First game of the year we welcomed Ballinger to the Holy Meadow, looking resplendent due to months of inactivity.

Skip strode out to the wicket and promptly lost the toss, so far so familiar. Then the opposition Skip uttered the words no Pelican skipper likes to hear, “we are a bit young so we will put you into bat” Now what the oppo was saying was blooding new players and could be weak, what Skip heard was young enthusiastic fielders, will have boundless energy. We were doomed.

Every cloud as they say though has a silver lining and today was no exception as the Pelicans welcomed two new players Suranga and Jack, both players on the right side of 40, today would be a day where they would see true Pelican cricket, they would not be disappointed.

Opening for the Pelicans we had our two most devastating bats, Raheel and Asad. Within 5 minutes we had our two most devastating bats Asad and Kunaal. Not the greatest of starts as Raheel was skittled by a 12 year old, but nothing to worry Skip.

As expected Asad and Kunaal went about the Ballinger bowlers with a combination of 4s, a 6 and a single, all was looking rosy in the garden until Asad decided to scoop one back to the Ballanger opening bowler for 35. With the score on 62 for 2 Kunaal was joined by the Pelicans very own rock of Gibraltar, Niron Thou shalt not pass Jeffries.
Unfortunately Kunaal departed a few overs later for 40 and Niron was joined by non other than Nico.

Now under normal circumstances I would be bringing back memories of Bledlow and 29 tortuous runs after 24 overs, but seeing the need for a speedy run rate Nico was like a spring chicken, shouting out the singles. Unfortunately Niron try as he may just couldn’t connect with the ball and waft followed slash followed waft, all followed by a perfectly executed practice shot of what he should have done.

To cut a long story short, Nico went for 2, ever pushing the run rate, Rags went for 4 still pushing the run rate, bringing new Peli Jack out to the wicket.
Niron finally departed on a solid 10, we will forget about the run rate. This meant that Jack was joined by our second Peli debutant Suranga, and our score on not enough.

Jack immediately got into the game with scurrying singles, twos and a four meanwhile Suranga unleashed his own version of hell as sixes rained down on the boundary.
This dynamic duo dragged the Pelicans into the realms of scoring respectability, unfortunately first Jack went on 12, then Amir and then Suranga on 26. Adam was our not out batsman on a lusty 1, but still 137 was not really going to be enough.

It is normal at this stage of the report I write about our tea which is usually a sumptuous affair, this time due to the covid regulations and as advised by Skip tea was to be brought from home by each individual for each individual.

Well where do I start on chicken gate.
Raheel asking for somebody to take over the umpiring with about half an hour to tea looked over at Asad, Skip shouted said request to the Chesham Prince only to be advised that he would take over in about 10 minutes, he then jumped into his car and headed out of the Meadow, Skip looked on but thought nothing of it. After 10 minutes and no Asad Nico took over the umpiring. With the players coming off for tea there was still no sign of Asad. As the teams were warming up still the Prince of Chesham was nowhere to be seen, indeed Skip was informed that the 10 minute departure was infact a drive back to Chesham to pick up a chicken take away. It became apparent from the time it was taking that Asad was indeed rearing said chickens from eggs as the teams made their way out to the wicket with Chicken Asad still rearing his fowl. Skip now realised he now had a wicketkeeper problem as Asad was indeed down for the position. There then followed a comedy act of Jack willing to give it a go until Niron, he of the spring loaded gloves stepped forward and donned the pads.

Words fail me, suffice to say Asad eventually re joined the game.

Toobes meanwhile started his spell from the railway end and Amir from the Nags end.
I wont bore you with the details but these two giants of the bowling world were carted to all four corners of Buckinghamshire, and accounted for more lost balls than Asad could eat chicken dinners.
The bowling was very average, and like two knackered pit ponies Skip took them both off to finish their days in either a glue factory or a Tesco beef pie.
Some semblance of normality returned as the Chesham Prince bowled two of the Ballinger bats and Rags reduced their scoring notably but it was too little too late as the Ballanger opener scored 87 runs not out but dropped 4 times.

The game could only end one way with Jack coming on for the final over and hitting Kunaal’s helmet which was on the ground giving away 5 runs.

All in all very village.
But as I said earlier we have found two new Pelicans who can play.
Next up Winchmore Hill Away, it cant get any worse.