Kensington 192-6 (40 overs) Great Missenden Pelicans 195-2 (Raheel Khan 90, Asad Rehman 66*)
WON by 8 wickets
Man of the Match: Raheel
Reports are intended to convey an entertaining picture of the day’s play. No disrespect is meant, but if on occasion we misjudge matters, please take it in the friendly and humorous spirit in which it is intended.
Bovingdon 157 all out (Richard Frank 3-8, Amir Jafri 3-26, Jaffar 3-52) Great Missenden Pelicans 159-8 (Asad Rehman 105)
WON by 2 wickets
Reports are intended to convey an entertaining picture of the day’s play. No disrespect is meant, but if on occasion we misjudge matters, please take it in the friendly and humorous spirit in which it is intended.
Great Missenden Pelicans 206-5 (Asad Rehman 100, Josh Bailey 43*) Hyde Heath 202-8 (Waz Choudhary 3-23)
Reports are intended to convey an entertaining picture of the day’s play. No disrespect is meant, but if on occasion we misjudge matters, please take it in the friendly and humorous spirit in which it is intended.
GM Pelicans 233-6 (40 overs, Raheel Khan 118, Amit Singh 48) Ley Hill 199-8 (40 overs, Martin 'Tiger' Christopher 4-26)
WON by 34 runs
Man of the Match: Raheel and Tiger
Khan’t touch this
A sunny day at the meadow, pitch hard and dry, outfield feeling the effects of some badger action we welcomed Ley Hill to the meadow.
Pelis win the toss and bat (a headline all of its own).
Khan and Rehman to open.
Asad didn’t really give an impression of being at the races, in fact he was as much in this horse race as there is beef is in your Findus lasagne. Caught and bowled off a low full toss for zero by the rather useful Ley Hill quick.
Iceman in at three, something to cool it down and steady the ship. But like all ice he was a danger to the ‘good ship Pelican’ and was run out for a couple. Sliding his bat would have made things look less village but that’s it, out by a furlong.
Raheel meanwhile set about his business of accumulating runs, his total blooming like the Hammer’s voluminous kecks.
Replacing Iceman was our hard-hitting number 4, it was ‘Amit Time’. There followed some fierce hitting, boundaries galore. Amit was quite severe on the full pitched (beamer) stuff and the bouncers. Some were called by Messrs Vanderpeet and Fairweather, some were good balls that were equally well despatched to and over the boundary.
It was the short ball that got Amit, an edge off the first change bowler from the A413 end. 48 in quick time, certainly ‘Amit Time’.
Raheel continued to tot up the runs, the fast outfield helping and in concert with Ali, some good running between the wickets. Ali calling a quick single was a singular highlight for this Peli.
At this point Ali deserves a special mention for his work on Freddie from Ley Hill. Freddie dislocated his shoulder in the field and in the time it took for the drinks to be served he had it sorted. A quick twist of the arm and ‘hey presto’ Freddie is back chasing leather. We were told that Freddie has previous in this department having broken his leg while bowling.
Jalil chipped in with a few, Amir came and went and rather oddly the innings closed with 2 maidens.
Raheel was out near the end for 118 and Toobes picked up a cheeky red ink.
233 off 40.
The Pelis 12th man or as most know it, tea was provided by several Pelis and everyone left the clubhouse replete.
234 off 40, fading light and an attack that can only be described as eclectic. We had left arm over and round, right arm tripe and right arm sublime.
The Ley Hill openers made a solid start, the first wicket not falling until 98 were on the board, I think it was 98 it may well have said
such is the state of our scoreboard. This steady accumulation was punctuated by some proper village. Gibbo and Asad both managing to shepherd the ball into the boundary, both occasions defying description.
Adam, fresh from putting some Bath realtors to the sword midweek claimed the Ley Hill opener caught (eventually) by Asad now in possession of the gloves.
Another steady partnership developed until Fairweather got the number 3 out for 22. None of this Robespierre of the lower order, this was batting royalty he was dealing to here.
Toobes brought himself on to see off the Hill’s number 4 but with the light failing spelled himself in favour of the Antipodean trundler.
Following on from Fairweather was Tiger. This was a sustained spell of beguilement and accuracy that saw our friend from ‘over the pond’ claim 4 wickets for 26 off 7 overs. His only blemish was the missed run out, explained as getting cricket and baseball missed up and trying to tag the batsman out!
Meanwhile at the other end…
Ley Hill has amongst their ranks and up and coming allrounder. He bowled with some speed and aggression, including a tasty head high for Raheel.
His batting was equally as forthright. A classical straight drive for 4, two attempts at reverse sweeps had the Kiwi pie chucker scratching his head. He was trying to push the scoring along but alas to no avail as wickets fell at the other end, including a pick up on the fly and throw to effect a run out by the overseas.
Ley Hill finished on 188 for 8, 45 runs the difference, it was hard to see the exact score from the field as light had turned to dark and the curtain closed on another day at the meadow.
Iffley Village 198-7 Great Missenden Pelicans 199-7 (Asad Rehman 59, Raheel Khan 40, Josh Bailey 38)
WON by 3 wickets
Man of the Match: Niron
The one where victory is snatched from the jaws of victory and defeat.
With a team that would give India a run for its money the Skipper strode out to greet the Iffley Skipper with a hearty handshake and a correct call of the toss, surprisingly bowling was the preferred option.
Running in from the Railway end if it could be called running the Pelicans had the old war horse Toobes, first ball…… wide, last ball….. a wicket. Therein we encapsulate a typical Pelican’s approach to cricket.
Opening from the Nags Head end we had QPB better known as Rex ‘uncle’ Albert launching the ball from his minimal run up to trouble the batsmen’s earlobes followed by a lot of “Ooooooohs” and “Aaaaaaaahs” as somehow the Iffley batsmen remained at the crease.
The opening spell from these two gladiators resulted in very few runs and several falling Iffley batsmen. The Pelicans greatest asset was the Iffley opener who in this short spell managed to dispense with two of his partners, one left stranded in the middle of the wicket running for an impossible two off Asad’s arm and the other just failing to reach his ground off rifle arm himself Ali, who dispensed with his usual running over the ball and this time picked it up and under armed it to the gazelle himself Tickler on wicket keeping duties.
