Great Missenden Pelicans 2016
Year Played Won Drawn Tied Lost Cancelled
2016 28 17 7 0 4 3

Sunday October 2nd vs Nomads

Great Missenden Pelicans 225 (Josh Bailey 112, Jamie Litherland 59)   Nomads 81-8 (Adam Fairweather 3-18)

Match DRAWN

Man of the Match: Josh

“We must have taken a wrong turn somewhere.” ‘Where, Purgatory?’ said Dozy. “We’re in Hell.” Author John Connolly once wrote.

It felt a bit like that as the Pelicans watched the Nomads bring down the curtain on the season by digging in for a draw with 17 overs still to play.

Those dying overs of the season were the downside to a game with plenty of positives.

It did not start out on a positive footing, as the Skipper lost the toss and was gleefully asked to have first hit by the Nomads’ ageing captain (74 years old was the word from the oppo’s scorer).

With it being the final game of the season, the Skipper elected to spice things up a bit and asked Bailey and Bailey to lash on their pads and open the innings.

There were murmurings of discontent from Bailey senior about being asked to have first hit on a pitch that did a passable impression of a swamp. Bailey junior, on the other hand, was like a kid in a sweetshop.

The discontent soon dissipated as cover drives, straight drives, pulls and cuts were unfurled by both Baileys.

We also had the joy of a ball striking a helmet for five penalty runs that made was all the more sweet as our resident umpire VDP was nowhere to be seen. Word on the street suggested he was with his proper mates doing a bit of plane spotting.

Josh eased past 50 and was presented with a manly handshake and “well done, boy” from his batting partner.

Just as we were considering thumbing through Cricinfo to check on the world record opening partnership, Bailey senior was prised out by the Nomads.

This left Josh to plough a lone Bailey furrow.

He was joined at the crease by Litherland J, who did what Litherland J seemingly always does by greeting his first ball with the sort of extra-cover drive that has no right being played on the Meadow.

It’s fair to say the Nomads’ bowling was a shade limited – the fact that the opening bowler from the top end got through 19 overs gave weight to this. But runs must be scored, and Josh and Jamie did just that.

Powering through the 70s and 80s, Josh eased off the throttle as the nervous 90s came into view.

But having never been that deep before (Toobes, stop that thought process now), Josh had no baggage to cloud his judgment and a brilliant, maiden ton was his to celebrate with a raised bat and cap.

Josh was to go on and upset Graham Gooch by not turning his century into a daddy ton, as he fell for a superb 112.

Litherland was still happy to propel the ball to all parts of the Meadow, while Adam produced one of the great ducks in Pelican history by repeatedly picking out fielders with lusty blows before coughing one up [Editor’s note: I think it was a duck, and it makes for a better story if it was, but this was written from memory with no book to hand].

A flurry of runs and wickets followed as the Pelis stepped on the gas in the final few overs to post an imposing 225.

The end to the season always brings mixed feelings as it is the time of year when Toobes begins to strike form. He gives off the air of being a Southern Hemisphere player as come September he morphs into a bowler. Come October, he resembles a slower, less black, less impressive version of Michael Holding. Charging in from the top end like Wile E. Coyote, time and again he beat the outside edge.

Normally Josh is the beneficiary of Toobes’ Indian Summer bowling spells. This time, it was Niron to cash in with a brace of wickets.

Adam followed Niron from the bottom end and got in on the wicket game, as did Hasan when replacing Toobes.

It’s fair to say Hasan is a shade quicker than Toobes. And it’s fortunate that the Nomads’ nuggety No. 4 elected to bat in a helmet as he was clocked full on the noggin by a Hasan bouncer.

The batsman somehow avoided treading on his stumps after being felled and he was the glue that kept the Nomads together.

He was also the man to send the Pelis to sleep as he and a host of batting partners went into dead-bat mode.

You could call it purgatory, you could call it hell. You could also say it was bloody boring as the Nomads ground their way to a draw at 80 for 8.

But it was also a mere footnote to a superb winning season.

Thanks to one and all who have turned out to make for a great year’s cricket.

Drink red wine, eat cheese and winter well.

See you all in 2017.

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 September 25th vs Kensington

Kensington 204-4   Great Missenden Pelicans 171-9 (Harry Manisty 46, Hasan Arif 36*)

Match DRAWN

Man of the Match: Harry

Some say he was forged from rare exotic metals and was fed as a child weasel dust. All we know him as is TONY

The sun shone, the opposition was Kensington, bit of a perfect day. Alex strode out to the wicket and informed the team that having won the toss we were bowling. Having heard the deluge during the night this seemed a pretty good toss to win.

Opening the attack was Toobes and Josh. Josh carried on where he has been all season really and bowled with pace and accuracy, Toobes bowled.

It wasn’t long until a fine lifting delivery from Josh gloved the opener into Tony’s ever ready hands, this was shortly followed by Niraj who went fishing well outside the line and once again Tony in full stretch held on to a beaut.

Its fair to say Kensington were rattled and when the other opener on 3 sent one in the air to Hasan the subsequent drop hopefully would not be expensive.

It wasn’t long before another good ball from Josh provided another wicket and tight bowling all round saw Kensington limp to 50 for 3 off 16 overs, meanwhile the opener on 3 had pushed on to 20 ( I think you can see where this is going ).

Into the attack came Hasan and JG and with the pitch drying the runs came a bit more freely, Tony by this point had decided to dispense with allowing the slips to catch anything and like a falcon pounced on yet another catch, only 7 more for the fielding trophy.

Both Hasan and JG pushed on as did the opener on 3 who hit a lovely 4 to take him to his 50.

Having rattled through the 50’s and into the 60’s JG had the opener on 3 all over the place as he lobbed, its fair to say, a bit of a dolly to Greg. Hopefully the subsequent drop would not prove too costly.

Hasan continued trying everything and finally bowled the opener on 3 for 75, unfortunately our very own ruthless rule machine that is Nick Van De Graff Generator decided to call a no ball, and the opener on 3 stayed put, but hopefully it wasn’t to prove too costly.

There wouldn’t be a Pelis cricket game without the usual comedy moment and this time it was provided by Josh and Tony.

With Skip bringing Josh back into the attack the Kensington bat decided to launch a ball that had the Astronauts in the ISS ducking for cover. Josh ran 4 paces and readied himself for the catch, Tony would have non of that and shouting TONY ran a full 30 yards and dropped it.

With Kensington pushing onto 160 Skip brought himself on to bowl, its possibly fair to say that his figures of 2 overs for no wickets and 30 runs won’t be his greatest performance but it did allow the opener on 3 to get his hundred.

Kensington finally called it a day at tea with 204 on the score board.

Hawaii Clive O provided the cake fancies which were very much appreciated by all, and the Pelis saddled up for the reply.

Skip and Clive strode out and fairly shortly Skip strode back, Clive on the other hand decided that sumptuous shots for 4 were the order of the day until one of the opening bowling pair took his wicket. Its fair to say that both openers were accurate and had a bit of pace.

Cometh the hour cometh the Manatee and in this instance out walked Harry with all the confidence of a fur seal pup, such modesty was unfounded as he thumped and smashed the score towards a respectable amount. Assisted by a number of Pelis, JG, Tony, Jalil, Josh, Adam, and Greg, Harry tried one cut too many and fell unfortunately on 46.

Hasan on the other hand had a different idea, no more were we looking at the one run expert, he bludgeoned his was in what was a blinding low sun to a very respectable 36 not out, forever the bridesmaid Toobes took in the sun and watched in admiration as the Pelis called it a day on 175.

Following the Match Kensington put forward the idea of some Pelis going to their end of year dinner, November 19th black tie £70. It sounds very good, I will get further details from Niraj but any takers?

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 September 18th vs Bovingdon

Great Missenden Pelicans 184 for 8 (Alex Livie 39, Josh Bailey 36*)    Bovingdon 157 all out (Josh Bailey 3-10, Asad Rehman 3-35)

WON by 27 runs

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.

No Match Report

Sunday September 11th vs Golden Age

Great Missenden Pelicans 237 for 7 (Clive Nicholls 77, Josh Bailey 36*)   Golden Age 104 all out (Josh Bailey 3-7, Hasan Arif 3-25)

WON by 133 runs

Man of the Match: Mrs Duck

Another Sunday, another W in the results column as the Pelicans proved much too good for Golden Age.

