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’.
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.