With Toobes rested like an old pit pony, Rex continued his spell and finally got his just rewards, the number 5 batsman caught and unfortunately The Pelican’s greatest wicket machine, their opener… bowled.
With our Mid Week Pelican Oli Ross coming to the wicket the Iffley batsmen needed to get some runs on the board and took aim at Amir and our very own Shane Warne, Adam Fairweather. With renewed gusto Oli Ross and the Iffley skipper started to push the score onwards and very soon the hundred was reached, Skip shouting words of encouragement remained relaxed, unfortunately the Iffley batsmen had now started to take a liking to their challenge and our Skipper started to look somewhat uneasy.
With Oli racing past 50 Josh Bailey was summoned into the attack, meanwhile Adam took his only wicket of the day, the quick running, big hitting Iffley Skipper.
To bring us home and partner Josh Raheel Khan unleashed his own version of hell which resulted in the Iffley Batsmen doing likewise.
The innings ended as Josh bowled out a wicket maiden and Raheel, well he finished his spell and Iffley had amassed 198.
Now tea which we know is a Pelican point of honour was served up this week by Niron who it must be said produced a banquet fit for better Indvidual’s than those that feasted upon it, not since the Viking wandering culinary expert Cheffy Chefferson had such excellent fare been seen in these parts.
With the opposition stuffed Raheel and Asad opened for the Pelicans and proceeded to unleash all sorts of merry hell on the unfortunate Iffley bowlers. With 105 reached in 15 overs the target of 199 for victory appeared just around the corner but Skip has played for the Pelicans for too long and knows defeat is only 10 balls away.
With Asad striking the ball at will and on 59 he then unleashed a shot which was the equivalent of a Peli’s yorker and managed to loop the ball up for an easy catch, but at 106 for 1 and with a fine batting line up let’s be honest there was no need to fret.
Joining Raheel we had Josh Bailey, and what a fine replacement he was too as the score continued its upward trajectory to 145 and 17 overs left.
Now as I have said we have all seen these occasions where victory is worth celebrating unless we don’t have some form of meltdown and today was no different.
Following Niron’s splendid tea he then took over umpiring duties and like the Iffley opener decided to even things up a bit as he pinged Raheel LBW. To say Raheel had come down the wicket is a slight understatement, if he had ventured any further, he could have tousled Niron’s hair, anyway it says LBW in the book.
Swiftly following Raheel was our number 4 Amit, dispensed without the aid of the umpire for 0 having swished wildly at a slow straight one. To the wicket strode Tickles who it must be said kept wicket magnificently, unfortunately that would be his only worthwhile spell next to the wickets as he too went swishing at a straight one for 0. Skip again wore the pained expression of somebody who has been here before.
Very shortly Josh also followed the ever-retreating batsmen as he went for 38 having missed the straight one again, Ali was now joined by Jalil who it must be said has been in some sparkling form this year.
With a 4 and a quick single under his belt, Iffley resorted to their secret weapon Niron who pinged Jalil LBW, following the appeal and the finger raised it then took 11 Iffley players to come forward to Niron and explain that Jalil had indeed smashed it into his pads.
Called back but obviously with his confidence shot Jalil also succumbed to the Iffley bowling as he was caught for 5.
With the score on 167 and 32 needed Rex and Ali decided to put a stop to this average display and went back to plundering the Iffley bowlers, unfortunately with Rex on 13 he too missed the slow straight one and trudged back into the clubhouse.
Ali was joined by Amir whose batting style is one of calm indifference, and what a fine partnership this was.
If you want 20 runs you could call for no better person than Ali who hits the ball as sweetly as anybody at the Meadow, and for calmness and serenity call for Amir who brought the team home with two boundaries to make his total 9, perfectly dovetailing with Ali’s 15.
A great game, played with an opposition that are just a really nice set of blokes.
Man of the match…..Niron for making a game of it…… and his tea
Widmer End 118 all out (Raheel Khan 3-1) Great Missenden Pelicans 120-0 (Asad Rehman 71*, Raheel Khan 41*)
WON by 10 wickets
Man of the Match: Raheel
OPB, QPB, APB, UACPB
You won’t need to be Alan Turing or own an Enigma machine to work out what’s going on if I tell you that the PB in all of these stands for ‘Pelis Bowler’. It’s up to you what the first letters mean when you read on.
Toss won. Bowling. Timed match.
Biblical rain left the ground a little damp but some decent sunshine meant that the game was on. We would have loved to rolled the pitch but were unable to get the container open. Nic and Toobes have several keys that should open the lock yet despite this abundance of lock openers they couldn’t gain access. PG will speak at lengths as to the ease at which he can open the container and both Nic and Toobes have been witness, and indeed coached in the technique. This counted for nothing and so we played on a wicket that Boycott would have described as ‘one to learn to play proper like’.
Toobes downhill, Rex uphill. Both tidy and they ended up with near identical figures, 7 overs for 19 runs, 1 wicket for the skipper, 2 for Rex. The biggest difference was the pace. Rex, as I said in the last missive was QPB, Toobes claiming OPB. Rex bowled with pace and the pitch did play a bit of ‘silly buggers’ jumping off a length and hitting the Widmer End number 3 on the arm and under the armpit, nothing malicious just the vagaries of an unrolled pitch.
Widmer End were subject to some effective Pelis bowling, Rags parsimonious as always, 8 overs, 2 wickets for 15 runs conceded. This included the slowest ball ever to bowl a batsman, Rags almost catching up with the ball in his follow through. But the ball that would have far reaching impact was the one that dismissed the Widmer End number 3. This LBW would be like the ‘shot heard around the world’.*
Nic bowled to claim APB and Kavin bowled steadily in his role as UACPB. Between the dross Nic claimed two unassisted wickets, a caught and bowled (who doesn’t field better off their own bowling?) and a bowled. Otherwise, it was head high full tosses, legside shite and half trackers. This inconsistency is possibly more dangerous than accurate quick stuff. Nic was apologising to the batsmen on average every other ball.
