Sunday September 29th, vs Kensington CC
Kensington 180 (A Rehman 6 for 17); Great Missenden Pelicans 184-3 (R Bailey 102*)
WON by 7 wickets
Sunday September 22nd, vs Hit or Miss
Hit or Miss 196 (Sushil Patel 4 for 8); Great Missenden Pelicans 176
Lost by 20 runs
Sunday September 15th, vs Golden Age
Sunday September 8th, vs Little Missenden
Little Missenden 136 for 9 (J Greenwood 4-30); Great Missenden Pelicans 137-7
Won by 3 wickets
Sunday September 1st, vs Bledlow Village
Bledlow Village 235-9 (A Livie 5-70); Great Missenden Pelicans 160-9
That was reinforced when the Bledlow skipper strode out to tell anyone that wanted to hear (it was me, and I didn’t really want to know, but he told me anyway) that they were REALLY strong.
He said he wanted to win the toss and bat. I said I’ll throw the coin in the air and your wish will come true. It did.
The Bledlow openers strode out and batted like batsmen – which is not always the case down at the Meadow.
But roughly six overs in to this new fixture, battle lines were drawn. Rob took a ball and seeing the batsman was dithering out of his ground, threw the stumps down. The appeal went up with the batsman short of his ground. The umpire, who if truth be told did not look like he was watching, said not out.
Said batsman was urged to do the decent thing and walk. He didn’t. But he promptly batted like a guilty man by attempting to smash everything out of the ground. He made a decent job of it as he helped himself to 80-odd before finally being prised out.
Cocky young kids came, threw the bat, and went. One in particular incurred the wrath of the skipper by attempting a reverse sweep off his first ball. He was sent on his way two balls later after charging down the wicket and being well stumped by Butch.
Bledlow had a mixture of good batting, luck, and some typical Pelicans fielding to thank for their total at tea of 235.
Now, let’s talk about tea. Nyron, the snake-hipped cavalier, ambled up an hour before kick off armed with goodies. He then said he had to go and pick something up. An hour into the game he returned – armed with jerk chicken. So while we fielded with 10 men for an hour, the taste of that chicken made it worthwhile.
On to the Pelicans’ reply. Let’s say it was sloooooooooooowww. Sunday buffet fare was served up, but was patted back by an opener who shall remain nameless (if you need photos of plants taken, he’s yer man.)
In fairness to the masked opener, it wasn’t a bad policy as a string of Pelis got out trying to slap this stuff around the ground.
The Pelis were in a spot of bother when Nyron and the skipper came together, but a partnership was built and all looked good until the skipper slipped and trod on his own stumps (the shame).
It looked extremely bleak as JG fell, leaving Toobes together with a 14-year-old (that’s a statement which has not been said since a CRB check prompted a stern warning from the local magistrate.)
Anyway, Toobes was in no mood to be beaten and Oli proved a willing partner as they batted for an hour and resisted all that was sent down.
In a bid to eke out a win, the Bledlow skipper turned to his Saturday bowlers and they hurled the ball down at a rapid old rate.
Oli fell which saw Josh stride out. He had been champing at the bit for an hour and sent the ball whistling back past the bowler. One over later, a draw was secured.
Reports are intended to convey an entertaining picture of the day’s play. No disrespect is meant, but if on occasion we misjudge matters, please take it in the friendly and humorous spirit in which it is intended.
Sunday August 25th, vs Widmer End
Great Missenden Pelicans 201 all out (K Kankate 57, S Tickler 39, A Rehman 37); Widmer End 154 all out (A Rehman 4-21)
Won by 47 runs
Sunday August 18th, vs Hit and Miss
Great Missenden Pelicans 78 all out; Hit and Miss 79 for 1
Lost by 9 wickets
So what went wrong? Basically, it was “déjà vu all over again”:
- The skipper lost the toss.
- Clive wasn’t out.
- The Pelis middle order collapsed.
- The opposition’s top-scoring batsman gifted us his wicket before scoring but we gaped into the jaws of said gift horse (see Knotty Green match report).
- A humiliating 9-wicket defeat (ditto – when the Pelis lose, they lose big!)
Filling in the gaps, the Pelis openers took us to within four runs of last year’s total before Clive fell LBW, his protests having more merit than usual. Still, 40-1 and a steady start suggested that last year’s abject performance would be put firmly to bed. At 47-7 (and fielding only 10 Pelis) things looked rather differently. Sushil got a good one first ball, edging to slip; Rob played uncharacteristically across the line; Alex clipped one straight to mid-wicket; Jalil found the most creative means of dismissal, stumped by a keeper standing 10 yards back; Gibbo played down the wrong line to a straight one and heard the ‘death rattle’, a fate that soon befell Niron.
All too late things started to look up. Asad plundered a few; and then a last-wicket partnership between Adam, with a PB of 13, and Hazel Nicholls, undefeated on 3, saw us to 78. With an eye on last year’s low-scoring affair there was bold talk that a score of 70 might yet be defendable if we opened with Asad …
So to the first over of the Hit and Miss reply. Keen to get off the mark, the Hit and Miss skipper ran a suicidal run to Sushil at gully; Sushil threw down the stumps and the umpire’s finger was duly raised. However, a protest was lodged (including by the skipper who was running to the other end – clearly eyes in the back of his head!) that stand-in keeper Rob had already brushed off the bails with his gloves. The Pelis sportingly confessed it was true – and why not, when Asad was about to run through them?
Sadly it was not to be. Having been reprieved, the opener rattled up 46 not out, handing out his sternest punishment to Asad (0 for 46 off 6) and there’s not much else to report apart from a throw from the boundary by Hazel that shamed most of the rest of us, a drop by Gibbo on the long-on boundary (when the game was up anyway), and a maiden over by Niron (ditto).