A 1pm start on the back of a barrage of rain the previous day had the Meadow looking like a bowling track. That was the view of the Golden Age skipper who had no hesitation in putting the Pelicans into bat.

With Asad firmly of the opinion that sleep was more important than turning up on time, it was left to Kunaal and Clive to open up for the Pelis. On the back of his brilliant century seven days previous, hope was high that Kunaal would carry on his merry way.

Sadly, he fell victim to an inside edge that cannoned into leg stump and prompted some serious Golden Age celebrations.

Those celebrations were stifled as Asad walked out and began belting the ball all round the Meadow. It was lucky he was belting the ball around, as witnessing Clive and Asad running together is a truly awful sight. There are few better at turning threes into ones.

Asad’s hopes of a big score were ended when he feathered one behind to the keeper. Asad stood his ground and VDP pulled out the finger of fate. Asad wasn’t sure if he’d hit it, but the punters in the Nags Head beer garden confirmed they heard it 150 yards away.

Greg strode in at No. 4 and the scorebook shifted into full-on binary mode as he and Clive dug in. 63 for 1 after 10 overs morphed into 102 for 2 after 23.

The Pelis were not in dire straits, but an injection of pace was needed following Greg’s departure. Jalil swatted a couple of boundaries and it appeared to imbue him with confidence as he set off for a single that Usain Bolt may not have made. Let’s just say Jal was short of his ground when the stumps were broken.

It was Rag up next to step on the gas and he looked like doing just that with a few lusty blows. But he too was victim of a run out. This was more walk out that run out, if truth be told.

An ever-smiling Rags trudged back to the pavilion and said something along the lines of it’s the first time in 25 overs that Clive had decided to run. True that.

Skip hit a quick-fire 20 to up the rate, but the fireworks followed after he and Clive departed the scene. Josh and Hasan put on a masterclass in finishing. Superb running and big hitting (including one very big hit into the tennis courts) saw them put on 60 in the final six overs to take the Pelis to a commanding 237 for 7 at tea.

With Josh sensing a chance to bowl downhill with Toobes away on his bike, it was left to Rags to open things up from the bottom end.

Golden Age’s genial West Indian Gaz came to have first hit. He has a style all of his own and despite the keeper standing up, he elected to bat a foot and a half outside his crease. With this firmly in mind, Rags sent one down the legside and Skip whipped off the bails with Gaz still a foot and a half outside his crease.

Sadly, the umpire at square leg decided not to raise his finger. When Gaz turns to the Skip and utters “I was that far out I thought about walking” you know the umpire has got that one wrong.

Hasan took the umpire out of the equation by removing the other opener with a beauty that clattered into off stump.

A couple of lbw shouts were turned down, before the finger was finally raised for one that hit Gaz on the toe in front of middle.

The Golden Age No. 3 was making a decent fist of things when the game took a turn for the farcical.

Mrs Duck and her tribe of children pulled up, and she demonstrated a lack of cricketing knowledge on a par with Duck by parking adjacent to the sightscreen. Having to extricate a tribe of children from a car does take a bit of time, which the Golden Age No. 3 did not like in the slightest.

Leaning on his bat and refusing to take guard, the Skip asked him if we should just call the game off now and go to the pub or play some cricket. He was not for moving and took great offence when the Skip said we’re not exactly playing Test standard with a bowler touching roughly 40 mph on the speed gun.

That was the final straw for the batsman who went into full tantrum mode by throwing bat and gloves on the floor and setting off for the pavilion. The funny (and it was very funny) thing was that he got about five yards and realised he’d thrown his gear on the ground and had to turn round and get them before storming off to the pavilion.

After an age (Mrs Duck was still getting kids out of the car at this point) another Golden Age batsman came out. He sort of apologised and said 90% of the time the No. 3 would never act like that. So 10 times out of a hundred he elects to throw his bat and gloves on the floor and storms off when someone is stood near the sightscreen. Interesting, very interesting.

To be fair, the No. 3 should not have been there to have his tantrum as he was run out by about two feet in the previous over but the umpire at square leg did not give it. We learned after the game that that umpire has a lazy eye. It was all starting to become clear, apart from for the umpire with the lazy eye.

Lazy-eyeitis was catching, as we should have had a stumping off Josh but the other umpire kept his hands in his pockets to cut down Pelican celebrations in their stride.

Josh felt the best option was to hit the stumps and he did so on a couple of occasions to cut through the Golden Age middle order.

It was a blend of pace of spin, as Adam found some prodigious turn which helped him claim a couple more victims.

The Pelis were closing in on an easy victory against an overmatched opponent, but it would not be a Pelicans display without some comedy fielding.

We don’t expect dropped catches from Kunaal, but we got one on Sunday. Asad put one down in the slips, but to be fair to him he was still scarred from his assault by Toobes the previous week. But the cream was taken by Greg who played out a drop and missed run out all in one movement. With both batsmen stood in the middle of the wicket, Greg unleashed his cannon of an arm – and sent the ball flying towards third man. That was a pretty tough thing to achieve given he was stood at point.

It did not delay victory for long, as JG took out off stump of the final man to wrap up a 133-run victory.

Drinks were taken in the Cross Keys, where we were informed of the story of the umpire with a lazy eye.

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 September 4th vs Ley Hill

Great Missenden Pelicans 283 for 4 (Kunaal Kankate 110*, Asad Rehman 90)    Ley Hill 113 all out (Raghu Kankate 3-3, Josh Bailey 3-21)

WON by 170 runs

Man of the Match: Kunaal

Runs. Two hundred and eighty three of them to be precise as the Pelicans cantered to victory over Ley Hill.

Pelican batsmen have played second fiddle to bowlers for much of the season, so the Skipper elected to spice things up a bit by opting to have first hit on what looked a decent deck at Ley Hill.

The plan was for Asad and Kunaal to go into battle at the top of the order for batting average supremacy, but Kunaal (and his driver, Rags) turned up 25 minutes late so it was left to Tony to join Asad at the crease.

It’s fair to say the Ley Hill openers were not the strongest attack we’ve faced this season, but the ball still needed hitting. Asad and Tony did exactly that and laid solid foundations.

Tony showed a liking for the leg side and plonked a couple of sixes into the trees to up the run rate. What he did not show a liking for was the cut shot. Play and miss was followed by a carefully rehearsed practice shot. Which was duly followed by another play and miss. At about the 10th time of asking, Tony got bat on ball to a cut shot, and feathered an edge to to keeper.

Tony is going white-water rafting in Colorado this week. You get the feeling he may use the paddle as a bat and be wafting outside off stump as his fellow sailors yell at hm that we’re going over a waterfall and it might be better to paddle than practice the cut shot.

Bails strode out at No. 3 and the scene was set for some lusty hitting. Bails eased his way into the teens and looked good, only to somehow miss the biggest long hop that has been bowled this season. Pelicans on the sidelines were unable to offer any sympathy, as they were doubled over in hysterics as Bails trudged back to the pavilion.

And now the average battle began as Kunaal joined Asad at the crease. It’s fair to say running is not high on Asad’s priority list so this developed into a battle of the boundary hitters.

Asad powered towards three figures, but with a ton in sight he scooped one in the air and fell for an excellent 90.

The Skipper came and went all too quickly, although he’s unlikely to often talk about being bowled by a 13-year-old with a somewhat suspect action.

Tea was on the horizon so Kunaal went into full on beast mode, meaning cars parked roughly half a mile away were in danger of picking up a dent or two.

Lofted drives, huge heaves and even the ramp shot (Toobes, as he told us, does not have that in his locker) were unleashed as he brought up a quite brilliant century.

After taking tea, the Pelicans were in need of inspiration. That was provided by the sight of wild ginger himself. Ticks came armed with a family car, child and a horror story about heart surgery. Eight weeks post-op and he could probably still bowl faster than Toobes, but he elected for a lap of the outfield. 2017, Ticks. 2017.

Ley Hill needed something in the region of nine an over. They opened their charge at a shade under two an over as Toobes and Josh kept it neat and tidy.

