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’.
Great Missenden Pelicans 277 (Kunaal Kankate 99*, Josh Bailey 97, Asad Rehman 42) Kensington 202 (Josh Bailey 4-41)
WON by 75 runs
Man of the Match: Josh
Kensington, our old friends came to the Meadow, the sun was out and let’s be honest all was good in the world.
Skip and Neeraj toddled out to the wicket discussing all things not cricket, stood, surveyed the strip below our feet and tossed the coin. With heads called by Neeraj both captains watched closely as the coin landed and revealed tails. “We’ll have a bat” suggested Skip, and with that hands were shook and the gladiators of war suited up in their finest white armour,
Raheel and Asad went forth to do battle with the best that Kensington could throw at them. Such confidence against Kensington can usually provide you with a smacked botty and today was no different as the Minister of Mayhem in his finest woolly hat David Behar bowled firstly Raheel for 10 swiftly followed by Hasan for zero. Skips plans were looking a tad problematic. Now elevated to number 4 having sat in his pads all day Saturday Josh “Shadup” Bailey strolled out to bat with all the purpose of a Sherman tank, a rather lanky streaky looking Sherman tank but a Sherman tank all the same that resembled a daddy long legs with leg extensions.
I must confess having watched Josh many times his innings tends to be a bit on the edge of your seat affairs as one moment of brilliance can swiftly be followed by one not so moment of brilliance. And with his first scoring runs being a 4, 2, 6, I must admit that once again I was expecting the expected, i.e. 6 followed by bowled, BUT NO the 6 was followed by a block which brought a mighty cheer from the crowd and a defiant hand raise from Joshy Boy.
It was not until the 24th over that what was starting to look like two batsmen became one batsman trudging back to the clubhouse, not Josh Oh no but our very own Prince of Chesham Asad, out for a paltry 42………..loser. Josh was now joined by Kunaal, playing because Rags had decided to stand down, a random decision that was to have far reaching effects. With the Pelicans score on 115 Kunaal decided to play himself gently into the game with seven singles and a two, Josh similarly had slowed down to singles, but safe singles.
With 30 overs gone and 10 to go the Pelicans score was on 159, Skip announced par would need to be at least 220 and even then, those pesky Kensington’s would cause us some problems. Josh sensing a bit of a hurry up coming on decided something must be done and unleashed in his own imitable style hell, if indeed hell was to be found in the Pink Flamingo Bar at the end of Pier 143, 4 followed 4 followed 6 until on 97 and so close to a hundred he was finally caught, what an innings. The Pelicans were now on 193 after 34 overs, 6 to go, surely, we could get another 30.
With one Bailey coming back to the clubhouse the Pelicans sent out the Old Bailey or the Hanging Judge as he is known in no parts, looking a fine athletic specimen that loosing 2 stone makes you look. Judge Bailey demanded his guard from Nico, confidently he raised his bat, like the finest swordsmith this side of Constantinople, chopped it downlike a gladiator, and watched his wickets disintegrate as he was bowled first ball. Thankfully, he was replaced by a proper batsman Niron, ably supported by his cousin who told everyone he was rubbish. Bails meanwhile incredibly unlucky in his wicket loss explained something about Nico giving him the wrong guard, the tooth fairy being in his line of sight or something like that, anyway it wasn’t his fault ok. So where were we oh yes 35 overs 201 runs. With Skip looking for hopefully another 20 or so runs Kunaal decided it was time to step it up not only another gear but actually a good 23 gears. There then followed the Meadows very own version of Blitzkrieg as hell was unleashed from a knackered split old bat. 6 followed 6 followed 4 and so it went on as the most destructive spell ever witnessed by this individual sent the Kensington fielders to all four corners of Bucks.
With 3 balls to go Kunaal was on 83, he hit a 4, followed by a 6 followed by a 6 to end on 99 not out. Now some would say that the last 6 was hit off a no ball, indeed all the players would say that, let’s leave it there. Anyway, with the help of Nirons nurdling and fine back up display the Pelicans had finished on 277. Unbelievable.
With tea finished the Pelicans made their way out to try and stop what all felt was coming, a Kensington fightback. Opening for the Pelicans we had Toobes and Hasan, Toobes well ok usual fodder, Hasan on the other hand first over first wicket, unbelievable. The Pelicans celebrated but there was still plenty more batting to come.