Toobes left to sort the tea, Nic stepped in to guide the Pelis to the end of the innings. An inspired bowling change saw 3 wickets fall to Raheel; at one point he was on a hat trick. It was like watching a Mike Brearley/Steve Waugh hybrid.
Tea included a visit from Odin, Toobes’ dog from the underworld. Good scoff again, thanks Ali and Toobes. The Pelis 12th man playing its part impressively.
The Pelis batting is easy to describe. Hard hitting display of drives, cross-batted hoiks (slog sweeps?), sixes, fours, laconic singles and jogged twos. Raheel and Asad seeing off the chase in good time. Rags was heard to complain that as a senior player he should bat every week. He tells me next week he is only packing his shoes.
A great win, with a certain amount of awkwardness as a result of a civil war amongst some of the opposition which stemmed back to the LBW decision mentioned earlier.
Great Missenden Pelicans 177-5 (Alex Hill 61*, Ali Bilgrami 33) Knotty Green 133 all out (Josh Bailey 4-8, Kavin Amarasinghe 3-53)
WON by 44 runs
Man of the Match: Alex and Josh
The last time I saw a Yorkshireman having trouble with his trousers he was made of plasticine and had a penguin as his nemesis. Where that was some light hearted entertainment the sight of the skipper getting about in his kecks was nothing more than a horror show. Declining the offer of spare trousers from several teammates he paraded about like a Chippendale, more sideboard than beefcake.
Toss. Lost. Batting. 35 overs per innings.
In first were good friends Josh and Alex. A steady opening partnership until Josh hit the ground not the ball which went onto to hit his pads and ergo was out LBW. 27 added to his tally for the final reckoning at the end of the season. Alex continued on with brief appearances from Raheel and a frenetic visit from Tickles on his 2021 season debut.
Tickles clearly keeps himself in shape. What Alex considered a single, Tickles saw as a couple, easily completed by running the first one hard. With the runs completed Tickles berated Alex with “I’ve got 20 years on you” and in true Peli self-deprecating style Alex came back with “but I’ve got 10 stone on you”. Not bad for one so young and relatively new to the Pelis way.
Tickles slapped a four and then holed out next ball. Ticks’ stay at the crease shorter than time it takes to read the description of it all.
Ali joined Alex where the phrase “you can call me Al” would have a double meaning. The running between the wickets between these two would be a stark contrast to what had come before. But you don’t need to run when you hit boundaries and that’s what the ‘Al times 2’ did. Ali rattled along to 33 before falling to his weakness, running between the wickets. A timely innings that provided some impetus to the Pelis innings which ended on 177/6. Alex ‘Red Ink’ Hill on 61 not out and JG unbeaten on 13 but a little worst for wear, playing a sweep that aggravated his frozen shoulder.
Entering the fray was the Pelis 12th man, the tea. First appearance since the start of the COVID, Ali and Nic provided a spread of sandwiches, cakes, pate, cheese. Top nosh and fuel for the Pelis bowling unit.
Frank and Bailey opening up, Toobes fully trousered downhill (direction not description) and Bailey Minor up hill. After the opening spells the scorecard read like a drinks order for a Hen’s Do, 4 Baileys in the bowler’s column. Some top-quality seam bowling, the ball to get the Knotty opener an absolute peach. The search for the elusive 5th wicket ended unsuccessfully which brought Kavin and Rex to the bowling crease. Rex is QPB, Quickest Pelis Bowler. Ticks will testify how hard the ball hit the gloves and Rex was unlucky not to pick up some wickets. Kavin replaced the skipper and claimed 3 scalps, would have been more if the fielding had been up to scratch.
Hand of Clod
A skier off Kavin, reaching a height that it was photographed by the Hubble telescope, was shelled by Nic, a caught and bowled by the same and a couple of other chances missed left the Pelis with a total of 5 dropped catches. Not great but not something that defined the result, the match completed with a rocket throw from Kavin bringing a run out and a win by 44 runs.
Great Missenden Pelicans 109-8 (Jalil Rehman 49*) Middleton Stoney 110-3
LOST by 7 wickets
Man of the Match: Jalil
Holmer Green 92 all out (Nic Vanderpeet 3-23) Great Missenden Pelicans 93-4 (Alex Hill 42*/sup>)
WON by 6 wickets
Wendover 290-8 (40 overs) Great Missenden Pelicans 127-7 (40 overs, Raheel Khan 41)
LOST by 163 runs
Stowe Templars 184 all out (Balal Nisar 4-42) Great Missenden Pelicans 167 (Kunaal Kankate 58)
LOST by 17 runs
Northwood 124 all out (Asad Rehman 4-7, Kunaal Kankate 3-19) Great Missenden Pelicans 127-1 (Asad Rehman 83*, Raheel Khan 31)
WON by 9 wickets
Man of the Match: Asad
Great Missenden Pelicans 214-4 (Raheel Khan 103*, Josh Bailey 35, Alex Hill 31) Roving Reporters 215-2
LOST by 8 wickets
Man of the Match: Raheel
Not a day for bowlers
I mentioned briefly in the last report cricket being a game of ‘what ifs?’.
Counter factual history is not a rigorous discipline. It is interesting as an exercise but doesn’t provide anything particularly useful. However, recognising a potential train wreck and not providing a replacement bus service to avoid a disaster, that’s another matter.
GMPCC batting, now that was the arrival of Sir Surprising McSurprisison (looks even worse written down). Skip lost the toss so it wasn’t a rush of blood to the head or some other attempt to mix things up. God knows a change is as a good as a break, but for Toobes change is what he wants back after he sends his kids to the shops for some tobacco and a copy of Pigeon Fanciers Monthly.
Opening up, Raheel and Alex Hill. Proper batting this, opening stand of 78. On his dismissal Alex left no one in any doubt that he wasn’t best pleased. I admire his passion and desire to do well for the team and himself but I was concerned that he might hurl his bat at the changing room wall. As the clubhouse is held together by paint and asbestos, I don’t think it would have survived the assault and we would have released a plague of Glis Glis that would make an Australian farmer think his ‘micenami’ ain’t too bad.