In the home fixture against Ley Hill, Kunaal broke a bail. Josh felt it only right to trump that as a beauty beat the defences of a Ley Hill batsmen and duly broke both a bail and a stump.

Toobes doesn’t quite possess the pace to break stumps, but he wanted to get in on the breaking game. So with this thought in mind while stood at third slip, he took the decision to launch himself at Asad stood at second slip. A ball flew towards Asad (the ball was above Asad’s head) so Toobes thought he was well within his rights to launch himself at his team-mate and smash him in the face. With Asad on the deck and Toobes peering quizically down at him, the ball dropped to the ground and to rub salt into wounds, a run was taken.

So yes, it is now the 10th straight season that Toobes has injured a team-mate on the field of play.

Back to the action and the Pelicans continued to chip away, with Adam and James Walters helping themselves to wickets. But they were eclipsed by Rags who tightened his grip on the bowling award with another three wickets as the Pelicans raced to a 170-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 August 28th vs Bledlow Ridge

Match CANCELLED

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.

No Match Report

Sunday August 21st vs Widmer End

Widmer End 124 all out (Raghu Kankate 4-17)   Great Missenden Pelicans 112 for 7 (Josh Bailey 41*, Alex Livie 40*)

Match DRAWN

Man of the Match: Rags

The Pelicans survived a truly epic batting collapse to get to the brink of an unlikely victory when rain intervened to force a draw with Widmer End.

A deluge of rain on top of a rock-hard pitch made for a jazzy surface. The Skipper had no hesitation in asking Widmer End to have first hit and it proved to be a sensible decision.

There were rumours sweeping through the corridors of Dusnmore that Toobes did not have a three-week holiday in France. Instead, he had embarked on an intense gym regime. The sight of the ball flying past batsmen’s noses from the arm of our Northern powerhouse only served to reinforce this thinking.

Widmer End have two very good batsmen and both were undone by some extra bounce. The second ball to the opener from Josh flew off a length, took a chunk of glove and was pouched by Tony behind the stumps. The batsman elected to walk, which was a generous decision as VDP, decked out in his umpire’s coat and pair of luminous trainers, had the look of a man who was not planning on raising his finger.

With Toobes emboldened by the sight of a bouncy pitch, he put away the full tosses and did in fact use the surface to his advantage.

A bit of extra bounce (I think you can see a pattern emerging here) did for Widmer’s second good batsman. Shaping to play some sort of drive through cover, the ball climbed and drew a false stroke. Leaping like an ageing salmon on his final swim up the river, Toobes got a hand on the ball and mopped it up at the second attempt.

Wickets fell at regular intervals, with only the tumble of stumps broken up by some typically Pelican fielding. Josh has his eye on 20 catches. He’ll need to make a better fist of it in the final few games of the season if he’s to get there, after dropping a sitter at midwicket. And he has Toobes on his tail after he took a cracker at deep mid wicket.

Rags looked like he’d never been away with a typically metronomic spell, Hasan produced a combination of pace and guile to bamboozle the batsmen. And it was left to Adam to deliver the ball of the day, a fizzing leggie to close out the innings.

125 looked a gettable total. But in the back of the Skipper’s mind was the thought ‘we’ve got to bat second on this thing.’

What followed cannot be blamed on a superb Fairweather tea of pulled pork. On reflection, the third pulled pork bap was possibly a bit excessive.

Kunaal and Alex Hill were charged with the task of laying a foundation.

If a surveyor turned up to give the property the once-over, the conclusion would be a house made of balsa wood and built on sand.

Kunaal got the sort of ball that Josh produced to remove the Widmer opener. A rising, spitting brute that took the glove.

Alex Hill’s second Pelicans innings was a vast improvement on his first. This time he hasted two balls. Trudging off after seeing his middle stump knocked backwards, Alex returned to the changing room to pack his bag. It emerged that he has three bats in his bag. He’s faced three balls in his Pelican career and not hit a ball yet. One wise sage suggested burning his array of bats and going out and buying a wider one.

The scene was set for Greg to go into full on Gandalf mode. That memo did not get past Greg’s secretary, as he trudged back one ball later after losing his middle pole.

0 for 3 and Pelicans who were contemplating a fourth pulled pork bap were sent scurrying for their pads.

Hasan joined Tony at the crease. But it was the briefest of visits as he became the fourth Pelican to enter the duck club. 3 for 4. The Pelicans were in the merde.

Amid all the carnage, Tony was showing the benefits of net sessions with Asad. A superb pull over midwicket for six and a glorious square drive finally got the scoreboard rolling.

Sadly, Widmer End kept the wickets column moving as Tony and Rags fell after a brief flurry of runs, and James Walters made it five Pelican ducks on the day.

27 for 7 was definitely not in the Skipper’s plan, but he found an ally with the willow in the shape of Josh.

There was a bit of luck mixed in amongst some decent batting, as Widmer End showed a rather Pelican-like ability to drop the ball as both Josh and Skip were given lives.

The partnership built and the Pelis were within 13 runs of victory when the rain came down to bring an end to a good day’s cricket.

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 14th vs Hit or Miss

Match Cancelled

No match report, but an image of the alternative activity for the day…

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 7th vs Middleton Stoney

Middleton Stoney 154 for 7   Great Missenden Pelicans 156 for 2 (Asad Rehman 55, Clive Nicholls 35)

WON by 8 wickets

The Pelicans etched another W in the results column with victory at Middleton Stoney.

Morning drizzle gave way to afternoon sunshine and under blue skies, the Pelicans produced a dominant display with ball and bat.

The Stoney captain attempted to confuse the Skipper by tossing with a Hong Kong dollar. Not knowing which was head or tail, the Skipper closed his eyes and guessed. And guessed right. The Pelicans were bowling.

Josh and Hasan opened proceedings, which came as a shock as Hasan found his way to the ground before the start of play. An achievement in itself seen as he could not find Hyde Heath seven days previous.

Swapping his rather natty blazer for a set of whites, Hasan weaved his magic of pace and slower balls and it brought him a couple of wickets – one thanks to an excellent catch in the slips from Josh. That’s 13 catches for the season.

Nic replaced Hasan and sent down a mixed bag, with a fabled Pelican yorker earning a wicket courtesy of a catch from Josh. That’s 14 catches for the season.

Stoney’s scoring rate was somewhat pedestrian and they did not help themselves with a truly awful bit of running. Taking off after hitting the ball straight to Asad, the Stoney number three then thought better of it and sold his partner down the river. So bad was the running, Asad had enough time to run all the way to the stumps and whip off the bails.

It was just as well that Asad decided not to throw the ball, as there’s a good chance it would have flown high over its intended target and go for four overthrows. As happened later in the game.

Josh, did i say he now has 14 catches for the season?, went wicketless but he did claim a victim – a toe nail of a Stoney batsman who is likely to be walking with a limp for a few days after taking one right on the boot end.

The Stoney skipper found an ally and he and the No. 6 took them towards respectability. But they did not do it at all that rapid a rate and they took tea at 154 for 7.

Clive and Asad were charged with the task of laying a foundation. They did a decent job, although it could have been different as Clive should have been out lbw in the third over. But the Stoney boys decided not to appeal one that would have crashed into leg stump.

While the solid partnership was going on Nic and a Stoney old boy were doing their best impression of an old married couple, bickering over the standing position of the umpire. In his best Kiwi, Nic told him to F Off. The bowler muttered something about not liking Australians very much.

Clive took advantage of his life to make a solid 35. Asad went on to make his 75th half century of the season. He could and should have gone on, but ran himself out in comedy fashion.

This allowed Jamie Litherland to finally get a bat for the Pelicans on a Sunday. It wasn’t the longest innings of his cricketing life, but he and Bails put bat on ball to take the Pelis over the line with three overs to spare.

Onwards to Hit or Miss next week.

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 31st vs Hyde Heath

Hyde Heath 135 all out (Josh Bailey 3-13, Adam Fairweather 3-43)   Great Missenden Pelicans 139 for 1 (Asad Rehman 70* Alex Livie 56*)

WON by 9 wickets

Man of the Match: VDP

And here is Sunday’s match report from our Kiwi superstar. It’s quite possible the power has gone to his head:

Dear Diary. 31 July 2016 at Hyde Heath

Today I think I know how Prince Charles feels. Today, diary, I got the chance to captain the Pelis, and if this is how HRH feels every day I understand his anguish, an anguish tempered by excitement of things to come.