The other Kensington opener Keleher decided attack was the only form of defence and started to unleash his own version of hell, primarily off the bowling of Toobes, naturally all unbelievably great shots. He was ably supported by Rohan who we know from old can bat a bit. With Toobes commencing his final over and ramping his speed up to 32 kph Rohan was deceived by the quality of the 5th ball of the over, actually on the wickets, such was his surprise that he watched it hit his wickets, not in slow motion, that was the actual speed.
I would like to say the Pelicans started to smell blood but actually we didn’t we knew things were not over yet especially with Keleher slapping the ball around. With Toobes out to grass Skip called the Chesham Prince himself into bowl, and after changing into his party frock he watched his first two balls go for 8. Hasan meanwhile into his final over unleashed his inner man and let rip with a low bouncing stunner that took out the Kensington opener on 53. The celebrations were a little more exciting but still muted, “cant trust them” muttered Skip.
With Hasan now joining Toobes the Joshmeister came on to do battle, and what a battle it was as he ripped through the middle order of Kensington and returned figures of 4 for 41 off 8 overs, what a performance, and following his batting heroics what a day. Meanwhile Asad now with warmed fingers did what he does best and suffocated the other end, unusually he didn’t get any wickets……loser. With Asad and Josh finishing their spells it was time to bring on the big guns, Adam (there aint no bigger gun) and Niron (no one has a bigger gun). Adam as usual took his customary wicket off 6 overs for 38 but Niron with the hands of Shane Warne but without the grip took two wickets for 11 off 3 overs and brought the game to a close with Kensington finishing on 202.
With hugs all around and Cobras to drink the two teams mingled and shared stories of tales of derring do, or just discussed what a great occasion it was. Meanwhile in the clubhouse Suranga assisted by Thilli prepared a Sri Lankan feast that was enjoyed by all those that took part or indeed watched the game. A fantastic tea produced by two of the smiliest, newest Pelicans who have added such a great deal to the club in the short time they have been with us.
With the 2020 season ending what a fitting and wonderful way to sign off, great company, great food and no rain.
Great Missenden Pelicans 202-2 (Asad Rehman 53, Kunaal Kankate 48*, Raheel Khan 47, Hasan Arif 34*) Beaconsfield 106 (Asad Rehman 3-12, Josh Bailey 3-18, Salim Arif 3-36)
WON by 98 runs
Man of the Match: Asad
With the Pelicans on a winning run there needed to be a grand finale and it doesn’t get as grand as a Saturday game followed by a Sunday game.
It is fair to say the Pelicans had pulled together a half decent team as we welcomed Beaconsfield for the first time to the Meadow, with the weather looking decidedly chilly and rain forecast Skip went out to the wicket to toss. Unusually there had been no requests to bat first so it came as a great surprise to all assembled when Skip returned having won the toss which in itself was unusual, and then having elected to bat which was downright unheard of.
Opening for the Pelicans we had Missenden’s very own version of Sharma and Grover, Raheel and Asad, ready poised and cocked to do battle with all that Beaconsfield could throw. Proceedings started at a pace as Raheel and Asad feasted on the Beaconsfield bowling until on 47 Raheel holed out and was sent back to the clubhouse, as we know 2 follows one and shortly after Raheel leaving the field of dreams Asad soon followed with a handy 53 and 112 on the board for 24 overs. This set the Pelicans up for Missenden’s very own Aisha and Pinki none other than Kunaal and Hasan. Frankly there isn’t much to report other than it got colder and colder, then it rained and then Aisha started hitting 6s followed by Pinki getting to the boundary too. Kunaal 48, Hasan 33 brought the inning to an end on a very respectable 202 off 35 overs.
With tea taken the Pelicans made it back out to the wicket in roughly 4 layers of clothing apiece, opening for the Pelicans we had Missenden’s version of the Leng Sisters, Toobes and Josh. It is fair to say the bowling was tight and as ever Toobes was denied a hatful of wickets only by his inability to bowl the opposition out. Josh on the other hand didn’t seem to have such a problem and dispatched three of the Beaconsfield batsmen in rather quick succession. Indeed, so quick was one such dismissal a caught and bowled followed by a theatrical throw down that the batsman indeed did question is Josh actually did have control of the ball. He did. But he was advised to hold onto it slightly longer next time.
