'83 it all started, Spandau Ballet had charted
Tue 28-May-2013 
 

Kieran's special report on the Pacific 30th anniversary match played at Alexandra Palace on Mon 27 May 2013...

(To view the scorecard, click here)

1983 eh... Thatcher was in her pomp, Joan Collin’s shoulder pads were dominating our TV screens and a genial rat named Roland was proving that vermin could cut it on Breakfast TV. The Iron lady’s now gone, JC’s soon to star in ITV’s Benidorm, while Roland is seeing out his days in a luxury penthouse sewer.  These three were big hitters in ’83 while our club was a seed in the consciousness of Pacific Records’ sales manager Geoff Wilmot. But 30 years on and Pacific CC stands strong.

Bank holiday Monday’s anniversary match was a special opportunity for some of Pacific’s recent lineage to make a connection with family members of earlier generations in celebration of the club’s 30th. Poring over Pacific Stats in winter months or nerdier hours, some of the younger offspring have familiarized themselves with Hollman, Baglivi(s), Lay(s), Alexander, Hardisty(s) (2,956 runs), John Hill (1,429 runs), A Roberts (235 wickets +1014 runs) and others sitting pretty in the record lists. Yesterday the men whose names on the page tell of years of bowling, batting and fielding class and dedication were made tangible, fully realised in the minds of the class of 2013.

Like bats stored in a pavilion for several winter, the Pacific stars of ’83 may have a softer middle these days but the quality remains undimmed. All-time leading Pacific wicket taker John Baglivi (724 wickets) opened with the cream of the current crop James Gleadow -  seamers past and present sharing an unerring accuracy and probing length. The Nugget may one day emulate his predecessor’s achievements. Mike Alexander (387 wickets + 1987 runs) bowled with a furious urgency and no little skill. It seemed as if he was making up for lost time. His passion for the game and the club surely remains robust; evidenced by a short, smoldering glance at the seemingly impregnable Chasseaud (Alexander the irate?) and later, in the bar, as he regaled Kieran with batting feats of yesteryear. Perhaps the bowler of the day was Jon Brown. ‘Browny’, whose arrival at the club coincided with Brit Pop heights, produced his very own champagne supernovas as his unique ‘kiss the pitch’ style found life on a pitch which Bumble would describe as  ‘as flat as a Dodo’. His most memorable delivery left ? in a blur, the delivery nicking the top of off stump on a day when the sweet sound of timber falling was hard to come by. He approaches 100 Pacific wickets.

Stephen Richards breezed his way to 24 in a  resurgent season in which he has soared past 1,000 runs. But it was Toby Chasseaud’s bat-carrying heroics which made all the difference for the 2013 side, the opener’s fifth century for the club  shepherding his dear young things to a substantial score. Chas reminds me of a right handed Alistair Cook; he’s established a method which eliminates risk and possesses the mental resilience to carry on when others falter. Good timing in both senses of the word too, as in the last ten he marmalised the ball to all sides of the ground. Like Cook, (who famously seems not to perspire), Chas doesn’t sweat the small stuff. And he remained imperturbable to the very end, even as an errant kite enveloped him as he walked back to the pavilion.

Oli Creese looked composed at the crease from the start in a short but brutally sweet innings which suggests he could change games for Pacific on many Saturday and Sunday afternoons to come. (a la Tempany). While Thiagarajan’s efforts encourage us to believe he could emerge as a skilled all-round contributor in 2013 and beyond as he assisted the acceleration.

The tea interval was most curious for the effect cake and sugary tea seemed to have had on the Nugget’s blood sugar levels. For, minutes after resumption our star bowler was nestled on a bench in our changing room in a foetal-like position, ensconced amid abdo guards and pads in a deep snooze. Riding a calorific rollercoaster ride which had now plummeted to the depths, JG was probably riding on what Freud called the ‘royal road’ of his dreams, which, given his compulsion for the game, was most probably 22 yards long with an even covering of grass.