And so to the pavilion where Niron lifted our spirits momentarily, removing his bandanna, taking up his afro comb and teasing his hair into perfect 70′s disco bouffant. Forget Chris Gayle or Crystal Gayle, this was pure Tavares…
Reports are intended to convey an entertaining picture of the day’s play. No disrespect is meant, but if on occasion we misjudge matters, please take it in the friendly and humorous spirit in which it is intended.
Sunday August 11th, vs Middleton Stoney
Sunday August 4th, vs Sarratt
Great Missenden Pelicans 221 for 9 (R Bailey 62, J Newman 50); Sarratt 181 all out (A Rehman 3-17, R Frank 3-31)
Won by 40 runs
Unusually at The Meadow, a 40-over format was agreed. After an opening stand of 47 from Rob Bailey and Clive, our momentum was checked briefly by the removal of Clive and David Bailey in the twelfth over. But that was just the signal for carnage as Butch strode to the wicket and got to work, his 50 including 42 in boundaries with three sixes and six fours. Rob, meanwhile, put himself on the honours board for the third time in a month. With the Pelis now well set, it was up to the remaining batsmen to chip in, and they all did. 200 was raised in the thirty-seventh over, and 230 or even 240 seemed a possibility until two or three late wickets checked our progress. However, tea was taken with 221 on the board, and the Pelis on good terms with themselves. All the more so when confronted by a sumptuous tea, courtesy of Bails (i/c sarnies) and the Revd Bails (i/c cakes).
Toobes’s stretching exercises attracted special comment from the Revd Bails, who clearly had seen nothing like them. But they were to good effect as Toobes grabbed three wickets in an unchanged spell of 8 overs, and from that point Sarratt were behind the 8-ball.
Adam and Rob made a good job of plugging our lack of a fifth front-line bowler. The Sarratt number 5 hit a gutsy 62 not out, but with Asad holding down one end (3-17 off 6), it was always a tall order to get them back into the contest. With another year under his belt, Asad’s quicker ball is now decidedly quick, resulting in a few howls from behind the stumps as Bails’s fingers took quite a pounding. At the ninth wicket, pads were strapped onto a bystander (Sarratt having come with only ten men), but he was swiftly dismissed, giving the Pelis a comfortable 40-run victory.
Reports are intended to convey an entertaining picture of the day’s play. No disrespect is meant, but if on occasion we misjudge matters, please take it in the friendly and humorous spirit in which it is intended.
Sunday July 28th, vs Knotty Green
Great Missenden Pelicans 150 all out (R Frank 36, R Gibson 34); Knotty Green 153-1
LOST by 9 wickets
With a wicket greener than a snooker table all eyes were on the all-important toss: to win that would put whichever team in a very strong position. Skip lost and we were sent in to bat.
I am going to struggle to fill in more than a paragraph to describe the Pelis batting, suffice it to say we soon found ourselves on not very many for 6 when Toobes and The Ice Man came together. This generally does not bode well for a Pelis scoreline, but respectability was recovered.
Finding the form of Ricky Ponting, the Ice Man placed 4 after 4 with the precision of a brain surgeon. Toobes on the other hand hit 4 after 4 with, well lets be honest, the precision of a brain surgeon that can only do one thing, shovelling and trowelling to exactly the same point in the ground.
The Ice Man finally fell on 34 followed shortly after with Toobes 36, Niron 12, and a total score of 150.
Tea was almost as good as a home affair after which the Knotties went in to chase down the not-so-large score.
First ball, edged to Bailey D. Skip at first slip was running down the wicket, so sure such a child-like sitter had been held; unfortunately not.
4th ball edged again to Niron, bit harder but this chap obviously wasn’t going to last long and Bailey D’s drop would not really matter. That would have been the case if he then didn’t go on to score the streakiest, edgiest, up-in-the-airiest 108 not out we have ever seen. On 99 for good measure another Bailey – this time R – felt he too would drop the luckiest batsman, a real family affair.
In the middle of this innings we witnessed a new teddy-toys-out flounce, this time from the Skip.
Bowling like a madman on some serious drugs Skip appealed for an LBW to El Supremo, sounding like Bruce Lee but dancing backwards down the wicket in a Wayne Sleep style; El was unmoved, Skip was amazed. Next over same again but even higher on the Richter scale, as we witnessed the full force of Hurricane Flouncy; again El was unmoved, Quentin Crisp Livie sashayed to his spot whilst manicuring his nails muttering something about the muck on the field.
Regarding the rest of the bowling Josh 0 for 43 off 7 overs, Toobes 0 for 28 off 5 overs, Greenwood 0 for 17 off 2 overs, Bailey S 0 for 34 off 5 overs and Flouncey Pants 1 for 27 off 5 overs. Suffice it to say the 150 was duly achieved and the few Pelis still standing wandered of to the Keys to lick our wounds.
Something else happened which we found funny but for the life of me I cant remember what it was – it could have been Joan’s fielding.
Sunday July 21st, vs Headstone
Great Missenden Pelicans 315-5 (A Livie 143, R Bailey 64); Headstone 235 all out
WON by 80 runs
Rob Bailey and the skipper strode out to be faced with a stocky lad marking a run-up all the way to the sightscreen at the top end and it soon became clear why as he sent the ball propelling through the air at a fair old rate. He tended to bowl a little too short but ably supported by a wily old campaigner at the bottom end, Headstone kept the Pelis under wraps early doors.
Now when PG sourced this fixture at short notice, Headstone described themselves as medium to weak. If the opening bowlers were medium, well, you get the idea re bowlers three, four and five. After 10 overs of decent fare, the Headstone cafeteria opened for business and Rob and the skipper filled their faces like men who had not been fed for a month.