With the Leng sisters put out to grass Toobes was replaced by a very pacey 16 year old who was a friend of Hasans younger brother, enter Salim or as it says in the book Serum, complementing the youth policy he was joined by (as it says in the book and which Nico always tells us never lies) Kartic. Young Kartic or as we also know him as Old Kankate was soon into his metronomic run snuffing best. Salim/Serum too was giving nothing away and by the end of his 7 over spell had taken a further 3 wickets.
Now with the game rushing towards a likely conclusion there must always be some confusion in a Pelicans game and this week it was provided by Rags, with his overs mounting the Pelicans were soon looking to witness a Kankate misfire as no runs were being scored and incredibly no wickets either. Finally, in his last over the wickets began to tumble, unfortunately it was at this point that the scorers pointed out that Rags was in his 8th over out of 7.
Now let me tell you this Rags is one of the least flustered individuals in the Pelicans, but on this day, we witnessed a Kankate Flounce. To say he wasnt happy is an understatement as his outed batsmen were returned to the field of play and his 8th over erased from memory. with Serum and Kartic finished the Plicans needed some quality to bring the game to a close, the wish was answered by Rainman and Van De Beak. Finally, correct names. Let’s wrap it up here, Rainman 3 wickets for 12, Van De Beak 1 wicket for 2. Beaconsfield all out 106.
Great Missenden Pelicans 170-7 (Raheel Khan 64*, Asad Rehman 52) Ley Hill 104 (Adam Fairweather 3-32)
WON by 66 runs
West Wycombe 124 (Amir Jafri 5-21) Great Missenden Pelicans 125-6 (Asad Rehman 43)
WON by 4 wickets
Man of the Match: Amir
With the Pelicans gathering at WW ground it is fair to say that there are fields in the Pampas region of Argentina with shorter grass than what beheld us at WWCC.
Notwithstanding the verdant outfield which would be the same for both sides there is a very important rule when playing our friends in West Wycombe, make sure you win the toss and if you do make sure you bowl first.
With history running around Skip’s mind the coin was tossed, tails were chosen and unbelievably tails were indeed the outcome. The plaintive explanation of weak team etc etc you can bat first etc etc fell on deaf ears as Skip elected to bowl, I may be stupid but I’m not daft, or something like that.
Opening for the Pelicans we had the usual duo of Amir and Toobes, to save time after 16 overs WW had advanced to 26, Toobes and Amir had come and gone and Suranja and Rags had taken over. Suranja too finished his spell of 6 overs for no wickets and 13 runs, and was replaced by Panpet Van or that is what it says in the book, we though know him as Nico. Such was the torpid nature of the batsmen can I please give you an abridged version, Rags took two wickets for 30 runs off 13, yes that’s right 13 overs, Panpet Van took one wicket off 5 overs for 17 runs and Asad took 2 wickets off 9 overs for 22 runs but Amir on the other hand was on fire and took a mighty five for off 11.2 overs for only 21 runs, a truly fantastic effort and one which saved the Pelicans from playing into Bank Holiday Monday or indeed beyond.
Now let me go back somewhat, WWCC are renowned for a particularly soporific type of cricket and this Sunday was no different. Play started at 10 to 2 and, with the Pelicans bowling in a very timely fashion the overs soon mounted up. Raheel was like a coiled spring whipping those bails off like Alan Knott himself, a cobra could not move faster, unfortunately for the Pelicans in gully we had somebody who caught like a cobra, our very own Rupert who now holds the honour of dropping the easiest catch of the season so far. Nirons similarity to a cobra well let’s not go there, but Nirons similarity to something that moved fast was not apparent as he picked up the ball ten feet from the bowlers end wicket watched the WW batsmen take a ridiculous run, get stranded in the middle, run back to the crease, Niron finally then unleashed the ball that comfortably missed the stumps. The worst run out attempt of the season so far.
With the overs racking up and more importantly tea on the horizon the Pelicans doggedly stuck to their task to winkle out the WW bats. With 40 overs comfortably bowled the Pelicans requested a drinks stop which was begrudgingly given followed by mutterings of “we will add the time on at the end”. With the clock hitting 4.30 and 45 overs bowled there was 115 on the scoreboard Skip thought it was gettable but with the conditions it could be tricky, WW on the other hand decided to carry on, and on, and on, WHEN WOULD IT END zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz anyway with Amir two balls into the 51st over he finally brought the snooze fest to an end to general mummering’s of thank xxxx for that. Those extra 5.2 overs advanced the WW sore by 9 runs to 124. A very tired Peli team traipsed off the pitch listening to Rags demanding we go for the draw, Skip on the other hand was having none of it and demanded a victory or go down trying.
