Sunday 21st July vs Iffley Village

Iffley Village 202-6 (Raghu Kankate 3-26)   Great Missenden Pelicans 203-2 (Kunaal Kankate 107*, Hasan Arif 49)

WON by 8 wickets

نہوں نے دیکھا کہ ہم نے فتح کی……… and yes we did.

It was a pleasure to welcome Olie Ross and Iffley back to the Meadow, especially after the slight confusion as to was it a home game or an away game, PG was sure it was away, their match manager sure it was away as well, thankfully two bits of evidence came to light that proved conclusive.

Exhibit A………. An e mail trail confirming the game was indeed to be played at the Meadow
Exhibit B………. Iffley do not have a ground

Following the now customary toss loss the Pelicans were asked to bowl, some call it a toss loss others call it victory, suffice it to say Toobes opened up from the Railway end and Haimes from the Pub end. With the bowling tight the Iffley openers made their intentions known with a combination of wild swishes and placed 4s, offering chances not only with catches but also with the potential of being bowled.

It is fair to say that on another day both Toobes and Haimes could have got the openers out about 10 times each, but the Yorkshire god of cricket was in a particular mood this day and even when the ball was lobbed up to safe hands Arif catches were spilled. With overs being bowled and 4s being taken Skip decided a change of attack was needed, this particularly harsh on Haimes whose figures of 5 overs for 22 runs and countless near misses, but a Skipper’s job is not an easy one.

Taking over from the Pelican openers we had Amir from the Railway end and Rags from the pub end. First over from Rags first wicket to fall, the Iffley number 2 who was caught, a sublime take which showed terrific athletic prowess by somebody, frankly I cant remember who took it or where they were but to have actually held one must have been unbelievable or accidental, lets go with the former.

Coming in from the Railway end Amir steamed in and with all the generosity of a Scotsman with Yorkshire ancestry like Rags reduced the run rate. It is also fair to say that the Pelican catching ability did not improve as Jaffar managed to drop Amir, in fairness it was going about 5 miles an hour straight into his hands, but that was not going to stop the ball finding the earth. Amir took it with good grace or that’s what I took the Urdu mutterings to mean.

Rags continued with his spell and continued to mesmerise the Iffley batsmen, and again the metronome that is Kankate R had another wicket, deciding to dispense with the catching he bowled his man, this was quickly followed in his next over by another wicket, another incredible catch by the Pelicans answer to Jonty Rhodes, again I cant remember who and where they were but it must have been good.

Amir by now had decided to join the wicket taking and finally got his man that Jaffar had managed to drop a bit, my memory is better here, a bit of a dolly to Toobes who managed not to drop it. With muscle memory kicking in it didnt take long for Amir to take wicket number two, this time I can confirm that the catch was an absolute blinder, Amit following and holding onto a ball that was in danger of interfering with incoming planes to Heathrow, brilliant.

Rags finished his spell returning figures of 10 overs 3 for 26, fantastic bowling, Amir similarly finished his spell returning figures of 9 overs 2 for 46 again like Rags a game changing spell.

Taking over from the metronomes of Kankate and Jafri, we had Jaffar from the Railway end and Singh from the Pub end.
It is fair to say that Iffley were pushing the rate on as much as they could but the Pelican bowling was not for giving in as both Jaf and Amit contained what was a run push.

Twirling Jaffar again on another day could have taken a number of wickets, and it is at this point I must mention Ali who delivered one of the best drops I have witnessed at the Meadow. With the ball lobbed up to Ali on the boundary it looked like there would be only one outcome…..another wicket obviously, lets put it this way, the ball ended up going between Ali’s legs and trickling for 4……genius.

Eventually Jaffar took a well deserved wicket, now it says a catch in the book by Kunaal but I thought he took a catch from Rags earlier, anyway another wicket went down and finally Jaffar finished with figures of 6 overs 1 for 53, meanwhile Amit finished with figures of 5 overs for only 20 runs, an excellent spell.

Following said ground mix up there was the slight issue of tea but never let it be said that the Pelicans dont know how to deliver where tea is concerned as a feast of huge proportions was laid out for all to feast upon, indeed it was biblical and thank you to Susan, Haimes, Jalil, Toobes and Amir, especially Amir’s offering which included the Skippers favourite of 3 helpings of home made hummus.

With tea taken Asad and Hasan were sent out to provide a Pelican foundation, and things looked very comfortable indeed as the run rate was adhered to and both Pelicans looked very comfortable, as we all know this usually signifies something bad and on this day the Yorkshire cricket god looked down on Asad and said ‘Have it’. Asad unaware of this heavenly interference had his eyes lighting up as he spun on a slightly uppish ball, he connected beautifully and gave the ball a mighty thumping, deep fine leg stood absolutely still and lifted his hands to his chest, held on and sent Asad back to the clubhouse.

Hasan, the glue to many victories now had Kunaal as a partner and it was not long until he started to take over from asad and find the boundary including a lovely 6, unfortunately the Yorkshire cricket god in a particularly miserable mood saw Hasan on 49 and thought ‘Have it’ and there he was bowled, very very unlucky.

With the run rate rising as Iffley continued to bowl very tightly Kunaal obviously started to feel the after effects of the breakfast of 32 shredded wheat and he started hitting, and then hit some more and then more, Ali his partner could only watch as a new form of Kunaal carnage came to town. I will take you through one over 6…6…6…6…4 (chorus of boos)…1.
It is fair to say there had been murmurings in the clubhouse of not winning but this was soon dispelled as Kunaal swept to a hundred and finished the game with a 6, absolute unbelievable hitting.
A great victory against a lovely team with NO ground

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.