The new ball was rapidly sent into the next field, as were a fair few spares if truth be told. Pelican openers were not distracted at drinks by a girly strop from Josh who squeaked something about only having one pair of hands as he attempted to multi-task by scoring, chasing rodents round the clubhouse and failing to bring out drinks.
Rob and the skipper took the opening stand towards 150 before Rob took pity on Headstone and chipped a caught and bowled back to the bowler. Tickles strode out and had the look of a man seeking quick runs. He had the same look at Stowe but was bowled round his legs. on this occasion, boundaries were slapped around but a tricky left armer teased Ticks to loft the ball to mid-off. The only surprise was that the man at mid-off took quite a good catch.
Jalil took up the baton and was even seen scampering twos but he fell victim to the returning opening bowler who in his second spell bowled a far better length.
The skipper passed three figures but in going for one big hit too many picked out a man on the fence at deep square leg. Bech and Shoelace carried on the scoring to take the Pelicans to a rather healthy looking 315 for 5 at tea.
The mathematicians amongst you will know that 316 in 40 overs is in the region of 8 an over. That’s a sizeable challenge but for the first dozen overs Headstone were well ahead of the rate. Things did not bode well for our bowling attack when Toobes turned up half-drunk, walking into doors and talking about the night before which appeared to be one of those nights. Three hours’ sobering up time did not aid his cause as Toobes produced one of the worst spells of bowling ever seen in Pelican colours.
The ball flew all round the Meadow as Headstone threatened to pull off one of those great run chases. But the skipper turned to Shoelace and Rag and they put a squeeze on the game. The key moment came when Josh, who blamed the sun for a drop a couple of overs earlier, plucked a stunner out of the air to remove the big-hitting No. 3. The Pelis were down to 10 men at that point as Bech had to briefly leave the field to take home his four-year-old child who had refused to get in the car and go home with his mother. All I can say is that they must breed ‘em strange down south.
With Headstone on the back foot, Tickles came on to turn the screw and helped himself to three wickets before asking to be taken off. This left the way clear for Adam to snatch his first Pelis wicket and Niron to close out the match with a beauty that clipped the outside of off stump.
550 runs on a sun-baked afternoon, roll on next week.
Wednesday July 17th, vs Stowe Templars
Great Missenden Pelicans 235 all out (D Bailey 67); Stowe Templars 167 all out (A Rehman 5-28, A Livie 5-39)
WON by 68 runs
Sunday July 14th, vs Wendover
Wendover 104 all out (A Rehman 6 for 15); Great Missenden Pelicans 105 for 4
WON by 6 wickets
Three balls in and the Pelicans drew first blood as the skipper knocked the still-weeping scab off his elbow when taking a catch at slip.
This wicket brought Wendover’s No. 3 to the wicket and after something like the 15th play and miss, Toobes was kicking the turf in frustration.
The other Wendover opener, in contrast, took great delight in slapping the ball around. He had the odd slice of luck as a couple of catches went down and the odd misfield saw Toobes enter full-on hissy-fit mode. Luck or not, he was raising his bat in acknowledgement of a half-century – with the team score on 56. That was a true reflection of his relative superiority, and shortly after Asad removed Wendover’s best batsman, it was clear the hinges of the hutch door were creaking.
Hooping inswingers from Rag and vicious quicker balls from Asad proved too much for Wendover. Asad took another stride towards the bowling award, but there was little more than a little fist pump as he racked up another hat-trick to close the Wendover innings at 104.
Tea was taken somewhat early, so early the urn had barely moved from the cold to lukewarm stage. The lack of a brew with his sandwich did not knock Clive from his stride as he and Rob Bailey fended off the initial threat of the best Wendover bowler, before stepping on the gas. Both took the Pelicans towards victory when Rob opted to retire, to give Hazel the chance to bat alongside Clive.
Hazel had already shown the Pelis how to catch by plucking one out of the air and she flicked one away through midwicket to get off the mark. Sadly, Hazel promptly missed a straight one and it sparked a Pelican collapse.
Bech found the middle of the bat for the first time this decade, but could only slap it straight to the man at extra cover.
Josh, fresh from his sparkling knock at Northwood, strode out and raised his standing among all Pelicans by running Clive out. It would appear Clive and Josh have not yet mastered telepathy as Josh called Clive for a single purely by the power of thought. Clive wandered off thinking about revenge, Josh followed him to the shed one ball later when scooping a short ball straight up in the air.
The winning post was in sight and Toobes was handed a shot at redemption, having so spectacularly bottled it against Wendover 12 months previous. Aided by his trusty shovel, he scooped the ball into the leg side to see the Pelicans home. And all this before 5.30pm.
Monday July 8th, vs Northwood
Great Missenden Pelicans 278 all out (Livie 68*, R Bailey 59); Northwood 201 all out (A Rehman 6-30)
WON by 77 runs
Sunday July 7th, vs The Lee
The Lee 223 for 7; Great Missenden Pelicans 227 for 7 (S Bailey 70, J Greenwood 55, R Bailey 36)
WON by 3 wickets
With 40 overs per side, one boundary probably no further than the fielding ring in a limited overs international, a fast outfield and a steepish slope down to the longer boundary, plenty of runs seemed in the offing.
Not from Toobes, though. The words ‘Toobes’ and ‘Miser’ are practically synonymous, and his 1-27 in an unchanged 8-over spell, despite 30o+ heat, was miserliness personified.
At the other end, Josh was generating good pace and when the radar was on (a good 60% of the time) and he wasn’t overstepping (4 successive no balls!), he gave the batsmen plenty to think about. Not to mention his Uncle Stu at second slip, downed by a thunderbolt which would have caused no pain at all, had it ended up in his hands rather than his sternum.