Opening for the Pelicans again it was those two Ninjas Raheel and Asad, with the long grass runs needed to be run, but a steady foundation of 57 once again was laid by the time Raheel was bowled, there then followed four quick wickets, first Amit for 11, then Asad with a fantastic 43, then Niron for 11 followed by Rupert for 6. Now these may not sound high scores but each run was worth its weight in gold as the WW score came towards the Pelis, but more importantly precious overs were not used up as the Pelicans were now into their final twenty overs, indeed as Rupert departed there were 10 overs left and 32 for victory. Joining Jalil at the crease following Rupert was Suranja, now to say his stay at said crease was brief would do a dis service to the very briefest of briefs going, indeed it was so brief his partner at the wicket Jalil didn’t even notice his attendance. Anyway, out strode Rags to join Jalil and needing funnily enough 32 runs off ten overs. Surely this would be over, not as quickly as Suranjas innings but quickly. Well, to say that Rags and Jalil the epitome of the slow single were on fire, if indeed slow single running were the benchmark, it would be then fair to say they were red hot, indeed like lava.
As balls were defended or smashed to the boundary only to result in a “quick” single the score board limped on with twos, ones and zeros. It is here I must say Jalil looked like Usain Bolt compared to Rags, and indeed the Pelicans were wondering whether the draw was the aim. Nine overs to go the scoreboard read 95, 5 overs to go it had progressed to 98.
As the Mogodon started to wear off 9 was taken off the 16th over, we were back in the game, and then 2 runs were taken off the next over, we were back out of the game, then 5 runs followed by 4 runs and here we were the final over 7 runs needed. Jalil ran a quick single and left Rags at the striker’s end, 6 needed to win 5 balls to go. Rags defended the next ball, and then the next and then the next until with one ball left, we were still on 6 needed for victory. To put things into context, so far, the Pelicans had found the boundary 4 times and all of them 4s, a draw was on the cards……..bollocks. But then Rags summoning his inner Chris Gayle stepped forward and smashed the recalled WW opening bowler straight back over his head and beyond the electric fence, for SIX and victory. What a finish. It is also fair to say everybody played a very important part in this victory.
Such was the pleasure of the victory that nearly all the Pelicans headed for the Swan with the oppo, where once again animosities were quickly forgotten and once again, we came away thinking pretty decent set of blokes. And they engineered as bloody close game which really is what we all enjoy.
Great Missenden Pelicans 204 (Asad Rehman 99) Widmer End 149 (Raghu Kankate 4-28)
WON by 55 runs
With the season looking somewhat depressing the Pelican scorebook wasnt doing anything to lighten the gloom, something needed to happen and at Widmer End, that something did.
Reclaiming his number one position Raheel joined Asad to set a solid foundation, surprisingly a solid foundation was indeed laid as the Pelicans first wicket fell for 105 after 25 overs, Raheel being the unfortunate victim of a particularly well taken catch for 29.
With the solid foundation laid it was there for the Pelicans to feast on the bowling and build a temple of ivory and gold. Unfortunately, our walls appeared to be a little more wattle and daub as wicket fell after wicket.
First one-armed Amir departed for 1 swiftly followed by Iceman who departed for less. The one bright ray was watching Asad take it to the WE bowling ably supported by Josh who announced his intent with a single then a six and finished with a single and a six on 26. Fast and furious was the order of the day as the runs shot up to 165.
Thili entered the fields with the look of demons and in no time swatted the WE bowlers for a couple of singles and a fours before even he departed, BUT he would play a larger part later.
With Rupert also deciding a cameo performance was what was needed, Asad either getting bored or somewhat frustrated finally sent a dolly to one of the WE fielders and he too departed unfortunately with his score on 99. With the truculence of a moody teenager he announced to the team “don’t care”……..class.
With Rags hitting a quick 7 Suranga was next up and with only one purpose in his mind came to the wicket and departed on 11, one more than Thili.
Tiger and Toobes brought up the rear and finished the score on 204. A very respectable total.
Tea was unbelievably similar to the other weeks and in no time the Pelicans were bowling.
First up was the Pelicans very own Chuckle brothers, Josh taking on the Barry Chuckle persona and Toobes the Paul.
