As usual the opposition were in the field and warming up as the Pelicans dribbled into the Meadow, Skip had already lost the toss and was put into bat, so indeed it was like a winning toss.
Welcoming back to the warm bosom of Pelicans cricket was Joshie B, all legs, arms, and a shrill voice, what role would he play we wonder, no doubt bowl 8 overs and take 5 wickets.
With the format decided (40 overs) Toobes and Amir took to their respective ends and started proceedings, it is fair to say that the bowling from both of these Pelicans had improved and in no time wickets started to fall for relatively few runs. Amir continued where he left off and posted excellent figures of 5 overs for only 19 runs, and Toobes managed to hit the green stuff this week and amazingly also improved, though let’s be honest he couldn’t go any further down, but improve he did to finish with 6 overs 2 wickets for 24.
A notable moment in in these opening overs was the site of Suranga launching himself to a ball and then unleashing it at breakneck speed towards the wickets, expecting overthrows Toobes took cover as the ball flew past him at Mach 3.5 and unbelievably removed bails and wickets, the first run out of the season.
With Toobes and Amir retiring Rags and Suranga of the deadly arm took over. Runs started to flow a bit more freely as the HG 4 and 5 bat decided to move proceedings on from what was 10 for 3. The HG bats it is fair to say started to push the score forward and it wasn’t until they had 103 on the board that another wicket fell, Rags bowling and caught at first slip by, (I am sorry they just look so similar) either Adam or Asad, I just cant remember, anyway Niron with his spring loaded gloves managed to palm it up into two welcoming hands.
With the HG number 4 bat still going strong and unusually Mr Metronome himself leaking a few runs the score continued its upward trajectory, something special was needed, step forward Kid Curry the fastest shot in the west. The Colombo canon spotted a bit of hasty running and soon had the ball screaming back to the wickets as yet another run out gave the Pelicans another wicket, this time it was the Number 4 bat Ali who was finally skittled for 59.
With HG on the ropes it was time to retire Rags and Suranga from the offensive and bring out the heavy guns, Nico and Adam.
Inspired some may say was the Skippers choice as Nico Warne bowled the number 6 and 7 batsmen out for HG, as for number 8 Suranga ran him out also. Frankly he could have aimed at the railway track and the ball would still have found the wickets, a Swiss watch is less accurate.
With proceedings in the HG camp getting a little bit panicky another run out of unbelievable suicidal proportions took place and Adam twirling and whirling like a twirly whirly Dervish eating a curly wurly brought proceedings to a close and the end of the HG innings with 183 on the board.
With tea taken it was time for the Pelican response, Skip had particularly good feelings in his waters, 184 to win 40 overs to get it. Looking around him he saw just an array of star batsmen.
Now it is usually in these reports that such a feeling is a portent of disaster and I am pleased to confirm this game was no different as first Raheel continued his unlucky run closely followed by Asad who was caught as all opening bats are by a rubbish full toss.
It is fair to say that the opening bowlers were moving the ball and quite handy but Skips smile had now been turned upside down, but no need to panic our Columbo Clubber Thili was ready to face his first ball, unfortunately Skip missed his innings as his eyes were closed as he sneezed, honest, that moment saw a whole inning take place. Thili with the look of a man who had just found a ten-pound note in a horses backside departed the field.
Such was the speed of the dismissal Niron hadn’t even put his pads on, but soon old snake hips was out there steadying the ship at one end whilst Josh decided to do what Josh does best in such situations, smash the ball as far from the wicket as he can.
With the score on 39 for 3 these two monsters of the game soon had Skip sitting easier in his seat as the scoreboard moved past 90 unfortunately 93 for 3 son became 97 for 5 as first Josh went for an excellent 43 and then Rags to round off an unusually subdued day went for 4.
It wasn’t long until even Niron had had enough and he too departed the field of play on 11 which was not as important as the fact that he had just stayed at the crease.
Out to bat went first Suranga who was joined by Amir, finally having the opportunity to star with the bat and let’s be honest what a start as he hit the ball for 4 followed by another 4 followed by another 4.
Suranga meanwhile defended the ball with half volleys, hooks and other unknown shots which all kept the score board ticking over.
Unfortunately Amir then too ran out of steam and with the score on 124 for 7 and let’s be honest and I don’t mean to be rude about the Pelican 9 10 and 11 bats I think I would put the chances of a Peli victory to be slimmer than the Viking anorexic Slimmy Slimmerson from Thinny Fjord.
Well the number 9 went out and lent on his bat whilst Suranga he of the wise words of advice, defend the good balls and hit the bad ones continued his one-man assault on all the balls bowled at him. Life was looking good until with the score on 156 he too finally fell on a fantastic 33
Thankfully that Rock of Gibraltar himself Adam entered the fray and stood his ground making Gandalf look flighty, he too succumbed, but not until he had nudged the score on to 166, cometh the hour cometh the Nico he and Toobes put on a winning partnership to bring the game to a close and a victory.
What a result what a day and with drinks after the game with the Oppo what a nice bunch of players from HG