Two catches by keeper David Bailey – one a beauty off Josh – brought to the wicket a young man identified by the skipper as having hit a chanceless 130 at The Meadow three years earlier. And for a long time a repeat looked likely: beautiful timing, exploitation of the short boundary and able assistance from the remaining opener saw the total pushed way beyond 100 without further loss.
But the run rate never really got out of hand, and maybe it was scoreboard pressure that caused a slightly uncharacteristic charge at Stuart Bailey’s spin, resulting in a skied leading edge. The ball headed for the skipper in the covers, but with plenty of time for the keeper and Toobes to get involved, another broken finger incident looked on the cards. To the relief of all, however, the skipper was left to complete the catch unmolested.
A lovely spell of bowling by JG (2-42 off 8), similar economy by the skipper (0-40 off 8), a spectacular direct hit run out by Stuart Bailey, and fielding that mixed the usual comic capers with plenty of honest endeavour ensured that The Lee never really cut loose. Their 223 for 7 didn’t look like a mountain to climb.
An extended tea was taken, with Murray two sets up and eventually closing out victory. Inspired, the Pelis went out to address their 224-run chase.
Openers JG and Rob Bailey took their partnership with few alarms past the first drinks session, eventually amassing 84. Rob eventually gave way to brother Stuart, and his 70, with JG’s 55, propelled the Pelis well ahead of the clock and within sight of victory. But no Pelis victory is without its alarms, and three ducks gave The Lee a tiny sniff. Contributions by the skipper (16), Toobes (12*) and the Iceman (edged 4 past the keeper, having come in with 3 needed) brought home a victory in the manner of Andy Murray: comfortable in the end, but with a few flutters before closing out.
Finally, one for the stattos among you: the first 5 Pelis wickets fell at 84, 138, 138, 183 and 183 – the digits adding up in each case to 12. Divide that by the number of wickets we won by, and you get the number of Bails that turned out. Weeeeird or what?
Sunday June 30th, vs Kensington CC
Kensington CC 142; Great Missenden Pelicans 84
LOST by 58 runs
The Kensington openers took to their task with relish, particularly the youngster who slapped a couple of balls into the hedge – losing one in the process. Toobes, who got redder and redder as the sun belted down on his Tintin hair, was given a breather after a decent spell and replaced with Shoelace.
Toobes had done the softening up, allowing Shoelace and his unique run-up to take the glory. And take the glory he did with three quick wickets to knock the Kensington momentum.
There was the amazing sight of Pelicans taking catches and Kensington were staggering at 80 something for 7. At this point the skipper, mistakenly as it turned out, took pity on the visitors and took his foot off the gas which allowed Kensington to creep up to 142.
On what was still an excellent track, confidence was high that the Pelicans could chase things down. Misplaced is a word that can often sit well in a sentence containing the word confidence. And it certainly fits the bill here.
It’s fair to say we have a good relationship with Kensington (they do bring beer and whisky after all) and JG ensured the relationship was not strained as he had the decency to to walk for a caught behind – even though the umpire had no intention of giving it.
Mr Deol seems to be a fan of Missenden as he makes a big effort to play in the game and he found himself a nice furrow to plough from the top end. Whether it was the yard of pace he’d lost or the shiny blue and yellow trainers he was sporting, but his whippy right arm swingers proved too hot for a number of Pelicans to handle.
It’s fair to say the Pelicans’ top and middle order did not cover themselves in glory. Neither did the lower order if truth be told but there was still talk of salvation when Toobes was at the crease. Sadly, he did not stay at the crease. Now the Kensington keeper had ruffled a few feathers while batting with his constant chatter (Tourette’s is a treatable condition) and he ruffled Toobey’s Tintin hair with one appeal for a caught behind too many. A play and a miss from Toobes saw an appeal go up. So Toobes did what any sensible batsman would do, he stepped three yards out of his crease and allowed the keeper to walk up to the stumps and run him out. Toobes wandered off saying he was so incensed by the appeal that he lost the use of his brain. We simply said he was an idiot.
With the Pelicans staggering on the ropes, the knockout blow was delivered – leaving Josh not out having not faced a ball. Still we enjoyed a beer, Shoelace snaffled the whisky, and we look forward to the rematch in September.
Sunday June 23rd, vs The Bushmen
Great Missenden Pelicans 200 for 7 (R Kankate 110, K Kankate 61*); The Bushmen 124 for 5
The wicket was as cantankerous as a wild stallion with ninja throwing stars attached to its scrotum, so much so that without to much effort the Bushmen found themselves with 2 Peli wickets skittled and only 6 runs on the Pelis table. Clive naturally muttered something about how dreadful a wicket it was for a person of his high calibre to be playing on and something about unplayable.
JG too left the field of play pretty hastily, consequently up stepped Rags. Joan stayed with him for a few overs but departed, Tickles also entered the arena and soon had the opposition purring at such a masterful way that he tucked his bat under his arm and marched off the arena of play having nicked one to the wicket keeper. Crystal exhibiting all the confidence of a man with a noose around his neck strode out, scored a run, strode back.
Bailey D exhibiting all the confidence of a man putting a noose around someone’s neck strode out, scored 3, strode back.
Out went Kankate Secundus to join Kankate Primus, needless to say Nags Head Meadow witnessed some of the finest father and son spankage to have been seen for many a year, we are talking full gimp mask, cue ball in mouth, bulldog clips on scrotum and NO safety word.
Kankate Primus finally fell for 110 simply because he couldn’t be bothered to carry on, Kankate Secundus was undefeated on 61.
Tea was taken with a show stopping 200 writ tall and large on the Peli score board.