Unbelievably and I can’t believe I am saying this the opening spell was very tight with only 25 runs coming off the first 10 overs. Things were looking good until Joshie collapsed in a high-pitched heap clutching the back of his leg, as I said more Barry Chuckle.
With the run chase looking a little less certain Toobes unleashed Rags and Suranga. The mean bowling continued but this time with the addition of some wickets.
It is here we give a special mention to Josh who unable to stand was adopting his Friday night position……….on his knees. There was general disgust on the face of the Skipper at this display and indeed Skip was ready to give him a right telling off for such a girly fielding position when he held on to a fantastic catch in first slip off Rags bowling unbebloodylievable Skip shut his mouth and congratulated accordingly.
Rags though like a circling white shark had the taste of blood and the other WE opener was soon bowled and the number 3 bat LBWd.
Suranga meanwhile not content on just bowling took his first wicket a catch by Mr Reliable Tiger.
Suranga finished his spell on a fantastic 8 over for 23 and one wicket, as Skip decided to call the changes and bring Thili into the action….. and what action.
Thili had explained that it had been some time since he last bowled but who cares we were not going to lose the game, it was about getting the WE bats out. All I will say and it will be mentioned no more, Thili was in danger of seriously damaging his toes with his bowling…………..that’s it, no more, except he was replaced after two very very very long overs by Mr Reliable El Tigre who it is fair to say bowled very well and whose 5 over spell yielded only 26 runs as the WE went chasing the ball.
Rags meanwhile was not finished as another WE bat was caught out by the surgeon like precision of his bowling. Eventually he to dried up and was eventually put out to grass after a magnificent and game changing 10 overs 4 for 28, quite fantastic.
With the WE bats starting to think of a rear-guard defence apart from their number 5 who continued larruping the ball everywhere Asad was brought into action and immediately bowled said number 5 batsman, this was followed by a quick LBW, things were looking up.
It was time to turn to a bit of one-armed wonder, and with Rags medically giving the all clear, Amir was in for a 2 over cameo spell……and what a spell. Let me just say 2 overs 2 wickets 2 runs.
At this point for added gravity I have started a new paragraph to give Josh the room needed to describe his catch at first slip on his ahem….knees.
Diving full stretch to his right like a demented dwarf on speed Josh took a catch Ben Stokes would have been proud of and Stuart Broad would have wide eyed him. Unbelievable again.
Meanwhile back to the Prince himself, well he finished the last man, bowled. I thank you.
Knotty Green 182 all out (Richard Frank 4-34) Great Missenden Pelicans 172 (Asad Rehman 74)
LOST by 10 runs
So how do we come back from a narrow defeat to Middleton Stoney, spot on……… a narrow defeat to Knotty Green.
With the humidity hitting a steamy New Orleans jazz filled cafe that had just engaged the sprinklers the Pelicans with fire in their bellies decided to put the recent loss to Middleton Stoney and their finger wagging, LBW giving, record breaker firmly in the past. First off Skip lost the toss, the Pelicans were put into bat…..Skip won the toss. After many years away the Pelicans welcomed back the one and only Tiger looking, identical to the one and only Tiger of a number of years ago but with a more grown up family.
Opening for the Pelicans we saw Toobes and Amir take to the field, looking honed and athletic the dynamic duo took it to the Knotties and in no time had sent the number 1 and 3 back to the clubhouse, one Patel quickly followed by another Patel only two more Patels to go. With Toobes initial spell drawing to a close one last effort was required and there, to provide the reward was Suranga who fielding at cover leapt like a salmon and clung on one handed to the Knotties number 3 , another Patel found himself trudging back to the clubhouse leaving one more Patel. With Toobes being put out to rest like a limping racehorse Amir continued his spell weaving his own variety of magic followed by some polite questioning of the umpires no ball policy. Needless to say, such polite questioning fell on deaf ears and our Beaconsfield hero carried on.
Taking over from Amir we saw Rags back to his most mean spirited best as the run rate started to dry up as the bowling became ever more accurate, in fact it can be said the intense training of hand to mouth coordination the night before had paid off as the Knotties found it increasingly difficult to cart the Ragmeister anywhere. Suranga meanwhile had started his spell, once he had compensated for the Knotties slope he to soon started zeroing in on the batsmen.
