Great Missenden Pelicans 277 (Kunaal Kankate 99*, Josh Bailey 97, Asad Rehman 42) Kensington 202 (Josh Bailey 4-41)
WON by 75 runs
Man of the Match: Josh
Kensington, our old friends came to the Meadow, the sun was out and let’s be honest all was good in the world.
Skip and Neeraj toddled out to the wicket discussing all things not cricket, stood, surveyed the strip below our feet and tossed the coin. With heads called by Neeraj both captains watched closely as the coin landed and revealed tails. “We’ll have a bat” suggested Skip, and with that hands were shook and the gladiators of war suited up in their finest white armour,
Raheel and Asad went forth to do battle with the best that Kensington could throw at them. Such confidence against Kensington can usually provide you with a smacked botty and today was no different as the Minister of Mayhem in his finest woolly hat David Behar bowled firstly Raheel for 10 swiftly followed by Hasan for zero. Skips plans were looking a tad problematic. Now elevated to number 4 having sat in his pads all day Saturday Josh “Shadup” Bailey strolled out to bat with all the purpose of a Sherman tank, a rather lanky streaky looking Sherman tank but a Sherman tank all the same that resembled a daddy long legs with leg extensions.
I must confess having watched Josh many times his innings tends to be a bit on the edge of your seat affairs as one moment of brilliance can swiftly be followed by one not so moment of brilliance. And with his first scoring runs being a 4, 2, 6, I must admit that once again I was expecting the expected, i.e. 6 followed by bowled, BUT NO the 6 was followed by a block which brought a mighty cheer from the crowd and a defiant hand raise from Joshy Boy.
It was not until the 24th over that what was starting to look like two batsmen became one batsman trudging back to the clubhouse, not Josh Oh no but our very own Prince of Chesham Asad, out for a paltry 42………..loser. Josh was now joined by Kunaal, playing because Rags had decided to stand down, a random decision that was to have far reaching effects. With the Pelicans score on 115 Kunaal decided to play himself gently into the game with seven singles and a two, Josh similarly had slowed down to singles, but safe singles.
With 30 overs gone and 10 to go the Pelicans score was on 159, Skip announced par would need to be at least 220 and even then, those pesky Kensington’s would cause us some problems. Josh sensing a bit of a hurry up coming on decided something must be done and unleashed in his own imitable style hell, if indeed hell was to be found in the Pink Flamingo Bar at the end of Pier 143, 4 followed 4 followed 6 until on 97 and so close to a hundred he was finally caught, what an innings. The Pelicans were now on 193 after 34 overs, 6 to go, surely, we could get another 30.
With one Bailey coming back to the clubhouse the Pelicans sent out the Old Bailey or the Hanging Judge as he is known in no parts, looking a fine athletic specimen that loosing 2 stone makes you look. Judge Bailey demanded his guard from Nico, confidently he raised his bat, like the finest swordsmith this side of Constantinople, chopped it downlike a gladiator, and watched his wickets disintegrate as he was bowled first ball. Thankfully, he was replaced by a proper batsman Niron, ably supported by his cousin who told everyone he was rubbish. Bails meanwhile incredibly unlucky in his wicket loss explained something about Nico giving him the wrong guard, the tooth fairy being in his line of sight or something like that, anyway it wasn’t his fault ok. So where were we oh yes 35 overs 201 runs. With Skip looking for hopefully another 20 or so runs Kunaal decided it was time to step it up not only another gear but actually a good 23 gears. There then followed the Meadows very own version of Blitzkrieg as hell was unleashed from a knackered split old bat. 6 followed 6 followed 4 and so it went on as the most destructive spell ever witnessed by this individual sent the Kensington fielders to all four corners of Bucks.
With 3 balls to go Kunaal was on 83, he hit a 4, followed by a 6 followed by a 6 to end on 99 not out. Now some would say that the last 6 was hit off a no ball, indeed all the players would say that, let’s leave it there. Anyway, with the help of Nirons nurdling and fine back up display the Pelicans had finished on 277. Unbelievable.
With tea finished the Pelicans made their way out to try and stop what all felt was coming, a Kensington fightback. Opening for the Pelicans we had Toobes and Hasan, Toobes well ok usual fodder, Hasan on the other hand first over first wicket, unbelievable. The Pelicans celebrated but there was still plenty more batting to come.
The other Kensington opener Keleher decided attack was the only form of defence and started to unleash his own version of hell, primarily off the bowling of Toobes, naturally all unbelievably great shots. He was ably supported by Rohan who we know from old can bat a bit. With Toobes commencing his final over and ramping his speed up to 32 kph Rohan was deceived by the quality of the 5th ball of the over, actually on the wickets, such was his surprise that he watched it hit his wickets, not in slow motion, that was the actual speed.
I would like to say the Pelicans started to smell blood but actually we didn’t we knew things were not over yet especially with Keleher slapping the ball around. With Toobes out to grass Skip called the Chesham Prince himself into bowl, and after changing into his party frock he watched his first two balls go for 8. Hasan meanwhile into his final over unleashed his inner man and let rip with a low bouncing stunner that took out the Kensington opener on 53. The celebrations were a little more exciting but still muted, “cant trust them” muttered Skip.
With Hasan now joining Toobes the Joshmeister came on to do battle, and what a battle it was as he ripped through the middle order of Kensington and returned figures of 4 for 41 off 8 overs, what a performance, and following his batting heroics what a day. Meanwhile Asad now with warmed fingers did what he does best and suffocated the other end, unusually he didn’t get any wickets……loser. With Asad and Josh finishing their spells it was time to bring on the big guns, Adam (there aint no bigger gun) and Niron (no one has a bigger gun). Adam as usual took his customary wicket off 6 overs for 38 but Niron with the hands of Shane Warne but without the grip took two wickets for 11 off 3 overs and brought the game to a close with Kensington finishing on 202.
With hugs all around and Cobras to drink the two teams mingled and shared stories of tales of derring do, or just discussed what a great occasion it was. Meanwhile in the clubhouse Suranga assisted by Thilli prepared a Sri Lankan feast that was enjoyed by all those that took part or indeed watched the game. A fantastic tea produced by two of the smiliest, newest Pelicans who have added such a great deal to the club in the short time they have been with us.
With the 2020 season ending what a fitting and wonderful way to sign off, great company, great food and no rain.
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.