The sun, the setting the wicket, this could only be one place, Stowe, and a Pelican team that was focused on the job in hand ie not look stupid.
With the toss won and Stowe put into bat much to the joy of the Pelicans there was a familiarity to the opening partnership of Toobes and Josh, in all honesty Toobes had never been allowed to open before but with a limited attack very old and youth was employed.
Concerns of dismantling the older Toobes were dispelled as a very economical spell of 6 overs were delivered for 12 runs and one wicket, it was the Stowe opener who fell to Toobes rapid pace, at times clocking 30kph a fine delivery that caught the bat LBW, indeed he had managed to withstand an earlier appeal,but this time the Umpire’s finger was raised and the opener was dispatched to the clubhouse.
Josh meanwhile returning from injury (now don’t get me on this soapbox of the youth of today being injured) he was soon ramping up the speed to what is called Pelican tasty. It didn’t take long for him to remove the other Stowe opener from a fine ball that was caught by our new wicket keeper Julian Swain.
With Toobes’ stamina rapidly running out Skip felt it was time to bring on the Vish, and what a change it turned to be as in no time he had bowled the Stowe number three bat and then finally removed the number 4 bat, a fine catch by Ali and a batsman who had started scoring rather freely.
It was during Vishal’s spell that Josh was finally put out to grass and Kunaal brought in to replace him. Again another inspired change by Skip that immediately yielded a wicket as the Stowe number 5 was clean bowled by the now renamed Kunaal Kankakee (issues with the score board).
With Stowe starting to look vulnerable the Pelicans were ready to go in for the kill, unfortunately having played Stowe many times we are well aware that it is at this point that some batsman will come in in start carting us about.
Today was no different as thew Stowe skipper came into bat and with quick singles and some lofty blows showed his intention from the start.
With Vishal taken off after a great spell of 11 overs 2 for 39 and likewise Kunaal taken off for a well earned rest, the bowling cudgels were taken up by Nick Saunders and Alex Hill.
Unfortunately for them both, this was the same time that the Stowe skipper decided to unleash his own form of hell as he started pushing the score ever on and up.
It is at times like these that the Stowe cricket field becomes a very big field indeed, but the Pelicans kept to the task.
With the score reaching the 200s Skip then brought Toobes on to stem the run, unfortunately rather than Imodium, Toobes was more Senapod as the flow became a torrent and the first and last over went for 19. Josh meanwhile had already been brought back into the attack and immediately made inroads to the Stowe attack bowling first their number 7 followed by their number 8.
Toobes if he had been a horse would now be Bostik, consequently Kunaal was reintroduced to the Stowe batsmen and did what Toobes spectacularly failed to do which was stem the runs and get wickets, Kunaal did both as he bowled the number 9 Stowe bat.
Meanwhile looking for his hundred the Stowe skipper kept going as the declaration pushed further back to accommodate this. Finally after 51.5 overs the Stowe skipper achieved his hundred and declared with Stowe on 238.
Kunaal finished with 10 over 2 for 21 and Josh 12.5 overs 3 for 55, in all honesty a great Pelican effort from all the team.
With time the Pelican enemy there was a quick turnaround for Asad and Clive as they made their way out to open.
Clive as ever taking his time to get the measure of both the wicket Asad as ever looking the moody stroppy teenager intent on doing damage.
Now if I am to ask anybody how they would expect Clive to be out I suspect everybody will know the answer, so it came as no surprise to report with 13 on the board Clive was pinged LBW.
Asad now joined by Abbas, that isn’t plural for the 70’s Swedish Eurovision winners oh no that is our own big hitting Mr Ilyas who with Asad now seeing the ball like a hot air balloon started to make some serious inroads into the Stowe total. Unfortunately as you all know when things are looking good being a Pelican they soon don’t and this was no different as Abs had soon feathered one to the wicket keeper having made 20 runs.
With plenty of batting still to come Asad now had the pleasure of the company of Jules, youth accompanied with youth.
There is not much I can say other than these two mighty warriors then took the game to Stowe, running quick singles and firing 4s at will, it is fair to say the wicket is not the batsman’s paradise it once was but these two started to tame the Stowe giant. Naturally we must have one comedic moment as concentration dips and this innings was no different as in one over Jules was firstly dropped, now this was not a difficult catch in fact a dolly would give it a degree of difficulty that just wasn’t there, if this let off wasn’t bad enough some comedic running then left Jules in the middle of the wicket, for some reason the Stowe wicket keeper who had run out to retrieve the ball decided not to trust his arm from about 8 feet and for some reason found himself on the floor at the base of the stumps still holding the ball with Julian home and dry, to compound matters a lofty smash from Jules was then missed and with his feet being a good 2 foot out of the crease so was the stumping.
With the partnership continuing Asad finally succumbed LBW after making a fantastic 70 runs, Skip then sent Vishal out whilst he went for a quick wee. Skip having had said quick wee was surprised to find that Vish had not actually gone out to bat or that’s what Skip thought. What actually happened was that in that very quick wee stop Vish had indeed gone out, had then been caught and came back to the same position on the bench he had just vacated, all in the blink of an eye.
With Kunaal now partnering Jules and barely 8 overs left and 70 runs required something special would be required and with Jules and Kunaal at the crease it was delivered as both Peli bats took the attack to the Stowe bowlers, Kunaal launched a massive 6 straight over the bowlers head and Jules just kept on slapping 4 after 4.
With Kunaal in high spirits he went for another 6 but unfortunately a great take on the boundary sealed his fate on 30 runs.
Now you’re chasing 16 with two overs to go, who is the best Peli to partner Jules, yes its Ali, because as we all know Ali will give you a quick slapped 20 and then will get himself out, so with the scores tied and one ball left Ali was on strike. It was never in doubt as he hit the winning run.
What a great run chase and all done with 7.5 overs less than Stowe.
Jules returned to the clubhouse with a magnificent 85 not out as truly excellent innings, and Ali a winning 7 not out………fantastic.
What a game