It must be said at this stage of the game we were feeling not to bad, the two batsmen in could certainly hit the ball but they also hit an awful lot up into the air. Now as I am sure everybody who follows Pelicans cricket is aware our fielding has the ability to veer from Jonty Rhodes to Dusty Roads at the drop of a hat, it gives me no pleasure at all to say this Sunday not only was the road dusty, but the tarmac had peeled, weeds had taken root and there were more potholes than a Buckinghamshire dual carriageway.
Both Rags and Suranga bowled well and eventually departed with figures of 7 overs for 25 and 5 overs for 32 respectively. Following Suranga the Pelicans turned to the Love missile that is Nico, unfortunately this love missile seemed to have a wet fuse as the Knotty 5 and 6 dined on the table fare offered, things were looking a bit bleak.
This was a day to remember for all the wrong reasons as the Pelicans watched these two bats take 97 runs whilst catches were spilt, and runs were missed……… we were shocking.
Only some miracle could get these two out who seemed to have more luck than a leprechaun holding a rabbit’s foot. So what happened…….. the Knotty number 5 went for a rather silly run and was given out by his umpire, all fine surely, but no, said bat was not happy and left in a swirl of disgust aimed at the umpire, Skip could only look on somewhat bemused. The other Knotty bat was then dispatched by Amir who had now come back on to finish his 7 over spell clean bowled. Following Amir we welcomed Tiger, who like Suranga actually had managed to hold onto a catch.
Anyway our unorthodox American spinner soon had the Knotties in all sorts of trouble and in no time at all snaffled two wickets, indeed by the end of the game his figures were 2 overs 10 for 2 Not bad for a many year layoff. Asad wrapped up the innings with a caught and bowled with the Knotties on 182 all out. And the fourth Patel……..not out.
Opening the batting for the Pelicans was Asad and wait for it……………..Nico, Still dinning out on his partnership of many of which he scored few with Asad at Bledlow over many overs.
If you want to know what happened next please refer back to my match report for Bledlow V Pelicans two years ago.
An abridged version for those new to the club……Asad 4s followed by 6s followed by quick runs, Nico singles and defence. The partnership was finally broken at about 90 runs with Nico departing on 17 runs after a marathon 19 overs. A solid foundation was set the run chase was on and the Pelicans had 15 overs to get just under 100 runs. Step forward Mighty Niron who in his haste to hurry the runs on lofted a ball to the wicket keeper, Raheel then came to the stage and with Asad started to pepper the boundary and take the fight to the Knotties. The Pelicans were looking in good form, I know I say at this point that disaster always happens and guess what ….it did as Asad holed out to a pretty decent catch on the boundary for 74 runs. Raheel with his new found form continued with his version of slash and burn and was joined by Rupert who after a slow start continued to bat with a gusto.
All good things come to an end and unfortunately for Raheel it was when he was on 25 as he too was caught on the boundary. Rupert soon went for a run which wasn’t there but was worth the effort and fell on 16, which brought Suranga to the crease who joined his fellow Sri Lankan and saw Thili launch a mighty 6 into the trees. That was the last offering I’m afraid as the Pelicans fell 10 short on the run chase.
MIddleton Stoney 187 Great Missenden Pelicans 166 (Asad Rehman 86, Raheel Khan 62)
LOST by 21 runs
Holmer Green 183 all out (Suranga 3 run outs) Great Missenden Pelicans 187-9 (Josh Bailey 43, Suranga 33, Richard Frank 29*)
WON by 1 wicket
Man of the Match: Suranga
Having started with an L, progressed to a D, were the Pelicans going to upgrade to a W? Of course they were.
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
Winchmore Hill 202-6 (Asad Rehman 3-46) Great Missenden Pelicans 200-5 (Asad Rehman 144*)
Man of the Match: Asad
Things surely could only get better following the game we will not speak about and do you know what……they did.
The Pelicans massed at Winchmore Hill, lovely ground lovely oppo and things immediately looked good with Skip winning the toss, naturally with the decision taken to bowl the Pelicans took to the field ready for action.
Opening for the Pelicans we had the new partnership of Toobes and Amir, now it is fair to say that last week this partnership were less Anderson and Broad and more Laurel and Hardy, but this week they bought their B game, well Amir did, Toobes was more B-.
With these leviathans of cricket in full flow it wasn’t long for the first wicket to fall, Raheel holding onto a chip up to him at cover off Toobes, Amir soon nabbed his first wicket of the season a fine catch at slip from the chicken Prince himself, Asad.