Pacific ’83’s reply was directed with purpose and skill by its preeminent all-round talent of three decades, Peter Hollman (638 wickets + 9,590 runs) who was unruffled against the opening combination of Bridgett and Hussein, Pacific 2013’s leg spinner an innovative opening pick by the captain. So often at this level the wrist spinner is used as a matter of last resort so  it was refreshing to see an attack with fast-slow originality first up. Both picked up wickets.

After Hollman departed Baglivi kept Pacific ’83’s pursuit alive but once he was out the game looked up. Especially with Tony Tambyrajah (please note correct spelling!) also producing the goods on his return to the Pacific fold after a sojourn to his spiritual homeland of Sri Lanka and the Eastern city of Batticaloa. Alan Roberts stood up to young Greenland’s  beamers and thrashed away a four or two, but, as the good wordsmith in the report above notes, wickets fell steadily until we were left with just Korgaonkar and Brown to save us from defeat. And that they did with some aplomb. Funny how things work out because two hours earlier at tea the usually equable ‘Korgy’ insisted he wouldn’t bat.  But as one of 12 men the somniferous Gleadow gave up his spot and so it was that with soft hands and a straight bat Aroon denied Pacific 2013 even as they provocatively crowded the bat. (Many of the class of ’83 were impressed by how quickly Korgy picks up the ball - perhaps this could be the start of a golden batting period for the man who averages a healthy 16.12 but who often bats at 10 or 11.) At the other end, gentleman Brown chose a very different strategy, appearing to want to swat away the ball and the pressurised situation with a swish of his blade at every opportunity. But he stayed firm as ’83 staved off defeat and it was perhaps apt that the man whose Pacific career spans two generations, Mr Jon Brown, was there at the denouement. For today was all about unifying the strands of time ; bringing together some of the many players who’ve sustained the club during its first decades alongside a current generation hoping to blaze a trail in the decade(s) to come. On Monday, we all walked glove in glove. Here’s to the next 30.

Thanks again to Christopher Clayton, who scored while strong winds from the East buffeted him and Alexandra Palace.

Pacific is No 1!

It seems fitting that, being a club formed by a Kentish Town record store in the year the CD was introduced, we should enjoy a little musical conclusion. So here goes. For as many of you as I can manage who played on Monday, these acts were chart toppers when you made your debuts...

Pacific 1983        Debut              No 1
Peter Hollman       9th April 1983     David Bowie Let’s Dance
John Hill           21.8.83            KC & the Sunshine Band - Give It Up
John Baglivi        25.8.85            Madonna - Get into the Groove
Alan Roberts        23.4.88            Pet Shop Boys - Heart
Ben Hardisty        24.7.88            Glenn Medeiros - Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You
Mike Alexander      29.4.89            The Bangles - Eternal Flame
Steve Emmins        27.5.95            Robson & Jerome - Unchained Melody
Jon Brown           08.7.95            Outhere Brothers - Boom Boom Boom
Kieran Mullens      26.9.04            Eric Prydz - Call on Me
James Gleadow       08.5.05            Akon - Lonely
Aroon Korgaonkar    28.5.06            Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
            
Pacific 2013           
Giaco Bridgett      19.4.08            Estelle feat Kanye West - American Boy
Toby Chasseaud      18.4.09            Calvin Harris - I’m not alone
Steve Richards      24.4.10            Usher feat will.i.am - OMG
Tom Ireland         11.6.11            Pitbull feat Ne Yo, Afrojack and Nayer - Give me Everything
Tony Tambyrajah     18.6.11            Example - Changed the Way You Kiss Me
Ahmed Hussain       31.7.11            JLS feat Dev - She Makes Me Wanna
Satish Thiagarajan  30.6.12            Maroon 5 feat Wiz Khalifa - Payphone
Oli Creese          27.4.13            Rudimental feat Ella Eyre - Waiting All Night