to the spot ("don't run, Forest, don't run!").

Having arguably played a part in bringing the Creature's innings to a premature end, Chasseaud continued his rich vein of form, calmly accumulating 58 runs from 67 balls as part of the game's highest partnership (121), together with returning Aussie and 2015 Newcomer of the Year, Paul Rajkumar. Despite the relatively high strike rate, on a chilly day on which the grass was longer on the pitch than off, it is fair to say that this was an innings which although highly effective, was perhaps more palatable to the connoisseur than the casual fan. Rajkumar, who has had a barren season with the bat away from the PCC, brought some spicier flavours to the Astro and posted the day's top score with 86 off 61, during which he biffed six sixes.

We've missed you, Paul. Come home. 

The truncated tea was a fraught, table-less, plate-less affair. Nonetheless, solid contributions were made by Rafiq (including Chai and a box of wings from PFC Fried Chicken), PBD (Turkish breads) and Mrs Riz (chicken biryani – edible only out of plastic cups). As the light faded, the teams went back out on to the pitch hungry, although your correspondent managed to snaffle half a packet of Jaffa Cakes to eat at deep square leg. A winter in the gym awaits.

Chasing 182 off 30 overs, the OGs slumped to 10/3 off 5.5, owing to some sharp catching from Chasseaud, Mutz, and Burnham. Danger man Thornton (46) remained tethered to the crease, while openers Stockton and Davis kept things tight and restricted the OGs to 24 from the first ten on Wray's batsman-friendly Astroturf.

Perhaps it had been the OGs' intention to see off the openers before moving through the gears against the weaker first change men. If so, it didn't work. The contrasting styles of Rajkumar, whose aggressive first over was redolent of Lee against Trescothick, together with the loop and drift of Ratta, was too much for the batting side to handle. In particular, Thornton was no match for Ratta's sheer guile and inventiveness (not least in terms of his idiosyncratic approach to appealing), and Ratta went for only eight runs off his first five overs. Having timorously blocked and prodded the too-good Ratta, Thornton eventually removed the handbrake but succumbed to Rajkumar via Chasseaud, falling agonisingly short of what would have been a memorable half century.  

Riz (53) and Khalid (28) were next to enter the fray, their powerful styles setting things up for a tight finish. With the game hanging in the balance, Garrett and Stockton took superb running catches to see off Khalid and Riz, respectively. Garrett then went on to deliver the death overs to the plucky Sujay, the OGs' No 8 (and last man) being allowed to bat on his own with a runner. In the end, he was snaffled by Rajkumar off Garrett with three balls remaining and the OGs only nine runs short of their target.

Viva la rafalución!


Pacific v Old Grammarians
Toss won by Old Grammarians
 
Pacific innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  Murtaza Siddiqui† c Wicket keeper b Sujay  9  0  15  1  0  
  Mark Woodland run out  8  0  12  0  0  
  Toby Chasseaud* c Wicket keeper b Suraj  58  0  67  5  0  
  Paul Rajkumar b Abdul  86  0  61  5  6  
  Ben Burnham b Abdul  1  0  5  0  0  
  Ben Stockton not out  10  0  12  0  0  
  Paul Davis b Suraj  3  0  6  0  0  
  Rafiq Ratta not out  1  0  3  0  0  
  Tim Garrett did not bat  0  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 1, lb 0, w 3, nb 1) 5    
 TOTAL (30.0 Overs) 181    
 
 
 Fall of wickets:  1-16 [Siddiqui] , 2-18 [Woodland] , 3-139 [Chasseaud] , 4-140 [Burnham ] , 5-168 [Rajkumar] , 6-175 [Davis]
 
Bowling O M R W  
 Sujay 6 0 22 1  
 Khalid 6 0 30 0  
 Sanjay 6 0 52 0  
 Rizwan Siddiqui 6 0 30 0  
 Suraj 3 0 30 2  
 Abdul 3 0 16 2  
 
 
Old Grammarians innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  Suraj c Burnham b Davis  1  0  5  0  0  
  Jon Thornton c Chasseaud b Rajkumar  46  0  66  4  1  
  Abdul† c Siddiqui b Stockton  1  0  5  0  0  
  Sanjay c Chasseaud b Davis  4  0  11  1  0  
  Khalid* c Garrett b Ratta  28  0  36  6  0  
  Rizwan Siddiqui c Stockton b Garrett  53  0  40  3  4  
  Sujay c Rajkumar b Garrett  24  0  18  1  1  
 Extras (b 1, lb 0, w 9, nb 5) 15    
 TOTAL (29.3 Overs) 172    
 
 
 Fall of wickets:  1-2 [Suraj] , 2-4 [Abdul] , 3-10 [Sanjay] , 4-53 [Khalid] , 6-146 [R. Siddiqui] , 6-151 [Thornton] , 7-172 [Sujay]
 
Bowling O M R W  
 Ben Stockton 6 2 12 1  
 Paul Davis 6 0 31 2  
 Rafiq Ratta 6 1 20 1  
 Paul Rajkumar 6 0 54 1  
 Tim Garrett 5.3 0 54 2  
 
 

Other matches:
 Plenty of balls to spare, Sat 22-Oct-2016, Wray Crescent, Won 9 wickets
 Pacific outfox Grammarians , Sat 31-Oct-2015, Wray Crescent, Won 75 runs
 Sat 24-Oct-2015, Wray Crescent, Cancelled
 Remember remember the 1st of November, Sat 01-Nov-2014, Wray Crescent, Lost by 52 runs
 Bat first and enjoy the bratwurst, Sat 25-Oct-2014, Wray Crescent, Won by 156 runs
 Chasseaud saves his best till last, Sat 26-Oct-2013, Wray Crescent, Won 62 runs
 The tale of Wray the road, Sat 13-Oct-2012, Wray Crescent, Lost 2 wickets