With the Pelicans on a roll Skip called the changes and took himself off followed one over later by Amir who posted very respectable figures of 1 for 10 off 5 overs, it was obviously in the bag.
With hand sanitation a plenty Suranga showed true Pelican class and took over the bowling honours from Toobes, having fitted into the Pelican team like a glove it wasn’t long before the Winchmore Hill bats took a bit of a liking to his bowling. Holding up the opposite end we had the Pelicans version of Venom…..Nico. This Dutch Cap was into his stride in no time and although he didn’t get a wicket he nearly held onto an absolute rocket that was homing in on the Van Der Peet Goolies. Thankfully the Van Der Peet hands stopped the rocket from doing any damage much to Mrs Van Der Peet’s joy no doubt.
With Suranga and Nico bowling, a special call out must got to Rupert Leach, who we welcomed back to his first game with a fielding position of pure unadulterated genius, Deep Cover and Deep Mid-Wicket. Why you may ask……Well it is possibly fair to say that this weekend’s incarnation of the Pelicans was possibly not our most mobile, and with Rupert possessing two legs the positions were his.
As the runs came Suranga and Nico were retired like pit ponies on their way to a Tesco farm, to be replaced by the King of Spin himself and Asad.
Albino Adam Cornwall soon had the Winchmore Hill batsmen in all sorts of problems generally from a fear of shoulder dislocation as the ball was carted to all 6 corners of Bucks. Asad meanwhile at the other end contained the Winchmore bats with a combination of spitting spin and full tosses, the good balls took the wickets, the rubbish was smacked to the other 6 corners of Bucks.
With Adam sending Skip the universal sign of its possibly not working, the hand drawn across the throat he too was retired following Nico and Suranga.
Step forward Raheel who in no time took his first wicket, another catch by Asad to remove the Winchmore bat who could hit it a bit.
With runs now drying up as quick as Rupert’s energy levels the innings drew to a close with Winchmore Hill on a very respectable 202….
Tea was, well rubbish really but thats Covid for you.
With the game somewhat interrupted by rain the Pelican openers took to the field slightly later than expected.
With the words ringing in Raheel’s and Asad’s ears “we are not the strongest stay in” the scene was set for a magnificent chase down.
As Raheel and Asad executed Skip’s plan like a dream, he settled back with the look of a Skipper who has just downed a pint of Smug. As Raheel holed out to Mid Off it appeared that said pint of Smug had indeed been contaminated with Rohipnol.
Taking over from Raheel who after two failures must now be concerned about his position ( he probably isn’t) The Iceman came in to show him how it should be done, namely be the Dame Margot Fontaine to Rudolph Nureyev, and for 10 overs he did just that as he watched Asad assault the WH bowling with a gusto. The Iceman himself smashed a couple of fours and looked very happy with things until he too was caught out, though having seen the score now nudge 100.
With his legs suitably refreshed Rupert took to the field and looked like he had never been away as he now played the Bonnie to the Pelicans Clyde, his sprinted singles and quick running pushed the score onto 123 as the Pelis or more accurately Asad closed in on the WH score.
Now it’s at this point that following last week’s carnage from Suranga that Skip was expecting to see the WH back finally be broken, it soon became apparent that Surangas defensive shot is exactly the same as his almighty back breaking smash shot and after two overs with a smile as broad as a Glaswegian accent Suranga left the field with the addition to the score board of One……a true Pelican.
Now it’s at this stage of the game that we tend to see a degree of calmness and swishyness as Niron takes to the wicket, but hold on, today Niron had been inhabited by his deep alter ego Runny Runnerson the famous Viking Runner of just over 20 yards and just below 26 yards.
Now the book may only say 6 for Niron but the 4 overs he occupied with Asad took the score from 129 to 166 as he ensured the Chesham Prince retained strike, how did said Prince repay him, in the only way he knows how……he ran him out.
Enter the Chesham King 6 overs to go 43 to get, this father and son partnership tried and tried but it was not to be with the Pelicans finally finishing the game on 200, and Asad on 144 plus 3 wickets, what an effort, and obviously man of the match, after Rupert.
Great Missenden Pelicans 137 (Kunaal Kankate 40, Asad Rehman 35) Ballinger 141-3 (Asad Rehman 2-27)
LOST by 7 wickets
Man of the Match: Suranga
History tells us the Pelicans are never very good starters to the season, unfortunately having dispensed with the start of the season and commenced mid-season it is apparent our mid-season is a bit suspect too.