Josh replaced Alex, almost a like-for-like, young, hard hitting…
Another 50 plus partnership, Josh garnering 35 before being bowled by a gentleman nicknamed ‘Chopper’. As an older chap, bowling the ‘Prince of Actions’ (A Fairweather, 2021),gentle left arm round Nic was keen to find out the origins of his moniker. Nic enquired if he was a butcher or a hairdresser, he was neither, the name was one from his footballing days, leather balls, no shinpads, goalies in flat caps.
Tony and Ali appeared and departed quickly and Rags joined Raheel for a 41-run stand. Ali’s entry was quite something as he struggled to get his new hat on. He seems to have stolen it from Chairman Mao or Joan Baez but it has brought about a new nickname for him ‘Great Leader’ so it’s a winner.
Raheel batted beautifully for his 102 not out. Shots on either side of the wicket, especially to deep mid-on, who on receiving yet another well struck shot was heard to acclaim to his bowlers about line, length etc. I can’t think of Raheel giving any chances, faultless.
The innings ended at 214/5, 4.15pm GMT. Toobes announced “1 more over”, Rags thought he said Anna Kournikova, Nic reckon he heard apple turnover and Raheel missed the lot so off we went.
Therefore, the end of the innings was a declaration, not sure I have encountered one of these before.
Run to the Hills
What then played out was a display of well managed batting that saw the Roving Reporters win by 8 wickets but not before the Pelicans pushed them almost to the wire.
JG and Toobes opened and were steady, no wickets but steady. Rags and Yusuf came on first change and Yusuf picked up the first wicket, the oppo opener for 38. It was a very well judged catch by JG and this gave the Pelis a sniff. Joining the other opener was the Reporters’ captain. He is distinctive in the way in which he prepares for each delivery, he taps each boot and then takes his back lift, he is also distinctive in his running between the wickets.
Steady bowling mean they didn’t get away on us but the scoreboard ticked over at a speed rarely seen on a Sunday. Felt a little like being on the end of Muhammad Ali’s ‘ropeadope’, their running, quick 2s for example, just wore us down until they delivered the knockout punch. In no way did we let ourselves down in the field, apart from Nic who reprised his days playing for UCL in the early ‘00s ‘fielding like a Fimble’ (see below). They ran us out of the match.
Raheel maybe the first Peli to score a century and lose, something for the Iceman to look into maybe.
A lot of discussion could be had about declarations, merits of, too generous, lack of killer instinct but it is not my job as a recorder of events to pass judgement. Do we need to replace fine sessions with ‘self-criticism’ sessions? One for the AGM possibly?
The session in the pub was a dicey one for the Skipper as the President expressed his concerns about the match. Toobes had to have eyes in the back of his head as 2 vice-captains sat there awaiting the judgement of the King Maker.
Bovingdon 181-7 (Raghu Kankate 3-31) Great Missenden Pelicans 131 (Amit Singh 36)
LOST by 50 runs
Would you like some fruit with those bowl(ed)s?
A fixture change due to the Chiltern Crusaders being unable to field a team.
I expect it’s due to the kind of crusading that has them chaining themselves to some trees or digging a bunker under Wendover in an attempt to stop HS2 (or HS Boo as we like champagne socialists like to call it), I do recall their number 4 bat being called S.W. Ampy…
The gentlemen from Bovingdon St George stepped up to replace the Crusaders, for which we owe them a vote of thanks. This is a team we know well, some of us better than others. Raheel, (not playing today) and Yusuf (who was man enough to play) turning out for BStG on Saturdays.
Rex Albert joined our merry band, Tony (Tony’s wife Liz really) scouting him out for us. The Iceman slid back in for his first game of the season. We also welcomed the return of liberal politics to the village with a new Lib Dem MP elected only two days previous, we should have started with a rendition of the Red Flag but no one knew the second verse.
Laos has its Plain of Jars, Los Angeles the Hollywood Bowl, now Great Missenden has The Field of Bowleds. Not the trait usually associated with GMPCC (but could apply to the opposition, St George and all that), nor the white powder you use to give you a ‘touch of freshness’ but as in wickets castled, cartwheeled, destroyed, upset, disturbed…
The GStB openers put on 64 and after that there was a steady fall of wickets. A. Ellis top scored for BStG with 82. Wickets were shared, sort of, 3 for Rags, 2 each for Sir Anger and Nic, Rex, the Skipper, Tiger and Yusuf having no luck. We look forward to more of Rex’s bowling, we just need to check the wicket is the correct length!
This lack of need for intervention from the fielders meant there is little material in terms of mishaps to make this report tastier.
Opening for the home team was Iceman and Nic. Grey described the weather, the players hair and the progress made chasing the 182 set by BStG. Nic was first man out after the Skipper pointed out that the innings was already ¼ the way through and we were behind the rate. I think Nic was stupefied by the Skipper’s ability to work outside of his 10x tables and that led him to play a yeehaa to the next ball and to be bowled.
The opening experiment I think is over, not all Kiwis can be winners.
Wickets fell fairly regularly. Amit got a start but a mini collapse ensued. Yusuf got a first baller from the BStG spinner and Niron and Rupert were back in the clubhouse soon after. Rags, Rex and Suranga pushed the score along. Rex smacked a 6. Rags and Suranga a few 4s. Tiger hit his obligatory boundary and that brought our cack-handed slugger to the crease. Toobes got to 10 and then played the wrong shot to a full toss and was well caught to end the GMPCC innings at 131.
We speak at length about cricket being a fickle mistress and a game of ‘what ifs’. We also refer to the book and what is contained within to illustrate settle the issues/of the points on contention.
Toobes may say it was a no ball, as may Suranga but in the book it says out, caught. The umpire at the bowler’s end looked to his colleague for a judgement and with none forthcoming made no moves to change the fairness of the delivery.
‘Some days diamonds, some days stones’ – John Denver.
This was Rupert’s last game before heading North of the border. All the Pelicans wish him well in the land of shortbread and Arbroath Smokies and look forward to seeing him again soon in the Valley of the Bowleds.
The Fiddlers 176-9 (Josh Bailey 3-32) Great Missenden Pelicans 169 (Josh Bailey 38, Ali Bilgrami 32)
LOST by 7 runs
Man of the Match: Josh and Kavin
Boris Johnson’s Hat
It was a warm afternoon when we assembled for the battle against The Fiddlers. The sun was at such a strength that the Skipper eschewed his usual cap for a cricket ‘floppy’.