Greatness is something that is thrust upon one and so it was that Alex passed me the lucky 10p coin to take and seek out the opposition captain in order to see if wielded willow or created thunderbolts of leather. Was this surprise decision to see how one would cope?

Success! The first hurdle hurdled and my first decision was to bowl. You may say that this is no different to other Sunday’s but I am well aware that change needs to be gradual. This is transition not regicide after all.

We started with 10, young Arif unable to locate the ground in good time. What are they teaching in geography classes these days? In his absence I took the second over, following on from a tidy start by Josh.

Match prep of hotdogs and a pint of brown isn’t exactly ideal and the subsequent over went for a dozen.

A few overs in Josh got one, I also and with a bowling change Jamie bowled a peach to remove the Hyde Heath keeper, a useful left hander.

45-4 or thereabouts the Heath’s number 5 unleashed some onside mayhem. Opportunity for one to make a mark, provide a point of difference to the incumbent. 4 fielders on the onside boundary, a Pelis first and will be described in Wisden as the Carter Leg Theory. Like with many theories it didn’t work (the Tim Peake caused Brexit theory is still a work in progress).

With wickets falling at the other end we were staring down the barrel of a run chase in the vicinity of 90. Last week 86 proved to be a challenging score but Hyde Heath’s wicket was not in the same league as the Meadow’s track, by track I mean wagon ruts and hoof marks.

Some bowling changes had Adam and Greg wheeling away. Adam picking up 3 good scalps including one caught in magnificently absurd fashion by Hasan.

Greg sent down 5 overs for a return of 1 for 9. One fellow Peli whose name sounds like Paris suggested it was a mirror image of his batting but with less maidens.

All out for 135. Bailey 3 for 16, Fairweather 3 for 43, Jamie 2 for 37, Greg 1 for 9 and HRH 1 for 25. Some good catching as well, Josh now on track for the Catching Award, pity he wasn’t in Downing Street doing this as he’d now be nominated to be Marquis of Wendover.

Half hour before tea meant we had a few overs to bat. Nicholls and Asad to open.

I discovered over the course of the 26 overs we bowled that leadership is a lonely business, as lonely as Clive’s bat is in it’s relationship with the ball.

The left arm opener bowled a beaut, Clive missed it and as decisions go it wouldn’t make it on to the practice exam for the Level 1 umpiring course (which I have done you know, can show you the certificate and everything). Pitched middle and off and moved enough that it would have taken middle. Enough said.

Hasan padded up while Alex and Asad got things ticking along. Dropped on zero, Alex moved things along with some good sensible batting. Asad seemed to think that upsetting his elders with laconic batting and running was acceptable. The lob to mid wicket off a huge full toss was a suitably Pelican type way to bring up a fifty.

From there the boundaries flowed and a missed stumping was one highlight in the procession. Josh was given a bit of stick when it was suggested he had given Asad out without the wicket being broken, as the other umpire I knew he was signalling one to go in the over. Not one for the ever growing list of nominations for the Balls Up Award.

A win by 9 wickets.

Early doors for a pint of brown before the progress back to the Cross Keys.

A match that rewarded hard working decent cricketers.

But diary, despite the fine win is this the start of something new at the Pelis?

The ‘Kiwification’ of the Pelis? The end of the reign from Boyzone Country (I think that’s what they call it, accent quite tricky so hard to catch everything that’s said)?

I think the first thing I would do is change my regnal name, Boss or Chief, Skip has been done before.

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 24th vs Rickmansworth

Rickmansworth 87 (Josh Bailey 4-27, Nic Vanderpeet 3-2)    Great Missenden Pelicans 90-7

WON by 3 wickets

Man of the Match: Josh

This Sunday we enjoyed the company of Rickmansworth CC at HQ with a day dawning bright and sunny (only slightly marred later on by the finest of fine rain*)

The Pelicans took to the field with their expected 10 men; unfortunately their expected 1 woman was a late withdrawal – something about a sore arm from exuberant Softball – so we were a Pelican adrift of optimum. Thankfully we weren’t disadvantaged for a long time as the Jeffrey count doubled with Brother Julian taking to the hallowed turf for his second outing of the year.

Our Captain for the day JG, keen to maintain the traditions and heritage of the man he was standing in for, lost the toss and we were sent out to bowl.

Now I appreciate what happened next may be subjective dependant upon the team upon which you were playing, but from first slip it appeared to be some sublime bowling with everyone that turned over their arm enjoying the success of some outstanding skill with the ball. Except Hasan. Who was beaten like a ginger stepchild by their opening bat, as it happens thankfully making a game of it scoring a healthy 55.

Josh picked up four wickets, with his initial flounce coming as JG removed him from the attack before he could get his five (more of flounce number 2 to come) with some unplayable bowling. The real bowling prowess was then brought to the crease with 90% fit JG picking up a couple of wickets for a miserly 11 runs, only to be outdone with NVDP giving us 3 overs for only 2 runs and a magnificent 3 wickets. Their batting was somewhat decimated by this point with the final 5 wickets being taken for only 10 runs. The last wicket was taken by Niron bowling one delivery of his over, caught by Julian this avoiding a family dispute of epic proportion. His figures of 0.1 overs for no runs and 1 wicket therefore represent the “pick” of the bowling. The oppo had crept to a paltry 87. Easy meat we thought.

By this point, we had only managed to play until 3:30pm, so a quick change around at drinks brought the Pelis out to wield wood. It is at this point fair to say that the previously described venomous bowling attack of the Pelis was shown in a new light; on a wicket that was a reliable as the sun rising in the west, and to quote the great Sid Waddell “as predictable as a Wasp on speed.” There were high ones, low ones, skiddy ones, ones that nipped in, those that nipped out (all to the bowler’s amazement). That isn’t to say it was all down to the wicket. Clive received a delivery aimed at middle, pitched at middle and proceeded to do nothing. Right up until the moment it hit. At middle. Whilst his opening partner JG received (in what he describes as a Yorker) a low full toss that hit his wicket 5 inches above the ground without touching anything else first. Asad was bowled shortly thereafter, Tony sportingly walking after the umpteenth appeal to the Umpire was turned down after a strike on his glove. Hasan ensuring he had an enjoyable afternoon was bowled by a delivery that would have sent Lara back to the clubhouse coming back six inches to take off stump for 1. Jalil then taking the game to the oppo with some lusty blows – before taking a full “sconner” to the noggin on a ball that reared up from an 11 year old child bowling at 40ish mph on a full length. Luckily for us our man of iron shrugged off a blow that would have felled Ajax, before being bowled himself. This then left the plucky duo of Josh and Niron at the crease need 20 or so to win the match. It must be mentioned that somewhere (outside of my ability to recollect) over this period another stellar tea was taken thanks to Laura.

Now back to the action! It is fair to say if you have enjoyed watching Josh bat, he has somewhat of a minor reputation (and I shall attempt to put this gently) for over exuberance with the bat post-boundary. With the runs required down to single figures after one such crisply hit shot, the entire Pelis team (sportingly) chimed in with “DON’T GET OUT”, “FOCUS”, and “DON’T BE AN IDIOT” at the top of their lungs. The opposition, fair to say, were surprised by the volume and conviction of the entire team shouting at Josh. Bailey Jr (apt to the moment) chose to give a macho reply to his companions. It was somewhat unfortunate therefore that the pitch of Josh shouting “SHAAAAADAAAAPPP!” back to the clubhouse was delivered a Penelope Pitstop frequency (flounce 2). It was more unfortunate that his mighty swipe at the next ball was an enormous miss and he was bowled. Being an avoider of the low handing fruit, I shall just say that it is possible we may have laughed a bit at this point.

Out came Fairweather, finding a lucky one through the air to nobody at mid-wicket for a single leaving Niron facing the next ball with 3 to win. Ball bowled, ball landed, foot to pitch of ball, bat straight as the eponymous arrow directly through the line of the ball onto the middle for a drive that landed at most 6 inches from the boundary and another Win in the Win column.