After the usual sumptuous tea The Bushmen went for the chase. Unfortunately the openers were capable of batting and after a bit of a lacklustre opening show from the Peli openers it took some rapid Kankate Secundus bowling to prise the opener out with a wait for it Bailey J catch, that’s right Bailey Josh. Sensing a bit of panic a quick single was called for as the ball whistled to Crystal, now to be honest I and possibly the rest of the team thought it was a safe single. Crystal thought differently and RIFLED the ball back to Bails to run out opener number 2.
Tickler was bowling his usual economical deliveries, with the odd one going directly to the batsman’s head, until up went the ball skied directly to Crystal. Now to be honest I and possibly the rest of the team was not expecting Crystal to hold it, but hold it he bloody well did.
Sensing a bit of spin was needed Asad came on but unfortunately a side injury sent him back again, enter stage left Crystal. The conversation went something like this ‘Niron get ready to bowl’. ‘ You don’t want me to bowl’ ‘Yes I do’, ‘I only bowl in the nets’, ‘Well you’re bowling now’…
Now to be honest I and possibly the rest of the team did not expect that much especially after the first ball went so wide as to almost go behind the square leg umpire, but after that the Nironomater found his range and clean bowled batsman number 3 and then with the Gods of fate tickling the testicles of improbability Bailey J caught batsman number 6 off The Nironometers bowling.
It was a jubilant team that as the rain pelted down we all scuttled off the field and accepted a winning draw.
Cricket was the winner
Sunday June 16th, vs Coleshill
Sunday June 9th, vs Penn & Tylers Green
Great Missenden Pelicans 282-5 (Nicholls 84, Livie 76*, J Greenwood 54); Penn & Tylers Green 187-6 (Extras 43)
WON by 95 runs
The Pelis were asked to have first hit, and so began the downfall of PTG. Clive, this week without a hangover, had the look of a man on a mission and ably supported by JG runs flowed freely.
Clive was dropped fairly early on by a youth at midwicket and he may be paying off the debt with his pocket money for quite some time as the Pelis’ favourite flower photographer dispatched the ball to all parts.
JG has still not mastered hitting the ball on the leg side, but he’s damn good at spanking it through the cover and point region and he did that with great regularity until he missed a straight one.
The Skipper walked out happy to play the supporting role to Clive who said at drinks that the drop could prove expensive (200 runs expensive were the words passing his lips). He looked so utterly confident, so in the zone that there was no way they would get him out. PTG did not need to get him out, as the idiot trod on his own stumps to give the bowler – who bore a passing resemblance to the lead singer of a certain early eighties pop group (more on him later) – a wicket.
The lesser spotted Shoelace made an appearance at the Meadow and gave the ball a good thrashing before departing stage left to give Adam the chance to score his first Pelicans run. He was almost denied that chance as the Skipper tried his best to run him out but the failings of the PTG keeper gave him a life.
Adam exited the duck club with a lovely push into the covers, but then missed one that knocked over his leg pole.
The Skipper, obviously annoyed at failing to run out Adam, got his revenge as Jalil was caught short of his ground scampering for a single (although there were a couple of observers who said he could have made his ground had he run his bat in rather than cowering as the ball hurtled towards him).
The departure of Rehman senior brought in Rehman junior. And with an extra winter under his belt, he wielded the blade with power and confidence and propelled the Pelicans to an imposing 282 for 5.
Following tea, that offered up one of the greatest strawberry and cream cakes ever seen, PTG sent out pop lookalike Buster to open the batting.
He got a little annoyed every time Josh bowled something that was not a yorker or half volley (“this is Sunday cricket”). Toobes, admittedly at a little less pace, got in on the act with a beamer (“I’ve got to go to work tomorrow” wailed Buster).
All the banter with Buster did not mask another inept Pelican catching display. In the first five overs, five catches were put down – it could arguably be classed as six if you include the double drop involving Adam and Jalil at first and second slip.
Toobes, looking like he wanted to kick the cat after all the drops, found a beauty to make the breakthrough and shortly after Josh got Buster caught (yes, caught – by safe hands Shoelace).
And that’s when the fun began.
Buster and a mate of his donned the umpires’ coats.
The Cat (he wasn’t a cat but had nine lives as it turned out) was struggling to make his ground for a cheeky two. The Skipper whipped off the bails with the Cat a good two yards short. Out of politeness, a call of ‘Howzat?’ was made. ‘Not Out’ said the umpire. ‘You’re kidding?’ said the Skipper, accompanied by howls of laughter by half a dozen Pelican fielders.
The Cat went on to survive a couple (probably four if truth be told) of LBW shouts before we reached Groundhog Day. Again scampering for a second, the Cat came up short of his ground and the Skipper broke the stumps. Buster was unmoved. The Pelicans again shook their heads in disbelief.
Niron was then charged with the task of spinning a web from the Nags Head end. He should have had a wicket but Clive shelled a simple chance. Niron kept plugging away and lured the PTG captain out of his ground and the Skipper took the stumping. With the batsman a long way short, Buster replied to the appeal with a firm ‘not out’. Fortunately, possibly in a bid to avoid some sort of diplomatic incident, the PTG skipper had the good grace to walk.
The Cat was finally ousted when Buster gave the least convincing LBW of the lot.
A ginger youth came out and showed the rest of the PTG mob how to bat with a lovely innings, but it did not stop the Pelicans from claiming victory – despite Josh trying his best to bring bad light into play with a 10 ball over (have a think about those no-balls during your three months off university). Those wides (18 in total) and no-balls (14 in total) contributed to extras being top scorer for PTG with 43.
Sunday June 2nd, vs Lord Gnomes
Lord Gnomes 202-7; Great Missenden Pelicans 138 all out
LOST by 64 runs
Our ringer (the Skipper’s mate Lee) was not quite as penetrating. Although Lee did make a dent in our ball collection as on three occasions he was deposited over the road and into the adjacent field.