This piece of haute couture would not have looked out of place on the head of tousled head premier, failing that on Cat Weasel or Worzel Gummidge. Attired in such fashion he headed out for the toss at the end of which, surprise, surprise we were bowling. Sometimes I think he hates us and gains some perverse pleasure of making us run in the heat. However, the die was cast and so we took the field, and to bastardise the old song, “ The Northerner has got his hat, he’s coming out to play”.
Opening for the Pelicans was Skip down the hill with Bailey the Younger coming up the hill. Tidy is an appropriate description for the bowling, the Fiddlers openers starting with a stand of 31. A burst of a wicket every second over from JB and a number of dots to rival a Dungeon and Dragons dice from the Skipper had the oppo 3 for 54.
Next to the bowling crease was Alex Hill. Alex has played for the Pelis before, making appearance in the Stowe fixture a few years back. Replacing Skip Alex continued the tight line, and was joined by ‘Sir Anger’ after Josh finished a tidy spell of 8-1-32-3. I enjoy Suranga’s bowling for its passion and the anticipation of what will come next. Eventful overs garnered a couple of wickets and following Alex was Tiger. Steady was our man from Walton on Thames and Ali took a nice catch to add to the wicket tally. Kavin, son of Thili added another entry to the long list of father and sons who have played for GMPCC. By the end of his spell Kavin had more wickets than his dad, something a lot of Pelis were keen to point out.
The Fiddlers finished on 176 for the loss of 8 wickets.
To give him his due the Skipper, when encouraged (and with few options) will try something outside the box. Like an alchemist we tried something which we all know will never work. Raheel and Nico strode to the wicket, Nic wielding the bat that would be better used outside a barber’s or a sweet shop. Raheel took the strike and played out a maiden. You may remember in a previous match our Antipodean opener succumbing to a ‘Test Match quality delivery’. This time he was undone by a player who as a county representative (Bucks County Over 70s) was too good, second ball out LBW. How long this experiment continues we will have to see.
Following Nic was Alex who, with Raheel steady the good ship Pelican and took the score into the 30s. Raheel succumbed to the county rep and that bought Josh to the crease to join Alex. As far as I’m aware they play together somewhere up country and this experience of each other was evident in the partnership that pushed the home team on the road to victory. Alex went LBW bringing Ali to the crease. With a deftness of touch and timing the long and the short of the team moved us closer to 177 and a win. Josh was bowled for 38. This represented a commendable all-round effort, well worth the long drive from the wilds of Gatwick. Ali, with a rush of blood to the head was stumped for 32. Amit smacked his way to 12 before coming one of the 4 wickets to fall to the Fiddlers 4th change bowler. Thili strode to the wicket, with the pressure of not just the scoreboard but also the pressure of showing Kavin how to put a game to bed. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case and Suranga had similar problems. Kavin however was able to show his seniors what was what and along with Tiger’s mighty six took the Pelis to the brink.
Unfortunately, the brink was as far as we got, Kavin and Toobes pushed it close but we came up short by 7 runs.
Once again, we had a good contest between two teams who played the game in the right spirit. Pelis provided some good all-round performances in the guise of Kavin. Alex and Josh for others it is good they know how to make a pot of tea.
Great Missenden Pelicans 238-5 (Kunaal Kankate 83, Yusuf Khan 58*, Rupert Leach 33*) Long Marston 225-5
WON by 13 runs
Man of the Match: Kunaal
‘Hello, my old friend long time no see, you must be Loozy Loozerstons long lost brother Winny Winnerson’
11 mighty warriors gathered at Long Marston and surveyed the wicket, as ever one for the batsmen.
Skip walked out with the oppo and duly tossed up and lost and was put into bat, could this day get any worse….. oh yes.
Opening for the Pelicans we had Daddy Khan and Baby Kankate. What a partnership this looked, surely a big foundation was about to be laid. It didnt take long for our two openers to get into their stride and dispatch the opening bowlers around the ground, ave a bit of that.
And a bit of it they did indeed have with a combined age of 25 the two openers were crushed by the intensity of the Khan Kankate partnership indeed the 12-year-old girl having bowled pretty well was soon removed from the attacking line up, quickly followed by the 13-year-old boy.
Runs came a plenty and Skip sat back in his chair comfortable in the knowledge that today Winny would come to visit…..daddy Khan bowled by another youngster; Skip not worried sat back as he saw Josh enter the wicket. One instruction, you have ages take your time…….LBW for 0.
Not to worry we have Ali who put a great partnership on with Baby Kankate, indeed by Ali standards this was a new Ali, his alter ego Dool was being kept firmly at bay. Mind you with Ali you always know his alter ego is not far away, lurking in those deep dark recesses and after 10 overs he could hold him back no more. Like the Incredible Hulk out powered Dool Ali. Don’t worry thought Skip Niron has been batting well and can hold up the other end whilst Baby Kankate piles on the runs.
Calling for a quick single Kunaal ran towards Niron, Niron stood steadfast realising there possibly wasn’t a single going, in all honesty there was probably two. Having explained this to Kunaal who was stood in Nirons crease so to speak Kunaal set back to the safety of his own end only to fall with inches to spare. and on 83.
Niron with full intent to atone for his sins was bowled next ball. Skip was less confident.
Taking to the wicket we had Rupert and Baby Khan (the better one).
Now I don’t think I am being unkind here, but Skip was fully expecting to see Rupert trudge back to the clubhouse BUT this partnership with Yousuf brought out the inner Ian Botham from our middle order Pelican and quick singles followed 4s followed quick singles.
As for Yousuf he was in truly imperious form, if only his father could take note.
It was these two giants of the Pelicans cricket team who brought the innings to a close on 33 and 58 respectively, a magnificent half century from Yousuf and a great knock by Rupert.
Pelicans 235 off 40 overs
With a hefty total to defend Skip was rather relaxed, unfortunately that’s when things tend to go a little wrong. The opening partnership seemed to like the fayre that was on offer and gorged themselves on the delights of Toobes (not in that sense in the cricketing sense).
