Northwood 269-5 Great Missenden Pelicans 271-3 (Julian Swain 140*, Abbas Ilyas 62, Jamie Litherland 40*
WON by 7 wickets
Man of the Match: Julian Swain
With the sky the sunniest of blues and Northwood hosting the Pelicans nothing could go wrong.
9.24am a desparate text arrives from Josh Bailey “Nico the train has disappeared”, not the train is late or indeed cancelled, no it had simply disappeared, more than likely in a puff of Ali Bongo’s smoke, but with texts like that Skip knew the day may indeed be a bit more unusual.
With the team gathering at Northwood and still no sign of Josh or his invisible train Skip and the Northwood Skipper marched out for the toss. Once again the plaintive voices of “Skip its boiling, can we bat first?” somehow got lost in translation as Skip with a smile as wide as the Panama canal strode back into the changing room and announced the Pelicans were bowling. Oh how the team rejoiced.
Opening up for the Pelicans we had Toobes and Vish, (standing in for Josh who finally appeared in a puff of magic smoke out of Nico’s car), the bowling was tight with both bowlers close on a number of occasions but without luck especially Vish who saw Julian drop lets be honest a relatively straight forward catch at gulley. Thankfully Julian being the cricketer he is would put that drop to one side and no doubt catch the next one.
With Toobes and Vish replaced by the now visible Josh and Asad respectively the first wicket soon fell to Josh caught by Hasan, meanwhile the Barbados opener had taken a bit of a liking to the bowling and was cutting loose, until Asad tempted him and the ball was lobbed up thankfully to Julian who this time had an even easier catch to take than before, steadying himself he stood to receive the ball and promptly dropped it.
With Asad going through his full repetoire of skills it was not long until he finally got his wicket. I would like to say it was a peach of a ball that turned 180 degrees and had the batsman all over the place, it was in fact a lobbed pie that only stopped going in a straight line once it hit the wickets half way up, embarrassingly. Asad took his plaudits and stick from a bemused Pelican team. The Barbados opener equally bemused trudged off with 71 to his name.
With Hasan replacing Josh (9 0vers 1 for 62) after a fine spell, another wicket soon fell to Has which brought out the Northwood pro from India. It’s fair to say he looked rather useful as he went about his job with some gusto at one point hoisting Asad for ever further 6s out of the ground. Hasan and Asad took the Pelicans to a well needed lunch and some respite from the sun.
Following lunch Hasan finished off his spell returning very respectable figures of 8 overs 1 for 47 and made way for Jamie who as usual bowled a very tight line and length.
With the afternoon lengthening and players wilting the prospect of tea had never been so anticipated, unfortunately Northwood had decided to dispense with such formality and continued batting and batting and batting.
Such was the discontent from the Pelicans that when drinks were offered Vishal produced the mightiest of flounces and like a naughty schoolboy refused the refreshments and sulked in the changing room. It took the offer of some form of pleasure from Skip to draw Vish back out and onto the field of play.
Thankfully with 269 on the board and 57 overs bowled Northwood declared with their overseas pro not out on 118 and the Pelicans somewhat tired.
After a quick turnaround Asad and Julian started the Pelican fightback, careful mathematics suggested that we would face about 45 overs, the mood darkened.
Looking comfortable and confident Asad faced the Barbadian player, slotted him for 4 and was bowled. Skip’s mood darkened.
Step forward Clive, four runs later step back Clive, Skip’s mood was troubled.
Out to the wicket sauntered Abbas with the Pelicans staring at a not so handy scoreboard of 2 for 34 off 7 overs, the Pelicans mood was despondent.
Such despondence started to give way to elements of joy as both Julian and Abbas took to the Northwood bowling with a vigour witnessed only in a viagra crazed brothel. 4s and 6s were smashed all around the ground as the score rapidly flew past a hundred. It had become apparent why Northwood had batted so long as Julian and Abbas piled on the runs only for Abbas to fall on 62 with the score on 187, a fantastic knock only surpassed by Julian who with a face as red as a tomato under the sun passed his 100.
It was down to Jamie and Julian to carry on the attack as the Pelicans mood aided by a number of pints drunk from the players still to bat started the chant of ‘its coming home’.
And attack they did finally surpassing the Northwood score after only 36 overs, Jamie on 40 not out and Julian on a magnificent 140 not out……unbelievable.
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.