*The type that gets you wet

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 17th vs Wendover

Wendover 159 (Niron Jeffrey 3-28, Raghu Kankate 3-38)   Great Missenden Pelicans 162-5 (Raghu Kankate 37*, Asad Rehman 35)

WON by 5 wickets

Man of the Match: Rags

As that old cricket saying goes ‘ One gets two’, and the case was well proven as Wendover stood in for Bushey and were beaten again.

With a rather late Bushey cry off for reasons too poncey to discuss Wendover who we had beaten the week before stepped up to the plate looking for revenge.

An unusual day in that it was flippin hot, saw stand-in Skipper Toobes lose the toss, the Pelicans were once again bowling.

We were graced this week by two Nicholls, (three if you count Hazel after the game), as Colin over from the States donned his whites to show little brother how it is done.

Again Toobey and Josh opened the bowling and again it was tight with both going for 22 runs apiece from their 7 overs with the fall of three wickets.

Taking over the bowling from the Pub end was Rags and from the railway end Niron.

It is fair to say that Niron had about as much confidence as a turkey does surviving Christmas, and with a 6 whistling overhead the Nironomater didn’t look good, but fresh from drinking loads and eating even more in Poland Niron came back with a vengeance and twirled his magic to dismiss two of the Wendover batsmen, Rags did what Rags does and dropped the ball on the spot and kept on getting wickets eventually bowling 11 overs with 3 for 38.

Niron was rested and Colin, Clive’s younger-looking brother, came came on to twirl some magic, which he did for 4 of his 5 overs, managing to deliver in his words an unplayable ball to dislodge one of the Wendover batsmen. We will leave his bowling at 4 overs, the 5th we shall not discus, suffice it to say Niron was brought back into the attack and with Rags duly wrapped up the Wendover tail.

Regarding fielding we had a Bailey twosome, so to speak as both Josh and Bails dropped comfortable catches, only then for Josh and Bails to hold onto the more difficult ones.

Behind the wicket Panther Harris snaffled up everything with the reactions of a mongoose.

Final score 159.

Tea was an Iceman/ Icewoman affair that was of the standard we come to expect and was duly scoffed with relish.

Opening for the Pelis we had Clive and Bails, its fair to say that the bowling was not of the highest calibre but they still need to be hit, and hit they were as 4s peppered the boundary. The love in at the wicket was brought to an end on 49 as Bails fished outside the wicket closely followed by Clive fishing even further outside the wicket, just inside the boundary in fact.

Asad batting at number 3 struck the ball with all the grace of a dead sheep but still managed to make 35 until he danced down the wicket and was stumped. Rags though did what Rags does, just stayed there scoring consistently off each over and not running the quick singles, more walking/sauntering.

Meanwhile with the fall of Rehman junior we had the pleasure of Rehman senior coming in, not one word was uttered as youth passed experience outside the clubhouse, though we all knew what they were thinking: Asad “what was I doing, I hope Dad doesn’t say anything” and Jalil “What was he doing, I’ll try not to say anything”

Anyway a lusty 4 later and Jalil was making his way back to the clubhouse. This brought out Missenden’s answer to Chris Gayle, Greg Rollinson.

Now Greg it seems had taken his slow progress to date to heart and no doubt had slipped an extra Viagra in his cocoa that morning as he slashed swiped and spurted singles and 2’s everywhere until in a frenzy of excitement he was caught for 10 after seeing only 4 overs.

Enter Tony the Mongoose to watch Rags finish the innings off with a mighty 6.

Highlights, Asda yet again caught off a no ball, the general good spirit between the two teams making an enjoyable afternoon.

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 10th vs Wendover

Wendover 140 all out   Great Missenden Pelicans 141 for 4

WON by 6 wickets

Man of the Match: Butch

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.

No Match Report

Wednesday July 6th vs Stowe Templars

Stowe Templars 135 all out   Great Missenden Templars 103 all out

LOST by 32 runs

Man of the Match: O Ross

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.

No Match Report

Tuesday July 5th vs Old Victorians

Old Victorians 161 for 8 (Lee Tyrrell 3-3)   Great Missenden Pelicans 164 for 3 (Asad Rehman 106*)

WON by 7 wickets

Man of the Match: Asad

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.

No Match Report

Monday July 4th vs Northwood

Great Missenden Pelicans 239 for 5 (J Litherland 96, Asad Rehman 43, Alex Livie 36*   Northwood 182 for 9 (Asad Rehman 4-35)

Match DRAWN

Man of the Match: James Litherland

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.

No Match Report

Sunday July 3rd vs The Lee

The Lee 175 for 9 (Raghu Kankate 6-33)   Great Missenden Pelicans 178 for 4 (Asad Rehman 122*)

WON by 6 wickets

Man of the Match: Asad

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.

No Match Report

Sunday June 26th vs Kensington CC

Kensington CC 139 all out   Great Missenden Pelicans 134 all out

LOST by 5 runs

Man of the Match: Josh

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.

No Match Report

Sunday June 19th vs The Bushmen

The Bushmen 26 all out (R Frank 5-4-1-4)   Great Missenden Pelicans 152 for 4 (J Greenwood 59, J Rehman 52)

WON by 10 wickets

Man of the Match: Toobes

Bizarre, strange, bewildering, downright odd. You could choose any number of similar adjectives to describe the Pelicans’ win over those Bushmen on Sunday.

In all my years playing cricket, i can say i’ve never won by both 10 wickets and 126 runs in the same game. But that’s what happened on Sunday. Batting first, the Bushmen were rolled over for 26. Yes, that’s 26. So in an effort to rescue some sort of game, both captains agreed the two teams would bat again. The Pelicans piled on the runs and a demoralised Bushmen declined the invitation to bat a second time, so a ‘second’ win was sealed before tea.

The Bushmen have often proved to be tender meat for the Pelis to feast on and on this occasion, something akin to Wagyu beef was served up.

There was no sign of the carnage that followed in the opening over, as the Bushmen batsmen played a couple of crisp drives.

One over later, the rot set in for the visitors to the Meadow as their best batsman had an ill-advised waft and scooped a catch to the welcoming hands of Rags.

A couple of balls later, Toobes clung on to a beauty in the slips – and that set the tone for a brilliant fielding display from the Pelis.

Tony swapped his trampoline gloves for the Gorilla Glue variety as he pouched a superb low diving catch and Toobes clung on to two more stunners, one off his own bowling and the other a diving effort off Adam after the Skipper had introduced spin at both ends.

Adam proved to be the senior partner in the leg spin department, taking two wickets to Asad’s one, but between them and Rags they ensured the Bushmen were skittled out for the lowest score I’ve witnessed on the Meadow.

The decision was taken that the Pelis would have a full innings and Greenwood and Greenwood strode out with purpose.

PG rolled back the years, showing all the elegance of old, with beautiful drives and impressive cuts. Unfortunately, the Bushmen had a field set that PG could not pierce. But his role in the partnership was to see off the new ball. And what a job he did, which allowed JG to cut loose and punish anything slightly off line.

JG’s half century may have looked dominant in the book, but PG’s nuggety 3 in 18 overs cannot be downplayed.

With the Bushmen bowlers weary after coming up against PG’s finest Gandalf impression, Jalil, supported by Tony, cut loose and took the Pelis over the three-figure mark.

Greg and Skip put the icing on the cake and a declaration was made as the Pelis eased past 150.

Josh and Toobes were champing at the bit to have a second crack with the ball, but the Bushmen declined the invitation to have a second hit – and it ultimately proved a wise decision as the rain started to fall shortly after tea.

Job done, in admittedly the strangest of fashions.

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 June 12th vs The Fiddlers

Match CANCELLED

Too much rain in the days before rendered the ground unfit. Toobes retained his batting average of 51 for another week…

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.

No Match Report

Sunday June 5th vs Old Mincheldenians

Old Mincheldenians 175 for 8   Great Missenden Pelicans 87 all out

LOST by 88 runs

Man of the Match: Josh

A miserable Pelis effort enlivened only by a run-out by Josh that would have done credit to a T20 international, and Toobes pushing his batting average through 50

The Pelicans took in a new venue, a trip to the outskirts of sweet-smelling London town, to take on Old Minchendenians.