Suranga also came in for a bit of spankage (not in that sense either) so the only honourable thing to do was remove the openers and bring on Mr Metronome Rags and Joshie Shaduuuup Bailey. This brought an immediate impact as Josh removed the opening batsman and then the number 3 batsman. Things were looking up thought Skip.
Unfortunately, as we are all too aware that does lead to a problem. Now it is fair to say the long Marston opener had two shots he was particularly strong with, the hoick off his legs and the cut through the slips. With the trap firmly set it just needed Josh to spring it and the slips to offer the coup de grace. It duly happened and Skip was the recipient, a bit of a dolly, up she went and down she fell the opener on 55 was safe.
No worries it won’t be costly thought Skip, unfortunately the opener had other ideas and decided to use his two shots which quite frankly ones as good as he had why use any others.
With the opener in his mid 60s Josh once again sprung the trap and Skip once again watched the ball keenly as it came towards him and nestled like a fledgling in his hands, cradled with all the care of a new-born. Unfortunately, this new-born was going to grow up with some severe abnormalities as he was dropped once again on his head.
Shouldn’t be a problem.
With the opener standing his ground runs were coming quite regularly but with Josh who had taken the two drops in a quiet gentlemanly fashion and Rags bowling on the spot they were slipping behind the run rate ever so slightly.
With the game still hanging in the balance Skip played his final card, the bowling partnership of Kunaal and Adam Warne Fairweather.
A magnificent spell was needed if this game wasn’t to slip away, and it was duly delivered as Kunaal dismissed the number 4 bat and then the opener on a tremendous score of 133.
Warney Fairweather wrapped up the other end and brought Mr Winnerson in with Long Marston finishing on 225.
A great game on a great wicket, what isn’t there to like?
Lord Gnomes 218-9 (Suranga 4-51, Adam Fairweather 3-19) Great Missenden Pelicans 49 all out (Yusuf Khan 21)
LOST by 169 runs
Man of the Match: Yusuf Khan
The only thing missing was Boris Karloff
Another afternoon of ‘lions led by a donkey’ but as you will see that does a huge disservice to donkeys and is a bigger insult to lions.
The afternoon began with a surfeit of teams arriving at the Meadow. There were the Gnomes, a handful of Pelicans and another team, LRC I believe who had been sent to the wrong venue. It appeared they had been given some crook intel. They had organised the match with someone called Barry, this knowledge, plus the presence of the opposition gave the skipper the confidence that the Pelis were playing at home. It reminded me of the Cheech and Chong ‘Is Dave there man?’ routine, but of course when I mentioned this several people asked me what a Cheech was.
Toss made, Pelicans in the field, there’s a surprise.
We welcomed Rags back and the match marked the debut of Yusuf, son of Khan.
Toobes opened from the Railway End, unleashing a Peli yorker which was larruped to the mid-wicket boundary. One delivery and no idea how the wicket might play as the ball didn’t touch it. From the Nags Head End Yusuf fired up the engine to deliver a tidy 7-over spell. His final ball was a rocket which took his pater and first slip by surprise and was next seen nestled by the ‘sight’ screen (inserted commas to be explained later*). Like Toobes moving Nic to hide him in the field Yusuf then took the gloves, a little bit of ‘step aside old man, watch and learn’.
Rags and ‘Sir Anger’ took up the attack and by his own admission the ‘Ragometer’ was a little out of sync. Metronomic became more Mini Metro, running but not as reliable as it was when it was new.
Suranga took 4 wickets with the Pelis helping him out with some quality catching. The catch at midwicket to dismiss the Gnomes’ Number 3 was followed by some typical muppetry from the Pelis overseas. In an attempt to recreate the ‘Andy Bichel Aussie Rules’ celebration Nic threw the ball in the air, tried to drop kick it as it hit the ground only to miss it, stand on the ball and roll his ankle. Moron! Initial thought was for Nic to leave the field but the bar is set pretty high for leg/foot injuries in the Pelis so to avoid derision he decided to brazen it out. This didn’t stop Nic being asked several times ‘Weren’t you limping on the other foot?’ Needless to say, several single fingered salutes and possibly suggestive hand gestures were proffered.
Around about the same time, a group of ladies who will now be referred to ‘Mumsnet’ set up their picnic just behind the sightscreen, Suranga politely suggested a spot by the scoreboard. They set up camp and proceeded to enjoy some high-quality work in the field, Nic stepped over a ball and then had to collect it shamefaced from the boundary, apologising for his colourful Antipodean vernacular, Amit chased a ball into their sausage rolls. We let them use the facilities for which ‘Mumsnet’ will give us a 10 on Trustpilot, the second-best score for the Pelicans.
Suranga collected a bag of 4 and this success was built open by A Fairweather who picked up 3 scalps for 19, he remains the skipper’s tail end destroyer and leading wicket taker.
218/9, a good effort with good batting from all the Gnomes. It was a better than decent total but there was pedigree in the home team’s batting line up.
Getting your ducks in a row
Opening were Raheel, Dad of Khan and Nico. Raheel was first to go, out to a quite wonderful catch at second slip. It was suggested that bringing actual cricket to the Meadow was one unusual, two not in keeping with what normally happens here of a Sunday. Next to go was Nic. The ball that got him was described as the ball of the century; it was of test quality (what kind of test we’re unsure). Nic left the arena feeling just like Mike Gatting that day in 1993. Amit and Rupert succumbed to the left arm round the wicket (‘Prince of Actions’ according to some), Rags to the bowler who got Nico. Yusuf continued his quality debut with some cracking shots and the highest score in the paltry total of 49. The Gnomes spinner took a bag including Toobes, taken by the same chap at second slip. The fielder concerned is a pilot so it heartens me that he has decent eyesight and a steady hand.
Adam was the last man out. One full delivery passed close to his leg stump with no real shot offered. Adam lamented that he didn’t see it, the diaphanous nature of the screen not helping to sight the delivery.*
Yusuf 21, Amit, Toobes and Suranga odds and sods? And 5 ducks.
