With hopes held high the Pelicans were welcomed to LMCC to continue what would be a season of victories.

With the toss won by Skip the obvious decision was bowl first, much to the surprise of the team.

Opening up for the Pelicans were the two dependable bowlers of Toobes and Has, on this 40 over game a miserly batting display would no doubt ensue.

Now I won’t bore you with the details but Has’s first 5 overs produced a very respectable return of only 21 runs, unfortunately Toobes was on the receiving end of said God, Mr Carnage as he was launched out of their ground and into next week on numerous occasions, indeed the second over itself went for 20 runs which as I am sure a number of you mathematicians will have already noted was 1 less than Has’s 5 over spell. Let’s be honest Toobes had managed to find the perfect arc of the left-handed opener and for reasons known only to him continued to feed that arc. With 10 overs completed LMCC had amassed 74 runs and the Pelicans were staring down a score of circa 300 runs, well they would have been if every bowler was as incompetent as Toobes thankfully they were not.

Enter the Dragon…..Amir…. deciding to reduce the LMCC opening pair to something under 800 he set about bowling in a fashion Toobes could only admire combining accuracy with wickets, three infact as he took out the left-handed opener that had feasted on Toobes a great catch by Josh not surprisingly on the boundary and the number 4 bat clean bowled. Not happy to take the plaudits for two wicket Amir then clean bowled the number 6 batsman.
Whilst this display of bowling perfection was taking place a cricketing vision was ably playing a significant supporting role of magic….. step forward New Zealand’s finest, Nico Gandalf Van De Lillee, no grey wizard here a full on white one. The 8 over spell produced figures of 2 wickets for 34 runs, the first one being the number three bat who edged it to Sweep Tony behind the stumps who would go on to snaffle a further two victims, and a clean bowling of the number 5. It must be said that Nico is renowned for bowling well for circa 4 overs and then the wheels have a tendency to wobble off, apart from the beamer which cleared the batsman by about 8 feet in the 6th over everything else was on the money. Between them they pinned LMCC back into the column of chase-ability for the Pelicans.

As the game entered its final overs Raheel took to the crease and delivered a typically Raheel spell 5 overs 18 runs one wicket, the one wicket was of the number two bat who had amassed 75 runs, excellent bowling.

Supporting Raheel from the opposite end we had Amir finishing his spell to finally return figures of 8 overs 3 wickets for 32 a fantastic spell of bowling , and Hasan who finished his spell off by claiming his first wicket. Supporting Has the Pelicans brought in the secret weapon that is Waz. With flight and guile, it is fair to say he kept the LMCC batsmen guessing as to where the ball would pitch or indeed if it would. It was this tactic that saw the number 8 bat caught behind once again by Tony who was having a good day in the office. Following Has, Toobes came back into the fight and the teams joy and support was there to be heard as shouts of is there anybody else available.

The LMCC innings was finally wrapped up and a score of 197 posted.

Now before we leave the GMPCC fielding display there must be a few notable shout outs.

First is to Josh who having given Asad a small amount of Joshy ribbing for missing an easy over the shoulder skier that was about 20 yards from him, Josh too missed a to the side of his shoulder skier that dropped out of his hands.
Second, complementing Nico’s bowling was his own unusual fielding technique which basically revolves around using any other part of his body to stop the ball apart from his hands, indeed the knees are this modern-day Jonty Rhodes particular weapon of choice.

Thirdly, I won’t try and describe Waz’s attempt to catch the LMCC batsman out other than to say the look of terror and skill to dodge that ball were an example for all those people out there thinking of heading to Ukraine and keeping clear of Russian snipers.

With tea taken the Pelican opening pairing of Asad and Raheel were sent out to set a solid foundation.

Unbelievably after 10 overs these two giants were ahead of the run rate by 5 runs, it’s fair to say Skip was sitting a bit easier in his bench which as everybody knows is the time things don’t quite happen as planned, Raheel pinged LBW for 21. Stepping forward in the number three spot we had Joshy B not some Philly rapper but our own opening bowler. Now I would like to say that Josh plays a patient sort of batting, but I would be completely lying as the desire to take the leather off the ball becomes too great to control. Having said that all those spectators do witness a fun filled batting display which this time came to an end after 20 runs, bowled going for a shot that would have no doubt yielded 12 runs.

Whilst this was going on Asad was doing what Asad does best namely smash the living daylights out of any ball marginally off target. The inning was notable with some truly sumptuous sixes which were a joy to watch, unfortunately the inning came to an end too quickly as he was caught out on 47. A great knock by the Black Prince himself (not my name).

With Ali and Tony out at the wicket it was hoped that some semblance of normality would ensue, and indeed it did as Ali smashed a ball for 4 and then was out, mind you Tony on the other hand in his year away has added a second shot to his armoury namely the cut to go alongside the legendary sweep. Looking imperious at the crease Tony started to guide the good ship Pelican to a winning total, unfortunately Amir couldn’t keep with him for too long and after 27 runs were on the scoreboard Tony too decided to depart the field leaving Iceman ready to take up the task of potential victory alongside Hasan. These two settled in nicely as Hasan started doing what he does best which is guide the team home even after Icey departed quickly followed by Toobes and Nico, leaving Waz left.

After carefully selecting his shots keeping as much of the strike as possible it was only a matter of time when a brain fade moment would happen and with 4 balls still to be bowled Has went for a single, the smacking on his head with the bat tended to give it away that Has thought he had made a slight boo boo, and so it was as poor Waz was skittled.

20 runs short but a thoroughly enjoyable game against great opposition.