Kensington 199 for 8 (Asad Rehman 3-32) Great Missenden Pelicans 200 for 6 (Asad Rehman 73, Clive Nicholls 47, Kunaal Kankate 41*)
WON by 4 wickets
Man of the Match: Asad
If you were to ask me what are the better odds, find a Dark Photon, or the Pelicans beating Kensington in a 40 over game, if I’m honest the photon would get it, well hold the front page because that pesky photon is still missing but a Pelly victory isn’t.
It was a beautiful autumnal morning and the meadow was looking sublime as we welcomed our city sophisticates Kensington, a pleasure as ever.
As Skip aimlessly wandered to the clubhouse Neeraj halted his ramble with a suggestion. ‘Toobes’ said Neeraj, ‘How is your team looking’, ‘yeeeeh alright; said Skip, ‘good good because we are quite strong and I thought if you’re happy of course a 40 over game would be fun’, ‘shit’ thought Toobes how do I save face and show confidence in my team, ‘ok thats fine by me’.
Skip carried on his wanderings muttering bollocks over and over again as the Kensington batting line up replayed over and over in his head.
With the toss won and the decision to bowl first taken Skip conveyed his confidence in the team by letting them in on the format, thankfully his look of apprehension was lost in the general melée of electing to bowl first.
Opening for the Pelicans we had the usual combination of Last of the Summer Wine meets In the Night Garden, Toobes and Hasan. The bowling from both openers proved tight as runs proved hard to find and very soon Hasan added to his tally as the opener was taken by Toobes, who ran from gully to point in order to make the catch, I should give special mention to Niron who was actually stood at point awaiting the ball, but a red misted Toobes on full charge who lets be honest has form in catching collisions was left to it.
With Hasan and Toobes removed after 5 overs the second combination of the Rolling Stones meets The Vamps, Rags and Asad.
After a quick change of tops, from fielding top to bowling top Asad was ready to unleash flight and guile, well that is what we expected, what we got was a first over of batting carnage as Asad was hit around the Meadow. ‘Thats ok Asad’ shouted Skip showing confidence in his twirling maestro, ‘bollocks’ muttered Skip to himself.
With Rags at the Nags Head End normality resumed as with metronomic regularity the ball was dropped on a length, runs continued to be hard to find for Kensington. Following his first over Asad returned and unleashed twirling fury, first bowling the Kensington number 2 and then claiming two more wickets both catches, one from Kunaal and another a stunning effort by Clive on the boundary which I don’t think anybody expected he would get to never mind hold.
There was of course one blemish in this spell of 8 overs 3 for 32 and that was Toobes at mid on steadying himself for a catch, ready to receive it and then watch it land 1 foot in front of him…..burk.
With Rags continuing his spell a quick discussion with Skip who wanted to take him off after 5 overs was brushed aside as nonsense, holding his ground like a feather in the wind Skip duly gave in and let Rags finish his 8 over spell, and what a decision it was as an absolute beauty of a ball removed the Kensington number 4 bat, he who had put on 60 in our game earlier in the season. Finally Rags’ 8 overs came to an end and the usual figures of 1 wicket for 27 were returned.
Our final pairing brought together Harry and Adam, bit more like Stan and Ollie.
Harry soon got into his stride and after a few balls that bounced more than once was soon finding line and length and indeed a bit of guile as one ball thoroughly bamboozled the Kensington number 6 and like a viper Swish Tony back from his sojourn in Stoke Mandeville (apparently looking for the ghost of Jimmy Savile) had those bails removed, nice to see him back.
Harry continued his spell and delivered 4 overs for 24 and 1 wicket, excellent.
With Adam’s and Harry’s spell complete Toobes and Hasan finished off their 8 overs, again Hasan was soon on it as a cracking ball took out the Kensington number 7 who had progressed to 40, he finished his 8 overs with 2 wickets for 39, Toobes also managed to buy a wicket as Asad duly took a catch and the Kensington innings came to a close.
Now Adam made the tea and a truly magnificent affair it was too, the Pelicans and Kensington were treated to vegetable curry, beef rendang, bombay potato and an assortment of cakes, it has got to be up there with the tea of the season if not a longer period of time. Suffice it to say Kensington and the Pelicans filled their boots.
Oh Adam’s bowling……nuff said.
With stomachs full the Pelicans were left with a score of 200 to win and opening up to hunt down this total was Asad and Clive, I don’t know how you would describe this combination as generally anything with Clive in tends to involve grooming, but hey it worked as a steady foundation was built. Onwards they went as Asad initially mis timing soon found his rhythm and started peppering the boundary, Clive too coming off the back of a couple of big scores looked in great form especially a fantastic cover drive that drew applause from the full house at the meadow, surely this time Clive would not fall short of a batting 50 or 100
There was a mighty 6 from Asad which brought up his 50 and rapturous applause from the clubhouse, the innings though did come to an end as he was finally caught for 73, a great foundation indeed. As so often happens 2 follows 1 and Clive prancing forward swished and played a straight one on, out for 47. Not 50 but with Asad a great start for the Pelicans.
With Kunaal at the crease we then witnessed a steady ebb and flow of partners, first Ali 4 and out then Niron 2 and out, then Hasan 0 and out. We then had the partnership everyone had paid their money to see: Kankate senior and Kankate junior, unfortunately the paying crowd were left slightly disappointed as with Rags on 3 Kunaal ran him out.
Thankfully Rags, though complaining, sacrificed his wicket and took one on the chin for the team, I am sure the journey home would be interesting opined nobody.
With Harry taking Rags’ place and the overs rapidly reducing Kensington brought back their opening bowler, needing 17 off 2 overs it is fair to say nails were being bitten in the clubhouse.
But never fear when a Kankate is here, Kunaal deciding attack was the best form of defence smashed two fours off the first two balls, after a quick single Harry too got into the attack mode and also smashed a 4, victory came on the next ball as two runs were taken.
What a fantastic game.
Thanks to Nico we then feasted with Kensington again, but this time with a Nico BBQ, beers provided for by our very own Gordon Ramsey, Adam.
What a great game of cricket with a great group of players providing a great result, if you’re a Pelican.
Man of the match as judged by Kensington……Asad, quite right.
A bottle of whisky was also given to Adam for tea of the century, who graciously offered it back to the club to be raffled.