But despite the joyous sight of a man who should know better hooning around on the edge of the field on a motorbike and a decent bowling display, a truly insipid effort with the bat saw the Pelicans slump to an 88-run defeat.

There were high points (Skip won a toss, Iceman took a catch, Josh acted like Jonty Rhodes in the field), but they were outshone by the low points (more on them later).

It started well, with the coin falling in the Skipper’s favour and a decision was made to take first use of the ball.

For a good portion of the innings, it looked like a good decision. Toobes and Josh had to contend with a raised square that made landing the delivery stride a trifle tricky. Toobes did a decent job, but he did have a couple of moments. The second time he almost took off his own toe with the ball after failing to let go at the correct time prompted a petulant kick at the ball (he missed, obviously) and then vented his spleen at Bech, imploring him to run faster. Bech and Usain Bolt should not be uttered in the same sentence, so imploring him to run faster after the ball is as futile as asking your teenage son not to toss himself off in the shower.

Despite the occasional flounce, Toobes bowled with precision and was rewarded with a couple of quick wickets. They brought in the Minchendenians’ No. 4 and he looked a batsman of real quality. It was therefore a shame on his part that he smashed a ball down the ground and set off for a single, only to see Josh scamper to his left, pick up and throw down the stumps. It was a moment of brilliance that is seen very few times in a Pelicans season.

Another high spot was the sight of Iceman clinging on to a looper in the gully, which was greeted with the sort of joy reserved only for a man who had dropped the biggest sitter ever seven days previous.

But highs are often followed by lows in the field and comedy moments were sprinkled in amongst the brilliance. Minchendenians had seemingly spotted a weakness in Bech’s armoury. The ball was turned to short square leg, Bech was roughly 10 paces from the stumps, and they scampered through for a single. After an age, in which it seemed as if the leaves had turned from green to an autumnal brown, Bech let go of the ball and threw down the stumps, prompting a long, pleading appeal. It was a shame for Bech that the batsman had passed the stumps about 15 minutes previous.

We had Greg at one point enacting his own version of the Matrix by holding a throwing pose for what seemed like hours (in hindsight, it was obvious) before letting fly at the speed of custard.

And we had a stunning comedy of errors, in which Tony lost his bearings and sent a throw roughly 30 yards wide of its target. All the while the two batsmen were at the same end of the wicket, Rags forgot to pick up the ball and complete the runout as he was so shocked by the events that were unfolding in front of him.

But the comedy moments were not enough to deter the Pelis who worked hard all the way through a tough 40 overs in the field to restrict the oppo to 175.

Now we’ll gloss over tea, except to have a shout out for Beastie Bites – which are a poor man’s Monster Munch. If that’s not a mind f**k then I don’t know what is.

Bech and Iceman were charged with the task of getting the Pelis off on a solid footing. It was a truly glorious three-ball stand. Iceman looked primed to take heavy toll on the bowling, but elected to shoulder arms to one that cannoned into off stump. Iceman came off muttering something about the ball keeping low, which prompted puzzled looks from those on the sidelines.

Tony strode out, and strode back one ball later. Greg was slated to bat at four. He made his way out to bat roughly 8 minutes after Tony was dismissed (again, hindsight is a powerful weapon).

Those who were not in attendance may be wondering what the hindsight reference is all about. Strap yourselves in, for this slow and steady ride.

Bech and Greg attempted to repair the damage by digging in. If they had still been batting now, they would have broken ground in China at roughly 4am so determined were they to lay a foundation.

After 10 overs, the Pelicans had powered their way to 23 for 2. Bech fell in the 11th over, for a solid 5, and Skip ambled out. The message communicated to Greg was ‘let’s look at stepping this run rate up’. Sadly, in attempting to do so, Skip missed a straight one. Greg felt the time had come to dig in, again.

A message was sent out at drinks, which Greg took on board and said the time had come to cut loose. The sight of Greg cutting loose was remarkably similar to the sight of him digging in.

Greg was finally undone by a stumping in the 23rd over. It was one of cricket’s finest ever 23-over innings of 11.

James, Rags and Josh attempted to push the scoring on but all fell in doing so, so it was left to Adam and Toobes to ensure complete embarrassment was avoided. There was no defibrillator at the ground, so Adam gave Toobes the hard stare when asked to come through for a third run. But the pair did edge the Pelicans towards three figures.

Sadly Adam, was bowled by a tricky spinner and VDP was undone by the umpire giving him out LBW, despite our favourite Kiwi being of the opinion that bat had made contact with ball.

It left Toobes stranded on 20 not out and with a batting average of over 50. If we get a couple more red inkers, there could be the real prospect of a celebration leading to a sixth Frank child.

It was a rare disappointment in what has been a winning season so far and we saddle up again to face the Fiddlers next week.

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 May 29th vs Lord Gnomes

Lord Gnomes 157 all out (R Kankate 4-53)   Great Missenden Pelicans 161-6 (K Kankate 84*, R Kankate 59*)

WON by 4 wickets

Man of the Match: Kunaal

Headingley 1981, Istanbul 2005, Nags Head Meadow 2016… In twenty years’ time they will still be speaking of this match, in the Kankate household at least.

They say the pen is mightier than the sword, but in the Iceman’s case it is as slow as his running between the wicket, so it gives me pleasure to try and make sense of last Sunday.

Sunday morning was overcast and the wicket was green so it was with all the purpose of a Panzer Division that Skipper for the day Toobes strode out to the wicket to loose the toss. Using the Bailey lucky 50p the toss was unbelievably won and Toobes elected to bowl. Lord Gnomes muttered their appreciation and set about padding up. Toobes still in a daze walked back to the clubhouse unsure how to break the news to the team.
If omens were needed in hindsight surely this was it.

It is fair to say that victory over the Gnomes are about as rare as a Gypsy’s tax return so the expectation of chasing 260 seemed about fair.

Opening the bowling was Josh and Toobes which was as tight as a Scotsmans wallet, Josh took the first wicket which was a rather pacey ball that saw off the very useful opening batsman, Toobes took the next two wickets and the Gnomes were reeling on 24 for 3.

A bowling change brought in the Kankates and with each wicket falling another useful batsman seemed to be leaving the clubhouse, it was during this spell that the Pelicans can firmly lay to rest the saying that ‘catches win matches’ as chance and half chance was thrown to the floor as if the ball was smeared in dog poo. Special mention must go to the Iceman who managed to drop a catch not that dissimilar to the ball you throw your 3 year old child, who is wearing a pillow case over their head having just had an attack of rickets. It was also good to see that Tony had found his spring loaded gloves again and Hassan on seeing utter confusion in-between the wickets decided against picking the ball up and throwing it to any end elected to try and use the force. Unfortunately for young Hasswalker the force was weak and the ball remained stubbornly where he had ran past it.

The bowling thankfully was accurate and unusually for the Gnomes the kick on they normally are well known for was not materialising, there were even some mutterings of giving them some runs but Toobes as everyone knows is particularly miserable and that was never going to happen.

Hassan replaced Kankate Junior and continued the excellent bowling display picking up 2 wickets, though pick of the bowlers with 4 wickets was Kankate Senior the final one being unbelievably a catch by Bails D.

The Gnomes somehow had reached 157 all out and tea was taken.

Following last weeks feast surely standards would slip, but no Fresh Bech and his able sidekick Hayley provided a meat and vegetarian feast not seen since Holy hands were passed over some loaves and water.

With spirits as high as our stomachs Bails R and Iceman strode out to lay low the opposition bowling. With expectations at stratospheric levels there would be plenty of time for our teas to settle until we had our usual mid order collapse.

Unfortunately this week we decided to get our collapse in early as Bails R departed the wicket, Bails D made his way out only This sentiment seemed to be the instruction passed down and Bails D left the field of dreams, muttering darkly about the 4.15 from Missenden. Manisty too decided to examine the wicket for a split second as did Tony. Iceman to decided that he too would prefer to watch the game in the clubhouse, and you know you’re in trouble when your opener is fifth wicket down for a duck. Hasan actually returned a proud man being the top scorer with 3.

