2020 was a truncated season, due to COVID-19. The overall win-drawn-lost figures above are accurate, but we are missing details of a couple of matches – it was that sort of season.
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.
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 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.
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 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.