The positives to take are the Meadow played pretty well – far better than the Pelis as it turned out – and there were no injured Pelicans. And if you take out the Skipper who shelled four (yes FOUR) catches and Crystal’s customary drop, we fielded pretty well (in relative terms at least.)
But these Lord Gnomes had a few fellas who could spank the ball and they helped themselves to 202.
It looked a makeable total (if you happened to miss the 6ft 5in fella of West Indian origin who was unmoved on the bench throughout the Gnomes’ innings which suggested to the astute among us that he was a bowler.)
It took one glance at the keeper stood 15 yards back in the first over after tea to confirm this fella was not going to bowl spin. He didn’t. While he wasn’t tearaway fast, he was fast enough and he did have a quicker ball tucked away in the locker. He brought the quicker ball out to play shortly after Bails attempted to plonk him over the road and became involved in something of a stare off. Sadly, there was only ever going to be one winner in that game.
What you will be pleased to read is that the return of Clive, after a few weeks of flower arranging, prompted the customary shuffle in front of his stumps and a Toobes LBW decision. Yes, you’ve already guessed it. Clive came off shaking his head muttering something about the ball missing leg stump. The three fellas sat in the Nags Head beer garden fully 70 yards away were of the opinion it was missing leg, missing off, and crashing into the middle pole.
While there was Pelican batting carnage at one end, JG was stoic at the other. Blocking the good balls and hitting the bad ones is a sensible policy. It’s a shame only JG followed it.
The Pelican duck club swelled its ranks quite nicely (Adam, Crystal and Lee – a truly outstanding debut) left us teetering on the brink of complete shame.
Thankfully Kaz, having one again arrived shambolically late, found the middle of the bat on more than one occasion.
Hope was raised of a draw and there was time for the Skipper to have a bit of shall we say banter with a couple of Gnomes over a disputed award of a four.
The giant opening bowler came back on to try and wrap up victory and after Kaz had spanked a couple of lusty blows he found an edge and that was that.
I must now dash off and search for some cricket balls that were last seen flying towards Little Missenden.
Sunday May 26th, vs Roving Reporters
Roving Reporters 236-6 (A Rehman 3-69 plus one blinding run-out; A Livie 2-43); Great Missenden Pelicans 184-8 (J Cullen 62, A Rehman 34)
Absent friends returned to the fold, with Tickles and Asad making their first appearances of the season, and they were in the action immediately as the skipper lost the toss and we were sent out to stand in the sun.
Now the last time we graced Shardeloes, there was an expensive drop. Surely history would not repeat itself? I’m afraid to say it did. The Reporters’ feisty, youthful opener mishit a short ball from Josh straight to Crystal Gayle at point. Setting himself with planted feet and hands in the right position, the ball went in. And out again.
When the feisty youth started slapping the ball around with relish it looked like it would be a costly drop. It cost precisely 99 as it turned out.
Crystal wasn’t alone in being guilty of producing filth in the field and it got so bad at one stage that Toobes put on a true show of Mildred flounciness by kicking the ball away like a stroppy teenager.
Thankfully a couple of our tribe were up to the job in the field. Inspired by Bech throwing himself around and making stop after stop in true Neville Southall style, the returning Asad broke the century opening partnership with a brilliant run out.
A couple of balls later and Asad stopped the opener one short of his ton by knocking over middle stump and suddenly the scoreboard had a better look to it.
I say better, that doesn’t mean it was great as the Reporters declared at 236 for 6. But before the Reporters’ skipper made the declaration, we had Toobes hogging the spotlight with a piece of fielding magic. The skipper floated one up outside off stump which lured the batsman to hoist the ball into the air. Toobes was under the ball, but he decided to ramp up the difficulty tariff by throwing a pirouette into the mix. In a blind panic, he dispensed with his hat (that never actually helps) and the ball hit the turf.
The Pelis set about their chase with relish and it swiftly became apparent the bowling and wicket held few terrors. The wristy Sushil looked extremely good, if a little warm in long-sleeve pullover, but those Reporters had a 12th man up their (short) sleeve. It wasn’t exactly a man, it was a horse. Horse and rider strode past the sightscreen, leaving Sush waving his pullover in disgust. One ball later, he lost his off stump. He was followed to the pavilion in quick time by Bech and Bails – leaving the skipper and Ticks to repair the damage.
Sadly, they did a p**s-poor job. Having slapped three to the boundary, the skipper went for a fourth. It was a juicy, loopy full toss. It could have been put anywhere. It looped straight to the man at square leg and it went so slowly that the skipper had time to howl ‘what have I done?’ before the ball had reached the fielder.
It was then left to Tickles to mark his return in style. It didn’t go exactly to plan. The Reporters tossed the ball to an Aussie leg spinner. This guy bowled more like Liz Hurley than Shane Warne, but proved good enough to take care of Ticks who smashed one to the rotund fella at backward square leg. He didn’t look like a fielder, but reached out a left hand and somehow clung on. Ticks’ mood had just about improved by the end of the game, but the bad memories returned at the sight of aforementioned rotund fielder repeatedly looking blankly at his left hand as if he had never previously caught a ball.
The Pelis needed some heroes and in Joan Cullen and Asad, they found them. The duo batted superbly, but they were their own worst enemies by not hitting the ball hard enough. Time and again they slapped the ball towards the long (it was very long) boundary. Asad’s little legs coupled with Joan’s shall we say unique running style thrilled the crowd and did a good job of tiring themselves and the fielders out.
Joan brought up his maiden Pelis 50 with a lusty blow but he was so in the zone that there was no raising of the bat. We felt maybe he was solely focused on a ton but it turned out he just didn’t hear the crowd. His innings was cut short at 62, shortly after losing his partner Asad.