The Pelicans were 20 for 6 only another 138 to win, BUT never fear when the Kankates are here, Rags joined Kunal at the wicket…

 

pelicans innings vs lord gnomes may 29 2016

Now I have left a larger than normal gap above by way of suspense because words cannot do justice to the hell that was unleashed from the bats of Kankate junior and senior. The chippy Gnomes started to get a little bit quieter as 20 became 80, and then 80 became 100, Kunal this week made his 50 thanks in no small part to Josh not scoring. Rags too blasted past 50 and still they carried on. 100 became 120 which became 140. The opening bowler in an act of desperation was brought back into the attack but that did not stop the utter carnage that was taking place at Nags Head Meadow. 140 then became 156 which with a shout of ‘No ball’ from Bails R became 157. Such was the confidence of Kankate junior a number of singles were declined until he regained strike and finished it in the only style he knew how to, another mighty 4.

This was a proper team effort with all contributing, bowling, batting fielding and dropping that I have never witnessed to beat, what was a very worthy opposition.

A pleasure to have Skippered this one.

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 May 22nd vs Ley Hill

Ley Hill 141-9 (John Greenwood 4-27, Kunaal Kankate 3-40)   Great Missenden Pelicans 142-6 (Kunaal Kankate 47, John Greenwood 38*)

WON by 4 wickets

Man of the Match: JG

The Pelis’ early-season streak continued, unbeaten in the past 5, but this match will be notable for a new term entering the Pelis’ vernacular, the “guilty man’s shot”.

An eleventh-hour switch brought Ley Hill to the Meadow, as Old Wealdstonians cried off on the Friday.

That Skipper lost the toss was of little importance – Alex would have chosen to field, which was the outcome anyway. Members of the Pelis’ development squad continued to be blooded: David Espig, a boyhood friend of Toobes, became the fourth debutant of 2016.

Toobes and Josh settled into such a groove that barely a run was scored in the first five overs, though it was already quite clear that one of the openers was quite a stylish bat. Fortunate, therefore, that when Toobes served up a full bunger, he miscued it to mid-off, where Carter snapped it up on the move.

However, instead of departing, the batsman stood in mid-pitch and eyeballed the umpire, his team-mate. After a delay of perhaps five seconds, the umpire obediently, and apologetically, raised his left arm to indicate a no ball. Was it a no ball? Who knows, in the absence of TV cameras. But to see a batsman browbeat an umpire into declaring a no ball was to travel back in time to the days when WG Grace is said to have performed the same trick (“They’ve come to watch me bat, not you umpire.”)

The following ball was sent skimming to mid-wicket where it passed through Kunaal’s normally reliable hands, and the last ball of the over ended up on the far side of the railway tracks. Credit to the Pelis: beyond a couple of sardonic laughs, little was made of the incident. In hindsight, with the batsman going on to score half Ley Hill’s runs, it was probably good for the match. But a more lasting legacy may be the introduction of a new term to the Pelis’ lexicon, the “guilty man’s shot”.

This was the skipper’s verdict on the catch to Kunaal, and he wheeled it out again after Ley Hill’s 15-year-old keeper was caught off Alex’s gloves by Josh at leg slip (having started the ball at conventional slip), but stood his ground after being given not out by an unsighted umpire. By which we don’t mean that the umpire was blind – just that it all happened in a bit of a whirl. Remember the term – a guilty man’s shot – it won’t be the last time we hear it this season.

The guilty man proved to be the bedrock of Ley Hill’s innings. Once he was out for 69, including several steepling sixes, things meandered along, the number 10 batsman the only other to reach double figures. In the field, there were a few notable Pelis-style incidents: David Espig’s use of the kneecap showing he has fully embraced Pelis’ fielding techniques, Carter sitting on a drive to mid-off (ditto), Iceman daintily jumping out of the way of a catch at slip (ditto) and Toobes executing a perfect bridge over the ball at mid-wicket (ditto). Greg, for the second week in a row, nearly pulled off a worldie.

On the plus side, Josh took a couple of allowed catches including a beauty at slip; Carter picked up one to compensate for his disallowed one; Skip took a catch and a stumping behind the wicket (don’t mention the extras tally). Perhaps the highlight, though, was Kunaal breaking a bail, removing Ley Hill’s number 4.

141 didn’t look too demanding, so everyone tucked with gusto into tea (or was it lunch?) provided by Nic and Claire VDP.

The Pelis’ response started in style, with Kunaal punishing some ordinary bowling from the bottom end. First Bech and then Iceman stood and admired as the score raced to 64-1. Kunaal was applauded for his 50 and immediately sent a skied top edge to te keeper – only to discover that he’d made only 47!

A classic Pelis middle-order wobble ensued, with 64-1 becoming 66-5. Ley Hill had introduced a quite reasonable leggie from the bottom end, calling for concentration and care from our batsmen. Inevitably it was his poorer balls – a wide outside off and a full toss – that did for Iceman and Greg. David’s debut innings was more or less par for the course for Pelis debutants – ’nuff said.

Time for the old guard to bring it home. First Alex and JG, then JG and Toobes, calmed nerves and then took control. JG had taken four wickets – should have been a ‘fifer’ with the disallowed catch off the keeper. Now he played the ball all round the wicket, ran busily with Toobes a willing partner, and ultimately played the winning shot. Toobes extended his remarkable early-season batting form to 5 innings, 4 not outs, average 31. Curious indeed, particularly as the majority of his runs came through the off side rather than via the traditional shovel.

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 May 15th vs Hyde Heath

Hyde Heath 172 for 9 (Raghu Kankate 3-9)   Great Missenden Pelicans 173-9 (Hasan Arif 42, Josh Bailey 36*)

WON by 1 wicket

Man of the Match: Hasan

Words. There are over 200,000 of them in the Oxford English Dictionary. More than that would be needed to do justice to an epic game of cricket at Hyde Heath, so we’ll go with the abridged version of the victory instead.

Shock is the best way to describe the opening salvo, as the Skipper won his third toss in a row and had no hesitation in sending Hyde Heath into bat.

Fuelled by half a pint of cider from the Plough, Toobes went into Beast Mode and whipped out a couple of the Heath mob – one with a genuine slower ball.

It could, and definitely should, have been better for Toobes as he drew a false shot from Hyde Heath’s stylish left hander who looped the ball straight to the Skipper, who dropped it.

The Heath left hander took advantage of his life as he moved past 50, which was just as well as wickets tumbled with great regularity at the other end.

The Pelicans were dealt a blow mid-way through the innings, as Niron fell victim to a sniper who took aim from a grassy knoll and took out his hamstring. Salsa dancing is on hold for the moment.

With Hyde Heath numbering only 10, the Pelicans elected to mix up the bowling a shade. The home side limped towards 120 when John Wayne rode over the horizon to take their number 11 slot. Mr Wayne had the look of a cricketer, so the Skipper hatched a plan and told VDP to bowl two feet outside off stump in order to NOT take a wicket. Three balls later, VDP took out leg stump – and out strode John Wayne.

Roughly three overs later, Hyde Heath’s score had rocketed from 120 to 172 – albeit with the aid of another dropped catch from the Skipper.

It didn’t quite have the feel of Sunday friendly cricket when the opposition draft in a ringer at the 13th hour. That feeling was reinforced when John Wayne charged in off his long run and ran through the Pelicans top order.

Tony stood firm and made up for his duck in league cricket on Saturday to craft 29. He looked on the brink of cutting loose, only for the finger of Adam to fire him lbw for the second week in a row. Those were the words uttered by Tony as he trudged off. Adam said something along the lines of ‘stop putting your pad in front of middle stump’.

A partnership was needed, and Greg and Hasan provided it. Raising his bat after passing 1, Hasan laid waste to the bowling with a string boundaries.

The Pelis were well on course for victory when a Pelican-like collapse opened the door. The Skipper’s torrid day was capped off when a submarine ball took out his stumps.

John Wayne returned and got the prize scalp of Hasan, to leave the Pelis tottering.