There ended the horror, a game that can be likened to a group of people in a cabin in the woods, power goes out, no phone and a bloke in a hockey goalie mask with a chainsaw. For those Telegraph readers amongst us, it was more akin to a Hieronymus Bosch or Edvard Munch.
The match was played in good spirit, the Gnomes are a lovely bunch of chaps, (including an Aussie called Carter) and played a good game.
Both teams retired to the pub in good time.
As for this day, lets park in the multi-story of disappointment and let the council of despair remove it for scrap to the wrecker’s yard of the past.
CANCELLED - rain
For the second week in a row, the weather had the last say
Hyde Heath 19 for 1
Abandoned as a DRAW
Man of the Match: The Rain
The forecast said rain, it remained dry throughout the morning, then only 9 overs possible before the heavens opened.
Ibstone 250-6 (35 overs) Great Missenden Pelicans 163-9 (Tony Harris 41, Josh Bailey 35)
LOST by 87 runs
Man of the Match: Tony Harris
Eyam Village (pronounced ‘Eem’) in Derbyshire is famous for its self-sacrifice during the Great Plague of 1665-66. The villagers decided to isolate themselves from surrounding communities to avoid spreading the pestilence. I can’t help but think the Pelis should have done something similar to shield the good people of Ibstone from what occurred on Sunday.
In a good piece of match management, the fixture was shifted to Ibstone, second only to Little Marlow in terms of windchill factor, as Ibstone cover their wickets. With the weather in the week being less than tropical it meant we could get a game so hats off to the Adam and the oppo.
Toobes won the toss and elected to bowl on what looked to be a fairly tasty wicket.
This is the band of men who took the field…
NB: one Peli named after a night club, several others like Bond villain sidekicks
With Skip and ‘Cold Case’ opening the bowling things were ticking along nicely, one of the Ibstone openers looked like he’d played a bit but so far so good. Josh bowled one opener and had their first drop caught down the legside by Irongloves. This is when we should have put up the barricades or simply buggared off. The next Ibstone pairing put on 150. I guess we didn’t do as well as might in the field and I am reluctant to dwell on anything for too long but special mention must go to Raheel who you may remember as ‘Karl’ from the Marlow match. Raheel is a quality cricketer, bats, bowls and keeps so what happened next was so out of character/the ordinary.
The ball was hit to the outfield. Imagine a long jumper, say Jonathon Edwards. Picture him doing the long jump. Cut out the run and the jump and have in your head just the landing. You got it, feet first finally landing on his backside, meanwhile the ball disappearing to the rope. That is, after long deliberation, the best way to describe it.
Another thing to note from the purgatory that was our time in the field was some very village field setting. I hope everyone was wearing a pedometer as Skip moved players from long off to long off, deep square to deep square. As one direction involved walking headlong into the ‘Ibstone Zephyr’ there were bound to be some tired limbs (Thili, Tiger…) at the end of it all.
With the arrival of Tiger Tiger at the bowling crease out fortunes changed. Things did indeed burn bright as he castled the Ibstone opener for a well compiled 114. Tiger picked up another wicket as did Adam although there was a little confusion as to names in the scorebook with T Harris being credited with the scalp.
The Ibstone number 4 completed his century in the last over and set the total at 250/6. Run rate required 7.14/over.
Opening up for GMPCC were Raheel/’Karl’ and Nick Nick, a name which would prove to be a lovely example of nominative determinism.
The bowling at the top was economical due to the inability of the makeshift opener to hit the ball. Nearly putting his back out on several occasions trying to hit the ball the bat being used more as a walking stick rather than a vorpal blade. Raheel smacked a few with a healthy strike rate but at the other end the runs were rarer than as Voltaire would say “Men, generally going with the stream, seldom judge for themselves, and purity of taste is almost as rare as talent.” Something had to give. Attempting to ramp the opening bowler Nick succeeded in producing a fine tickle to the keeper which saw him on his way. Best it ended in failure as a better execution of the shot would have seen the ball go straight in his face and someone picking glass fragments out of his eyeballs. With our lack of medics in the team I think we got away with it there.
Raheel departed for a well compiled 29, there a big score brewing for ‘Karl’ as he’s getting good starts so it is only time when he cashes in.
The next pair carried on with a 50+ run partnership. Josh fell LBW for 35 and Tony carried on to 40. Both innings included some cracking shots, most of which failed to register with the Pelis on the side line, the oppo providing the only compliments for cover drives for four and sixes over cow corner.
We batted the full 35, ending on 163/9, losing by 87 runs. As a sign of disgust, the heavens opened as we left the field.
Beer courtesy of Ibstone allowed us to have an immediate post mortem. The verdict was Village, not even Village People, Village of the Damned, Furniture Village, Resident Evil Village (ask Tony), just Village.
A grand afternoon played in good spirits against a good bunch of blokes from the Ib.
Man of the Match: the older couple under the blanket on the bench with the Labrador.
Little Marlow 140 all out (Adam Fairweather 3-32) Great Missenden Pelicans 123 all out (Extras 31)
LOST by 17 runs
Man of the Match: Extras
‘Captain Harris I presume?’
Conditions and circumstances in which this match was played were reminiscent of the Golden Age of exploration.
Firstly, we welcomed back from the Amazon Captain ‘Hands of Springs’ Harris. Our gloveman returned from the back of beyond to resume his work behind the stumps. It was like he’d never been away, like that noise in your head you can’t seem to stop, like the hum of a distant A Road you couldn’t hear when you bought the house (only viewing available my arse, only day the wind was blowing in the wrong direction more like!).
In contrast to the tropical conditions of the Amazon was the weather. With a temperature numerically similar to skipper’s quicker one there was an expectation that Shackleton and his crew would appear from behind the pub dragging the James Caird. It wouldn’t be a Little Marlow fixture unless the umpire was wearing an expedition grade jacket with full hood and fur.
A steady start by Little Marlow was ended by Has bowling one of the openers. A run out and two wickets to the skipper meant the home side were looking good. However, the other opener was limpet like and accumulated runs at a steady rate. The scorecard had been completed in red pen, this is relevant for several reasons, one being the colour of my politics and the appropriate colour for the Marlow opener who carried his bat for a well compiled 75.
