Sunday 27th June vs Roving Reporters

Great Missenden Pelicans 214-4 (Raheel Khan 103*, Josh Bailey 35, Alex Hill 31)   Roving Reporters 215-2

LOST by 8 wickets

Man of the Match: Raheel

Not a day for bowlers
I mentioned briefly in the last report cricket being a game of ‘what ifs?’.

Counter factual history is not a rigorous discipline. It is interesting as an exercise but doesn’t provide anything particularly useful. However, recognising a potential train wreck and not providing a replacement bus service to avoid a disaster, that’s another matter.

GMPCC batting, now that was the arrival of Sir Surprising McSurprisison (looks even worse written down). Skip lost the toss so it wasn’t a rush of blood to the head or some other attempt to mix things up. God knows a change is as a good as a break, but for Toobes change is what he wants back after he sends his kids to the shops  for some tobacco and a copy of Pigeon Fanciers Monthly.

Opening up, Raheel and Alex Hill. Proper batting this, opening stand of 78. On his dismissal Alex left no one in any doubt that he wasn’t best pleased. I admire his passion and desire to do well for the team and himself but I was concerned that he might hurl his bat at the changing room wall. As the clubhouse is held together by paint and asbestos, I don’t think it would have survived the assault and we would have released a plague of Glis Glis that would make an Australian farmer think his ‘micenami’ ain’t too bad.

Josh replaced Alex, almost a like-for-like, young, hard hitting…

Another 50 plus partnership, Josh garnering 35 before being bowled by a gentleman nicknamed ‘Chopper’. As an older chap, bowling the ‘Prince of Actions’ (A Fairweather, 2021),gentle left arm round Nic was keen to find out the origins of his moniker. Nic enquired if he was a butcher or a hairdresser, he was neither, the name was one from his footballing days, leather balls, no shinpads, goalies in flat caps.

Tony and Ali appeared and departed quickly and Rags joined Raheel for a 41-run stand. Ali’s entry was quite something as he struggled to get his new hat on. He seems to have stolen it from Chairman Mao or Joan Baez but it has brought about a new nickname for him ‘Great Leader’ so it’s a winner.

Raheel batted beautifully for his 102 not out. Shots on either side of the wicket, especially to deep mid-on, who on receiving yet another well struck shot was heard to acclaim to his bowlers about line, length etc. I can’t think of Raheel giving any chances, faultless.

The innings ended at 214/5, 4.15pm GMT.  Toobes announced “1 more over”,  Rags thought he said Anna Kournikova, Nic reckon he heard apple turnover and Raheel missed the lot so off we went.

Therefore, the end of the innings was a declaration, not sure I have encountered one of these before.

Run to the Hills

What then played out was a display of well managed batting that saw the Roving Reporters win by 8 wickets but not before the Pelicans pushed them almost to the wire.

JG and Toobes opened and were steady, no wickets but steady. Rags and Yusuf came on first change and Yusuf picked up the first wicket, the oppo opener for 38. It was a very well judged catch by JG and this gave the Pelis a sniff. Joining the other opener was the Reporters’ captain. He is distinctive in the way in which he prepares for each delivery, he taps each boot and then takes his back lift, he is also distinctive in his running between the wickets.

Steady bowling mean they didn’t get away on us but the scoreboard ticked over at a speed rarely seen on a Sunday. Felt a little like being on the end of Muhammad Ali’s ‘ropeadope’, their running, quick 2s for example, just wore us down until they delivered the knockout punch. In no way did we let ourselves down in the field, apart from Nic who reprised his days playing for UCL in the early ‘00s ‘fielding like a Fimble’ (see below). They ran us out of the match.

Raheel maybe the first Peli to score a century and lose, something for the Iceman to look into maybe.

A lot of discussion could be had about declarations, merits of, too generous, lack of killer instinct but it is not my job as a recorder of events to pass judgement. Do we need to replace fine sessions with ‘self-criticism’ sessions? One for the AGM possibly?

The session in the pub was a dicey one for the Skipper as the President expressed his concerns about the match. Toobes had to have eyes in the back of his head as 2 vice-captains sat there awaiting the judgement of the King Maker.

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.