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.
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.
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
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.
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.
118 vs Ley Hill, September 5th
103* vs Roving Reporters, June 27th
105 vs Bovingdon, September 19th
100 vs Hyde Heath, September 12th
90 vs Kensington, September 26th
66 vs Fleet Street Strollers, April 18th
83* vs Northwood, July 12th
71* vs Widmer End, August 22nd
66* vs Kensington, September 26th
59 vs Iffley Village, August 29th
83 vs Long Marston, June 6th
58 vs Stowe Templars, July 14th
61* vs Knotty Green, August 15th
58* vs Long Marston, June 6th