But the calm head of Toobes strode out to join the less-calm head of Josh. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, let me take you through it. A tickle off his legs, let’s call it a mini shovel, led to a call of two. Josh, though, had other ideas and egged on by a shout of ‘one for the arm’ from an unnamed Kiwi, took off for a third. Toobes did not want three and both batsmen were parked at the keeper’s end. Toobes took the decision to fall on his sword before trudging off, face like thunder, and depositing his bat with a degree of force into the changing room.

VDP suggested the irony of ‘one for the arm’ was lost on Josh. The Skipper suggested there’s a decent chance Josh can’t spell irony.

The onus was now on Josh to see the Pelicans home. He’s certain to keep his head, surely? One ball later he scooped a wild heave straight into the air. Thankfully, their fielder had been taking tips from the Skipper and dropped it.

Adam came and went so last man VDP joined Josh at the crease. Laurel and Hardy immediately came to mind and we expected some sort of slapstick comedy moment.

But no, VDP played an exquisite late cut off John Wayne to take the Pelicans to within a boundary of victory. That boundary was brought up by Josh who bludgeoned the ball over long on.

Redemption for Josh and Toobes opted not to wrap his bat round the youngster’s chops – instead demanding a pint of the Plough’s finest shandy.

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 May 8th vs Ibstone

Ibstone 148 all out (R Frank 3-14)   Great Missenden Pelicans 152-5 (Alex Livie 37*)

WON by 5 wickets

Man of the Match: Toobes

Under azure blue skies and temperatures soaring to levels higher than Ibiza a perfect day was finished off with a perfect result.

Once again somebody pretending to be the Skipper went out with the oppositions captain and proceeded to win the toss, the Pelicans were bowling.

Opening up from the Railway End was Toobes with Rags taking the Nags Head End, following a successful pray for Toobes campaign three wickets did indeed come his way, with one of those being a catch from Tony who had replaced his spring loaded gloves from last week with wicket keepers gloves. Rags steaming in dispatched 2 Ibstone players one of which was their opener who decided to see if he could indeed hit a passing Jumbo such was the height of the ball, a lusty and confident shout of Harry’s positioned himself under the ball and waited, and waited and for good measure waited some more until the ball landed comfortably in his hands AND STUCK THERE.

With Ibstone reeling Skip decided to go for the jugular and replaced Toobes and Rags with Adam and Brokeback Carter, unfortunately this coincided with Ibstone’s number 6 coming in who decided the only way forward was to smash everything. Adam and Brokeback decided to target his partners and soon Ibstone having taken the score from 50 for 5 were looking at just over 100 for 8.

JG and James were handed the ball and finally finished Ibstone off with Skip taking a catch just in front of the clubhouse. Ibstone had made 148, with an outfield running faster than children in a Jim’ll Fix it studio surely this wouldn’t be difficult for the Pelicans.

Following a usually high standard Pelis tea from Skip and Mrs Skip, JG and Tony store out of the clubhouse with all the purpose of a Panzer division.

Such confidence was not misplaced after some graceful shots and not so graceful bloody minded clubs took the score up to 53 until JG felt it was time for somebody else to have a go.

Debutant Greg entered the field of dreams and suitably assisted with the aim of chasing down the runs, unfortunately Tony on a commendable 24 decided to play and miss a straight one, amazingly not only did Adam give Tony out LBW but he also shook his head in such disbelief. No worries – Bails was the new batsman and with orders of not being out after either a 6 or a 4, such words were taken to heart and he was out after a 1.

With Harry strolling out and pretty quickly Greg strolling back in Skip joined Harry and between the two they turned what could easily been a Peli collapse into a winning position. Unfortunately Harry, having batted beautifully, decided to unleash the ugliest shot possibly of the season and was caught.

It gets a bit hazy now but I think Rags went out and brought the game home with Skip or he may have been out, suffice it to say, Skip finished Ibstone off just as he had at Little Marlow.

A good all round victory with everybody contributing.

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 May 1st vs Ballinger

Ballinger 162 all out (Hasan Arif 4-64, Raghu Kankate 3-39);   Great Missenden Pelicans 134 for 9 (Kunaal Kankate 63)

Match DRAWN

Man of the Match: Kunaal

Toobes and @bdcmassif dig in to guide the Pelicans to safety vs Ballinger pic.twitter.com/dKH9Jm2d1r — GM Pelicans CC (@PelisCricket) May 1, 2016

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 April 24th vs Little Marlow

Little Marlow 162-7 (R Kankate 3-32, N Vanderpeet 2-8)   Great Missenden Pelicans 163-8 (A Livie 63*)

WON by 2 wickets

Man of the Match: Alex

After the mauling at the hands of those Fleet Street Strollers, the Pelicans jumped back into the saddle and put on a show of grit, determination and a little bit of skill to claim the win at Little Marlow.

New blood was in the Pelicans’ ranks and judging by the raft of debuts that have been made down the years, we were not expecting much. Oh how wrong we were.

Harry Manisty demonstrated gazelle-like qualities in the field, as he made a string of fine stops and ran around in a very un-Pelican-like manner.

James Walters was the second debutant on the day and he too showed talent in all areas. Two spiralling catches were taken with aplomb and he showed real nous with the ball. The word ‘skill’ was uttered, as James varied his line and length to keep the batsmen on their toes.

James removed Little Marlow’s most dangerous-looking batsman, but Toobes will tell you that it was the softening up job he did during his wicketless spell of 8 overs that laid the foundations. Hero is all that I can come up with to describe Toobes’ display.

But for all the good, there was the usual sprinkling of Pelican farce added to the mix. The tone was set by Bechervaise attempting, and thankfully failing, to stop a full blooded cover drive with his leg.

Julian Jeffrey stepped in to the breach to take our number to 11 and he proved the family penchant for dropping catches had not passed him by. Julian may have dropped the ball, but he at least had the good grace to go and chase the ball after spilling the chance, unlike a certain Kiwi in our ranks who simply stood stock still as if to pretend the moment had never happened.

VDP’s fielding has clearly not improved over the winter. It appears he spent the cold months working on his bowling as a two-over spell brought two wickets and checked Marlow momentum.

And despite the moments of comedy and calamity, the good outweighed the bad in the field as the Pelicans restricted Little Marlow to 162 for 6 at tea.

Thoughts turned to who would open the batting and the Skipper gave the nod to Gibson and Bechervaise. Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin these two are not, so running calamity looked on the cards. On three occasions, Bech somehow avoided being run out thanks to some sloppy Marlow fielding and the pair built a nice little partnership.

The Pelicans were progressing nicely and were not knocked off their stride by newly qualified umpire VDP signalling one short (he learnt that one on day two of the umpiring course) even though the ball had gone for 4.

Pelican spirits were climbing higher than the temperature in Marlow, but we were quickly brought down to earth by a flurry of wickets. And it was a flurry of wickets as the top four in the Pelican batting order were all bowled.

Things looked a little bit grim when Rags departed after a a brief cameo, with the Pelicans rocking at 69 for 6.

It’s fair to say Marlow were a little bit chipper in the field at this stage in proceedings, but Harry and then Niron stuck around with the Skipper for a little while. But it was when James strode out that the tide started to turn back the Pelicans’ way.

Happy to rotate the strike early on, James grew into his role and took 13 off one over off Marlow’s best bowler to put the Pelicans on the front foot.

30 runs were still required when James fell, but the ever reliable Toobes joined the Skipper at the crease to forge a Yorkshire-Teesside alliance. It was an alliance forged in steely determination, as Toobes planted his shield in front of his stumps in a ‘you shall not pass’ declaration of defiance.

As hard as Marlow tried they could not find a way through and the Pelicans sealed the win with 8 balls remaining.

An excellent win was celebrated in the Queens in Marlow, with one notable absentee as Niron elected to go to the other pub in the village and made a fashionably late arrival.

Onward to Ballinger next week and a shout out goes to the person who scooped up my t-shirt, base layer and pants to bring them along next week. Being t-shirtless and sans pants on a chilly Marlow evening was livening experience.

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 April 17th vs Fleet Street Strollers

Fleet Street Strollers 195 for 4   Great Missenden Pelicans 112 (D Bailey 42)

LOST by 83 runs

Man of the Match: Bails

The opening day of the season ended the Pelis’ 8-month unbeaten streak

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.