Crystal strode out 99 runs in debt. He strode back a short while later still 99 runs in debt.
The Iceman produced a mixture of stoic defence and flashing blade and in tandem with Toobes, he took the Pelis to safety and a respectable 184 for 8.
Sunday May 19th, vs Hyde Heath
Sunday May 12th, vs Ibstone
Great Missenden Pelicans 56-4 (D Bailey 31); Ibstone did not bat
MATCH ABANDONED AS A DRAW
The skipper fluffed his lines of course, but the Ibstone skipper elected anyway to field – promptly promoting himself to the top of the Pelis’ Christmas card lists.
Now was the time to prepare ourselves for the ordeal, and no-one prepared himself more thoroughly than Niron AKA ‘Crystal’, who finished up with more layers than Bernard Matthews. Starting with a protective cloud of Ralgex, he then pulled on long Johns, protective padding, trousers, green long-sleeved undershirt, overshirt, sweaters various…
The Pelis’ opening partnership started brightly. Bails Snr and JG made 46, Bails leading the way with lofted drives and some lusty pulls. Eventually, however, Bails reached for his favourite club once too often, the steepling ball dropping vertically out of the cloud cover into the waiting hands of the bowler.
As so often happens, one wicket brings another, though true to Pelis form, one wicket actually brought three more. But not before a cameo performance from Pelis new-ish boy Adam Fairweather. Having given Adam his guard, The Iceman, umpiring, inquired of the skipper at the non-striker’s end whether we had yet seen him clobber a ball. “No”, replied the skipper, “but when he does, it’ll land in the next county!” As it turns out, this is a distinct possibility at Ibstone. Wikipedia tells us that the village name is Anglo Saxon in origin and means ‘Hibba’s boundary stone’. The standing stone adjacent to the ground thus marks the county border with Oxfordshire. Moreover, Wikipedia tells us that the boundary then runs straight through the middle of the parlour of the manor house. Sadly, the opportunity to scatter the gentry at their afternoon tea was passed up and will have to await our next away fixture, in 2015. Not that Adam’s stay at the wicket was uneventful: first ball gloved for a caught and bowled opportunity; and two (or was it three?) mid-wicket strandings, one followed by a ‘Bambi on Ice’ moment as his pumps failed to grip the greasy surface.
Soon after 3pm, however, the inevitable occurred. Though the Pelis stood at 56-4 (with only ten men), Ibstone considered their options. With the skipper and Niron at the crease, and Bech and the Iceman to follow, they understandably opted for a draw, using the weather as an excuse.
And so to the pub, where the conversation turned to whether the individual scores would count towards the averages. Bails, with 31, was strongly ‘for’, Joan led the ‘against’ camp. Sorry, Joan, good try!
But with two ‘not outs’ in two Pelis appearances, maybe Niron is the one to watch…
Sunday May 5th, vs Ballinger
Ballinger 197-9 (Livie 4 for 36, Patel 3 for 68); Great Missenden Pelicans 200-5 (Nicholls 71)
PELIS WON BY 5 WICKETS
Before the blood, came the sweat. Butcher was sweating rum, Kaz was simply sweating after being asked to turn his arm over for the first time this season. Two overs into his spell, Kaz was a shade tired. So much so that he invented a new fielding position: the seat. As the ball was flicked to fine leg, Kaz was a shade slow to the ball on account of him adopting full on Buddha pose.
The fielding was, on the whole, a vast improvement on the previous week (it could hardly have got any worse) but then came the blood. The Pelis had by now broken the big partnership and had pegged Ballinger back, so Toobes – who had earlier caused a flouncing moment from the Skipper with a quite outrageous misfield – took it upon himself to give the opposition a chance – by taking out one of his team-mates. The ball was scooped in the air by the batsman, and it was going in the direction of the Duck. It was going exactly in the direction of the Duck. That mattered not one jot to Toobes who charged from his position towards the ball. Everyone else on the field could see the impending collision and a few seconds later it happened. CRASH! Toobes thundered into the Duck, the ball fell to the ground, as did the Duck who moments later picked himself up with blood pouring from a finger that was now minus a nail. ‘He’s only chipped a nail’ was Toobes’ defence. It’s a defence that won’t stand up in court as the lady at A&E confirmed he had broken said digit.
With the Duck patched up, the Pelicans closed out the innings and hatched a plan to chase down their target. And in one of the biggest shocks for quite some time, the Pelicans found an opening partnership.
JG and Clive feasted on what could be best described as cafeteria fodder from the Ballinger opening bowlers. Clive’s was an innings not without alarm, he was dropped three times in the same over by the keeper (Clive says he only hit one of them, but he’s got form for saying such things), while JG was a picture of calm and looked in no trouble until he was run out (we’re not convinced the keeper had the ball in his gloves but PG’s crooked finger of fate had already gone skywards and proving that there is no place for nepotism in Pelican land).
A rum-fuelled Butcher spanked a couple, but it was just a brief cameo before he retreated to the comfort of a bottle of cloudy lemonade. Bails and Clive took up the challenge, with Bails causing such frustration that the whippy left armer threatened to throw the ball at Bails and tried to knock his block off with a bouncer.
The left armer had the final say, but only after Bails had got us to the brink of victory. With the winning post in sight, the Pelicans collapsed and it saw men scatter in search of pads, while there was talk of putting in a call to Stoke Mandeville to summon the Duck. But the calm head of Sushil and Pelis debutant Niron (AKA Crystal – he looks like Chris Gayle but bats like Crystal Gayle) saw us over the line.
Victory was toasted in the Keys, where the fielding was not of the required standard as Toobes did what no proper Northerner should do, he threw a full pint all over the floor. And not satisfied with one howler, he later smashed a wine glass while attempting to get his hands on a bag of pork scratchings.