First game of the year we welcomed Ballinger to the Holy Meadow, looking resplendent due to months of inactivity.
Skip strode out to the wicket and promptly lost the toss, so far so familiar. Then the opposition Skip uttered the words no Pelican skipper likes to hear, “we are a bit young so we will put you into bat” Now what the oppo was saying was blooding new players and could be weak, what Skip heard was young enthusiastic fielders, will have boundless energy. We were doomed.
Every cloud as they say though has a silver lining and today was no exception as the Pelicans welcomed two new players Suranga and Jack, both players on the right side of 40, today would be a day where they would see true Pelican cricket, they would not be disappointed.
Opening for the Pelicans we had our two most devastating bats, Raheel and Asad. Within 5 minutes we had our two most devastating bats Asad and Kunaal. Not the greatest of starts as Raheel was skittled by a 12 year old, but nothing to worry Skip.
As expected Asad and Kunaal went about the Ballinger bowlers with a combination of 4s, a 6 and a single, all was looking rosy in the garden until Asad decided to scoop one back to the Ballanger opening bowler for 35. With the score on 62 for 2 Kunaal was joined by the Pelicans very own rock of Gibraltar, Niron Thou shalt not pass Jeffries.
Unfortunately Kunaal departed a few overs later for 40 and Niron was joined by non other than Nico.
Now under normal circumstances I would be bringing back memories of Bledlow and 29 tortuous runs after 24 overs, but seeing the need for a speedy run rate Nico was like a spring chicken, shouting out the singles. Unfortunately Niron try as he may just couldn’t connect with the ball and waft followed slash followed waft, all followed by a perfectly executed practice shot of what he should have done.
To cut a long story short, Nico went for 2, ever pushing the run rate, Rags went for 4 still pushing the run rate, bringing new Peli Jack out to the wicket.
Niron finally departed on a solid 10, we will forget about the run rate. This meant that Jack was joined by our second Peli debutant Suranga, and our score on not enough.
Jack immediately got into the game with scurrying singles, twos and a four meanwhile Suranga unleashed his own version of hell as sixes rained down on the boundary.
This dynamic duo dragged the Pelicans into the realms of scoring respectability, unfortunately first Jack went on 12, then Amir and then Suranga on 26. Adam was our not out batsman on a lusty 1, but still 137 was not really going to be enough.
It is normal at this stage of the report I write about our tea which is usually a sumptuous affair, this time due to the covid regulations and as advised by Skip tea was to be brought from home by each individual for each individual.
Well where do I start on chicken gate.
Raheel asking for somebody to take over the umpiring with about half an hour to tea looked over at Asad, Skip shouted said request to the Chesham Prince only to be advised that he would take over in about 10 minutes, he then jumped into his car and headed out of the Meadow, Skip looked on but thought nothing of it. After 10 minutes and no Asad Nico took over the umpiring. With the players coming off for tea there was still no sign of Asad. As the teams were warming up still the Prince of Chesham was nowhere to be seen, indeed Skip was informed that the 10 minute departure was infact a drive back to Chesham to pick up a chicken take away. It became apparent from the time it was taking that Asad was indeed rearing said chickens from eggs as the teams made their way out to the wicket with Chicken Asad still rearing his fowl. Skip now realised he now had a wicketkeeper problem as Asad was indeed down for the position. There then followed a comedy act of Jack willing to give it a go until Niron, he of the spring loaded gloves stepped forward and donned the pads.
Words fail me, suffice to say Asad eventually re joined the game.
Toobes meanwhile started his spell from the railway end and Amir from the Nags end.
I wont bore you with the details but these two giants of the bowling world were carted to all four corners of Buckinghamshire, and accounted for more lost balls than Asad could eat chicken dinners.
The bowling was very average, and like two knackered pit ponies Skip took them both off to finish their days in either a glue factory or a Tesco beef pie.
Some semblance of normality returned as the Chesham Prince bowled two of the Ballinger bats and Rags reduced their scoring notably but it was too little too late as the Ballanger opener scored 87 runs not out but dropped 4 times.
The game could only end one way with Jack coming on for the final over and hitting Kunaal’s helmet which was on the ground giving away 5 runs.
All in all very village.
But as I said earlier we have found two new Pelicans who can play.
Next up Winchmore Hill Away, it cant get any worse.