Karl(?) bowled a steady spell in tandem with ‘Sir Anger’. Suranga’s bowling comes with a decent level of clip and plenty of grrrrrrr. Next into the fray were Messrs Vanderpeet and Fairweather. These two are the scourge of many a lower order and at this stage they were the 2 leading wicket takers for GMPCC. By the end of proceedings only one would be top of the pile and that would be Adam F. Vanderpeet bowled a quartet of reasonable overs but as is always the case the fifth over was one too far, like a bridge over the Rhine it was too much, with the deliveries landing like less like a precision guided munition more like Jackson Pollock on a bad day. Three scalps to our left arm twirler left GMPCC with 141 for victory.
Hasan and ‘Karl’ opened up for the home side. The Little Marlow opening bowler marked his run up almost in the next post code and with his first delivery sent down a rapid full bunger which Hasan played with his knuckles. Village cricket come sometimes throw up these kinds of aberrations and apologies followed ‘so nothing to see, move along’. That said the next ball was TGFS (Too Good for Sunday) and certainly too good for Has. A screaming yorker upset his poles, TGFH (Too Good for Hasan). No disgrace, it was a ripsnorter of a delivery, would have sent any Peli packing.
Clearing not suffering from beriberi, our man from the Amazon strode out to the wicket. Followed a tidy partnership between Harris and ‘Karl’ with fours a plenty as young tyro from the top end tired. With ‘Karl’s’ dismissal by said young tearaway plus plenty of extras the hosts lost their third wicket with the score at 70. Amit and Harris having plundered nine fours between them. With the two aforementioned back in the clubhouse Ali and Niron moved the score closer to the magic number of 141, unfortunately the wheels of the bus failed to go round and round as we may have wished, in fact the bus overheated and clapped out on a small incline and gave up the ghost. The opposition spinner ran through the Pelis finishing with a very handy 5-25. 126 all out, close but no biscuit.
A post-mortem in the Nags Head left us with nothing conclusive on which to pin the loss. Maybe we need the young Montobailey* to use his forensicity to get to the bottom of it all.
Fleet Street Strollers 139 all out (Adam Fairweather 3-16, Nic Vanderpeet 3-41) Great Missenden Pelicans 140-3 (Raheel Khan 66, Asad Rehman 36)
WON by 7 wickets
Man of the Match: Raheel
The opening fixture for the 2021 iteration of the GM Pelicans was against the Fleet Street Strollers who, historically provide a competitive first up fixture.
Flippy McFlippyson, Tossy McTossface, call him what you will but for brevity’s sake known as Skip here on in, won the toss and as is his peccadillo put the Strollers in to bat.
Getting changed the Pavilion Manager realised he had neglected to bring his trousers. Faced with two options, field in jeans or field in batting shorts which are mostly white, the day was saved by Hasan being in possession of spare strides. Needless to say, said trousers were a little tighter than what our friend from the South was used to. These contour huggers play a part later on in some atypical fielding, a long barrier that was not long and even less of a barrier.
In the field the opening attack of Skip downhill and Hasan kept the FFS’s in check with a wicket falling to the skipper by way of a sketchy hold at mid-on by our own SOCO J Bailey.
First change was our man from CSI Gatwick. A short spell garnered two wickets, one of which was a great hold by Hasan at second slip. This was all after a textbook ‘flounce’ from TVPs answer to Endeavour. Having been turned down for an LBW shout an audible sigh, like a tyre with a slow puncture was heard around the meadow. Not quite up to the standard of past efforts but is of course only day one of the season. Despite the turmoil and uncertainty of life at present, I am glad of there being constants in life, a Peli flounce being one of them.
However, there was one constant which was missing from the Peli performance, shelling catches. We held them all, even ones that weren’t catches. Hasan, Asad, Suranga, Josh and Amit all in the book and we can only keep in our memories the catch at fine leg off a Suranga beamer. Keep the image of a beamer in your head, they appear again (and again) later on in the story.
Spin accounted for 6 of the Strollers. Nic (HFNZ) got 3, Adam likewise. I didn’t really want to use the current pandemic situation as an analogy in this report but the reaction of the team to Nic’s successful LBW shout against the opposition skipper/highest scorer/Kiwi that Nic thought was an Aussie was a textbook example of social distancing. A man alone in the appeal Nic was left to celebrate on his own, a complete lack of:
Adam produced one of those firsts alluded to in the title, his first over a double wicket maiden.
Strollers all out for 139.
With a batting line up that went all the way to 11, Asad and Raheel set about seeing off the seven score and no more total set by the men of the pen.
This is a very settled, consistent and effective opening pair. 96 for the first wicket ensured we would get over the line. Textbook shots all around and out of the ground saw the score rattle along. One decent ball is now resident in the hedge across the road. With the score around the 90 mark a side to the bowling hitherto unseen appeared on the field of dreams. Hostility. Hostility at 45 mph (Fairweather, 2021) but hostility nonetheless. Asad took a blow to the nads, he was green. Most laughed, a couple enquired as to his health but most laughed. By all accounts he didn’t have a box in his kit and managed to rustle one up from the clubhouse, fortuitous. Whether this ruffled our man with the name on his shirt we will never know but he was out shortly afterwards LBW. Umpire A Fairweather was pretty quick on the draw, like Tony Hart on speed.
Josh ‘Ted Hastings’ Bailey made his way to the wicket and started his innings like our tail started at 3. Then all of a sudden things got a little tasty. The Stroller’s skipper came on for a bowl and unleashed a reasonably sharp beamer at ‘Ted’. His reactions were up to it and he managed to hook it for 4, it all happened so quickly there was no chance for him to exclaim ’Mother of God’ or any other such law enforcement expression of shock.
This was the first of several full deliveries to ‘Young Montabailey’ with thoughts turning to the people who measured and marked the wicket, 22 yards, 22 metres, half a furlong, near enough is good enough.
Raheel batted well for his 66 and Josh and Niron took us over the line with plenty of overs in the bag.
A great win by 7 wickets followed by a table at the Nags Head for a few after matchers.
Thoroughly enjoyable day, good weather, excellent opposition, as the man on the bike said ‘summer has arrived’.