Put optimism and sunshine in the same box, give it a shake and you have Pelicano run of ONE victory.
As the sun shone down on the Meadow Skip and his opposite number strode out surveyed the wicket and tossed for who would bowl first. The Pelicano Skip was victorious and surprisingly elected to bowl, this was not the only surprise to happen half an hour before the game, oh no, the bigger surprise was Raheel and Yusuf turning up also half an hour before the game…..was this an omen.
The Pelicans opened up with Toobes and Hasan, Has was gracing us with his presence until his real friends in the Asian league called him.
The bowling was tight and after 10 overs the Fleet Street Strollers had amassed 17 runs, but for no loss of wickets. With Toobes exhausted after 5 overs he was replaced by the ever-calm Amir. Hasan was also replaced by the mighty JG. The bowling continued the run rate slightly increased and Toobes had that dangerous feeling which is akin to dark clouds gathering namely ‘comfortable’.
As JG’s spell of 5 overs came to an end Amir continued to his full eight, both of these mighty Pelicans went for 28 runs and really the only excitement to report was the run out which to be fair had been waiting to happen for some time.
When the oppo are hanging around and scoring steadily that is the time Skip calls for the King Of Spin himself, with his fingers fidgeting and twirling like a gyroscope that Spin Warrior of Magic surveyed his arena and stared down the FSS opener who had now moved onto 35. Mohammad Kashmiri Fairweather took only a couple of balls to lob a twirler of unbelievable twirlyness which straightened in the air and then straightened further off the pitch, bamboozling the opener, and taking his middle bail clean off. Unfortunately after that ball the Gods looked down on MK Fairweather and concluded he was a sinner as unfortunately he was tickled for 47 runs off 4 overs, but with ONE wicket.
Meanwhile at the other end Asad brought some semblance of cricket normality as he took full advantage of the spring wicket and had the oppo guessing where the ball would end up, for the 16 year old girl it was nestling by the boundary, for the Oppo Skipper it was nestling next to the dislodged bails.
Assad continued his 8 over spell and delivered very respectable figures of 7 overs 3 for 36, it would have been 32 but Skip managed to display all the skill of an offcut of carpet as he let a ball run through his legs in a style only Francis Rossi would understand.
Meanwhile closing the game off at the other end and taking over from Mohammad Kashmiri Fairweather we had Raymond Khan whose magical spell of 3 overs for 11 runs yielded the first and second catch of the young season, both to Amit, an excellent finale to the 40 over innings that mysteriously had yielded 180 runs.
Now tea was an unusual affair, the food was of the highest order as you would expect from Adam, and indeed there was enough of it to feed all of Asia, unfortunately for Adam quite a bit of Asia was fasting need I say more, we all know what Adam was eating today, and tomorrow and next week.
With Raheel and Asad taking to the wicket Skip sat back comfortable in the knowledge that with the quality available 180 runs should be achievable especially with these two openers. As every Peli knows such a feeling can only mean one thing and so it came to pass as Asad attempting to stop the ball his wicket spun round fell over and knocked his own bails off. That was not in the Sippers script.
With Amit taking to the wicket Skip gave his usual advice, ‘you have ages take your time and hit the bad ball’. Naturally this advice was ignored and 8 ruins later Amit returned to the clubhouse having decided to hit a ball into next month.
Thankfully we had Yusuf following Amit who we all remember the last time he was at the Meadow had managed to smash Josh into all four corners of Buckinghamshire. Unfortunately in his haste to win the game in two overs he too succumbed to the twirly lobs from the oppo and trudged dejectedly back the clubhouse having posted 8 runs.
So, when the team is collapsing around you who do you call…..exactly Iron Grip Jeffries. Being the perfect foil to Raheel these two Pelicans started to post a score which went from dire to not bad to getting there. Niron nurdled a few singles here and there and Raheel smashed the ball into next year as he flew past his 50 in no time at all.
Niron even got into the act and started also bothering the boundary. Unfortunately, with Niron on 18 all good things come to an end as he was bowled but what a great effort and great partnership.
Raheel was now ably supported by Hasan who as ever never gives his wicket up without a fight. Raheel on the other hand had decided all out carnage was the order of the day and with 6 runs to win and 6 runs needed for his century there was only one shot he was going to make. Thats right 6………. Thank you very much. What a score 100 not out, absolutely fantastic and controlled carnage ably supported by Hasan who played a great supporting role and was 21 not out.
Excellent start to the season.