With Yorkies in their top pockets, the Sun newspaper on the dashboard and some rolled carpet and a claw hammer Toobes and Nico finally delivered the practice net to the hallowed ground in time for the visitation of the Roving Reporters.
With the sun shining Toobes welcomed Kunaal back, he also welcomed a new player Amit, who immediately looked impressive as it was obvious he was under the age of 50.
Strolling out to the wicket Toobes won the toss and bizarrely elected to bat, no real reason but he did.
Opening for the Pelicans we had the ever reliable Raheel and the returnee Kunaal, it wasn’t long before Kunaal continued where he left off last season whipping 4s to the boundary with ease. Raheel’s slightly more conservative approach also found the boundary but just not as often. Unfortunately with our two openers looking an ideal partnership disaster is never far away and it came in the form of Raheel missing a straight one, most unfortunate but with the score on 33 for 1 the Skipper didn’t look unduly concerned especially as Kunaal was now joined by debutant Amit who immediately announced himself with a 4, which was then followed up by a mighty 6. The Skipper rocked back in his chair happy to watch the carnage that was to follow.
Those who know the Pelicans know that from comfort one must then endure discomfort and so it came to pass as Kunaal was then caught behind for 28 and Ali looking once again totally comfortable got hold of the ball and slapped it straight into mid on’s hands 53 for 3 soon became 64 for 4 as Amit looking a class bat was bowled by the loopy opener for 25. This brought the partnership of Rags and Niron.
This was one of those days when Rags was up for it and in his usual style of no running began to cart the Rovers bowlers to all four corners of the circular ground, Niron making the perfect bridesmaid just let him get on with it, until on 86 he too succumbed and was bowled.
A new bridesmaid was required and they don’t come any more demure and coy than the Skipper who made his way out to the wicket, received no instructions from Rags and proceeded to block the over out.
There then followed a display of utter carnage from Kankate senior who decided to show Kankate junior how it should be done. With the Skipper resting on his bat, Rags single handedly smashed the leather off the ball and started posting a more respectable score as the hundred was passed followed by 150 and with 13 fours and 5 sixes under his belt finally fell on 99, an unbelievable innings.
With the score now on 195 Skip was joined by Nico, the only instruction being “lets get past 200″. That was never in doubt as this plucky Kiwi dinked 2 quick fours before departing the field of dreams, with Andrew joining the Skipper in what was his last game for the Pelicans before moving to Cornwall the game finally came to an end with the Pelicans on a very respectable 221.
Tea was a truly majestic affair as Niron put on a spread fit for a Caribbean king, the chicken being particularly spicy soon had both teams purring with delight.
Unfortunately all good things come to an end and so it was that in no time at all the Roving Reporters took to the crease facing Toobes and Andrew. Unfortunately slow medium seemed to be just the post tea desert the openers required as runs were plundered off Andrew and particularly Toobes, after 4 overs apiece it was time for a change, enter Raheel and the metronome that is Rags.
This produced the required result which was a slowing down of the run rate though still the openers continued to find the boundary and both went past 50.
It was finally Raheel that broke the partnership with a fine ball that bowled the RR number one, this was followed quickly by a great catch on the boundary by Kunaal off Raheel’s bowling. The Pelicans sensed the possibility of victory, unfortunately the 3 and 4 bats for RR were equally up to the task and continued on taking 4s where they could.
Finally Rags and Raheel were rested both having bowled fantastically and kept the run rate down, they were replaced by Kunaal and Nico with 70 needed off the last 10 overs it was going to be close.
Nico having been brought on at the Railway end explained to Skip that there was some issue with it that was affecting his bowling and required him to change ends, Skip duly swapped Kunaal and Nico around still none the wiser as to why but the upshot was that Nico’s bowling remained just the same only this time he required a hat to keep the sun out of his eyes as he was having difficulty seeing anything.
Kunaal meanwhile prior to the end switch took his first wicket of the year an lbw.
Meanwhile the run chase continued and finally the Roving Reporters claimed victory with only 10 balls to spare.
A great effort by the Pelicans, great to see Kunaal back and Amit joining us.