I think I can only look to 90s pop icon Whigfield for words to sum up this game “Da ba da dan dee dee dee da nee na na na…. be my baby” Shakespear could not have summed it up better.
With victory over Stowe still a recent memory Skip looked to make it 2 out of 2 for our midweek games, has this been done before I am not sure. As ever a Skipper’s job is a difficult one and news that the mighty Abbas was unable to play was a shock, thankfully at the 11th hour Julian Swain stepped in to provide excellent cover for the big fellow.
For once some thought had gone into the bat bowl conundrum the team looked very batty and not very bowly, confident that any total could be chased down the decision to bowl was an easy one, naturally this elicited the same response from the Pelicans once they are told of such a choice, joy and happiness or that’s how Skip took it.
Opening the bowling for the Pelicans we had Toobes and Hasan, with Toobes bowling relatively tightly it was down to Hasan to claim the first wicket in his second over, a nice ball that cut back and bowled the Northwood opener, an excellent start.
Toobes continued his opening spell and after 7 overs like an old pit pony ready for the glue factory, with a severe limp and cyanotic heart disease was put out to grass and Vish brought in.
Hasan continued his initial spell of 10 overs kept the run rate down but did not winkle out any more Northwood batsmen.
The Northwood number 2 and 3 were looking pretty settled but with Vish now joined by Kunaal the run rate started to become somewhat static as maiden followed maiden indeed over a period of 12 overs Northwood could only manage 17 runs.
Finally with Vish in his 8th over a breakthrough occurred as Bat number 2 was bowled trying to speed the pace on a bit, he was soon followed by the Northwood number 4 a fine catch from Jules. With Northwood trying to push the pace on it didn’t take long for their number 3 bat who had been looking increasingly comfortable and set for a century to finally make a mistake, as pushed his bat forward to Vish an edge dollied up to Mr Safe Hands Asad in the third slip position, unfortunately Mr Safe Hands seemed to have departed the field of play and was being substituted by Mr Soapy eel hands who naturally dropped said dolly, thankfully didn’t prove too expensive as shortly after the Northwood number 4 was caught at mid on by Toobes.
With Asad now in full teenager strop mood in his mind he spotted a potential run out at the non striker’s end, as for the rest of us we were wandering back to our fielding positions, anyway defying his shoulder injury which he hardly ever mentions a ball flew towards the wickets and straight past and finally came to a standstill about 3 feet past the boundary under a hedge.
Wickets were now starting to fall as Vish continued with his marathon bowling spell finally finishing with 19 overs 4 for 57, it has to be said that his 19th over looked as good as his first, a truly magnificent run.
Kunaal meanwhile finally was rewarded for all his hard work as JG caught the Northwood Skipper for 0 and finished with figures of 16 overs 1 for 48, again fantastic.
It was during this spell that our own Captain America Tony Harris demonstrated what the British Army is made of and indeed now is missing, as a run out appeal was turned down and resulted in a tantrum of the highest order as gloves were thrown down and a voice slightly higher in pitch of an under 5 girls birthday party shouted “WTF” Silence erupted on the field as Pelicans looked at each other and a sheepish Tony apologised and made his way back to his position. Regarding the run out was it marginal………… My backside it was he was out by flipping miles, something even Stevie Wonder would have seen.
With Hasan brought back into the attack to join Raheel the Northwood innings was coming to a close, there was still time for a Raheel wicket as he bowled the Northwood number 5 who was on 41 runs, with 60 overs bowled Northwood finally declared having set a total of 248. Hasan returned bowling figures of 14 overs 1 for 66 and Raheel 4 overs 1 for 27, the recipient of the Northwood number 10 bat who for reasons unknown batted at number 10.
As for the fielding generally a fine affair with few dropped catches though Adam at first slip appeared to be the brother of Mr Soapy eel hands.
With a modest total set Skip sat back, looked at his fine array of batting and expected an early supper.
Asad and Raheel were the two opening big guns for the Pelicans, as we all know a solid base is such an advantage in these games so it came as no surprise to see Raheel trudging back to the clubhouse for 1, not a problem thought Skip as he saw Julian heading to the wicket, 17 runs later he saw Julian heading back to the clubhouse shortly followed by Asad on 37 and Flouncy MacFlounce Flounce himself Tony Harris on 2. This was not in the script.
It required a calm head to knuckle down and start building a total, which thankfully the Pelicans had in the shape of Hasan, he was joined by Kunaal who brought that Kankate style which basically is boundaries.
With the score initially on 63 these two mighty Pelicans started to take control of the game and nurdled, bludgeoned sprinted there was to build a great partnership which only came to an end in the 53rd over with the Pelican score on 226. It was Hasan who went for another mighty 6 but unfortunately this time it just didn’t quite make it and he was caught for a fantastic 64.
With Northwood scenting the possibility of saving themselves from defeat their joy was soon turned to abject despair as non other than Ex Skip Alex Livie replaced Hasan with 5 overs to go and 23 needed for victory. Carrying the form of Don Bradman himself and coming off a not out 136 against LCR Harrow the day before, ex Skip immediately announced his presence with a sumptuous cover drive for 4.
Kunaal continued where he and Hasan had left off and smashed another 4 and ran the quick singles finally bringing the game home with Ex Skip Livie.
Kunaal finished on 93 and Alex 15.
What a performance, what a victory, drinks were taken at the clubhouse actually the only thing Adam didn’t spill.
I thank you.