Sunday April 28th, vs Little Marlow
Little Marlow 170; Great Missenden Pelicans fewer all out
The bright spot was a second toss won of the year and the Pelicans took to the field short of only three players (Tiger, amazingly given we were playing at the most tucked away ground in village cricket, was one of the eight).
By the time Gov, Gov’s mate (more on him later) and Shoelace (more on him later) had pulled on their whites and been persuaded to leave the relative warmth of the clubhouse, we had worked out they weren’t up to all that much.
Josh, after shaking off a bit of student excess, found a decent line and he and Toobes kept things tight – with Toobes working the first chance of the match when the big opener lofted one in the air. The celebrations had already begun with safe-hands Sushil under the ball. Someone forgot to tell Sushil he had safe hands and the chance went begging – so starting a display of dropping the like of which had not been seen before.
It didn’t prove too costly a drop from Sushil, the big opener only added a further 80-odd to his score before being prised out by a Tiger knuckle ball.
In between, we had Shoelace pushing one round the post, Josh shelling the No. 5 on zero (he only made another 45) and the icing on the cake – Butcher, with gloves so he at least had warm hands, spilling the simplest chance ever seen in any form of cricket.
For all the gloom, we had a Pelican comedy moment to warm the heart. Gov’s mate (Micky was his name) looked a shade cold stood in the field so I asked Gov does he bat or bowl. ‘He bowls a bit’, came the reply. Well, here we go I thought. Ball was tossed to Micky and three balls later came an end to what I can safely say will be his one and only Pelican spell. The end of the spell came to save his own toes as on three occasions he almost took out his own foot when letting go of the ball. He started rubbing his shoulder as if he had tweaked something but we weren’t having any of it.
After Tiger had ripped out the opener for 95 tea was taken – made by DJ Fresh Bech who if the call from Jamie Oliver to open a franchise does not come his way he can fall back on his burgeoning career on the radio waves (I’ll let Bech fill you in when he sees you – he’s got recordings on his phone and everything) with Little Marlow confidently declaring on 170 and a rather threadbare batting line-up pondering their chase.
Shoelace looked good in his opening role but Clive he is not and was sent packing by the less good of the two openers.
Joan, fresh from his swashbuckling effort against the Strollers, joined Sushil and all looked good until a breakdown in communications going for a second run. There are differing versions of events depending on who you are talking to but the upshot was Sushil was sent packing.
Joan was sent on his way by a wee young child, leaving Butcher and the Skipper to repair some damage. It was going rather well until Shoelace did for the Butcher with an lbw that had Butcher (and the Skipper) pleading for a Hawkeye review.
Toobes and the Skipper added another 30 before both decided to offer catching practice to the guy at midwicket and it all went rather downhill after Gov had smashed a few and the Duck, yes the Duck, blasted one to the boundary to bring up is first Pelican four. From what I gather it could be his final Pelican four for some time, if Mrs Duck has her way.
The post mortem in the Full Moon threw up talk of D Ream, but I shall leave you with this to ponder ahead of next week’s trip to Ballinger – www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKe2OfXLxuc
Sunday April 21st, vs Fleet Street Strollers
Fleet Street Strollers 237-4; Great Missenden Pelicans 153 all out
LOST by 84 runs
The Skipper moved into credit in terms of the toss as the coin came down in our favour and the Strollers were sent in for first hit. Gov, rocking up without any winter practice sessions, found a lovely straight line and after seeing one fly through the vacant slip area (which wouldn’t have been vacant had we started the game with 11 rather than 9), he produced a late inswinger to send the opener on his way. One became two as a bouncer beat the other opener for pace (I kid you not) and the Pelis were looking sharp.
Sadly, like a lot of low-budget knives, that sharpness quickly faded and it swiftly became clear that the Pelis were attempting to cut through granite with a piece of plastic. Chances were few and far between – aside from Joan Cullen’s early shout for drop of the year (the fella only went on to add another 70-odds runs so it didn’t cost much), while Toobes lightened the mood with a supreme piece of fielding – chasing the ball down, getting there and promptly kneeing it over the boundary for four. There was also the sight of a rum-fuelled Butcher producing a passable impression of a past-his-sell-by-date Peter Shilton waving one into the net. It wasn’t vintage – but some would suggest the wag walking round the boundary was a touch harsh when he was heard to say “the standard is normally pretty good down here”. I’d say he was about spot on.
After the Strollers had cruised past 150, a breakthrough was made. The Strollers took pity and sent a non-batsman into bat. The Skippper’s order to keep him in did not filter through to JG who sent him on his way. A batsman came in and the pace picked up – with the Strollers settling on an impressive 237 for 4 at tea.
Clive, still dreaming of Stowe, was joined in a majestic opening duo by Jalil. It didn’t last long, as Jalil in fairness got an absolute cracker. A squad of Pelicans were lined up with pads on ready to do battle. It was just as well, as wickets fell at regular intervals. Clive (it was like Stowe you just didn’t cash in) came and went, the Butcher lashed a few but not enough. Bech took on the skipper’s orders with relish, sadly the flashing blade only succeeded in picking out third slip.
Joan, with somewhere in the region of 70 runs to make up, set about eroding the deficit by slapping the ball around and he and the Skipper briefly raised hope of an unlikely run chase by adding well over 60 runs (it was a lot less if you look in the book. Gov – him of JP Morgan fame – showed numbers may not be his strong suit as a string of runs were missed off) before Joan decided to leave a straight one.
The Skipper swiftly followed, stupidly chipping the ball up in the air to the keeper – while the Duck looked pretty good, until he missed one. Toobes said he felt good out there, but he too missed one as the Pelis closed some 80 runs short.
As Yazz once said so well: The Only Way Is Up – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtKADQnjQmc