Iffley Village 198-7 Great Missenden Pelicans 199-7 (Asad Rehman 59, Raheel Khan 40, Josh Bailey 38)
WON by 3 wickets
Man of the Match: Niron
The one where victory is snatched from the jaws of victory and defeat.
With a team that would give India a run for its money the Skipper strode out to greet the Iffley Skipper with a hearty handshake and a correct call of the toss, surprisingly bowling was the preferred option.
Running in from the Railway end if it could be called running the Pelicans had the old war horse Toobes, first ball…… wide, last ball….. a wicket. Therein we encapsulate a typical Pelican’s approach to cricket.
Opening from the Nags Head end we had QPB better known as Rex ‘uncle’ Albert launching the ball from his minimal run up to trouble the batsmen’s earlobes followed by a lot of “Ooooooohs” and “Aaaaaaaahs” as somehow the Iffley batsmen remained at the crease.
The opening spell from these two gladiators resulted in very few runs and several falling Iffley batsmen. The Pelicans greatest asset was the Iffley opener who in this short spell managed to dispense with two of his partners, one left stranded in the middle of the wicket running for an impossible two off Asad’s arm and the other just failing to reach his ground off rifle arm himself Ali, who dispensed with his usual running over the ball and this time picked it up and under armed it to the gazelle himself Tickler on wicket keeping duties.
With Toobes rested like an old pit pony, Rex continued his spell and finally got his just rewards, the number 5 batsman caught and unfortunately The Pelican’s greatest wicket machine, their opener… bowled.
With our Mid Week Pelican Oli Ross coming to the wicket the Iffley batsmen needed to get some runs on the board and took aim at Amir and our very own Shane Warne, Adam Fairweather. With renewed gusto Oli Ross and the Iffley skipper started to push the score onwards and very soon the hundred was reached, Skip shouting words of encouragement remained relaxed, unfortunately the Iffley batsmen had now started to take a liking to their challenge and our Skipper started to look somewhat uneasy.
With Oli racing past 50 Josh Bailey was summoned into the attack, meanwhile Adam took his only wicket of the day, the quick running, big hitting Iffley Skipper.
To bring us home and partner Josh Raheel Khan unleashed his own version of hell which resulted in the Iffley Batsmen doing likewise.
The innings ended as Josh bowled out a wicket maiden and Raheel, well he finished his spell and Iffley had amassed 198.
Now tea which we know is a Pelican point of honour was served up this week by Niron who it must be said produced a banquet fit for better Indvidual’s than those that feasted upon it, not since the Viking wandering culinary expert Cheffy Chefferson had such excellent fare been seen in these parts.
With the opposition stuffed Raheel and Asad opened for the Pelicans and proceeded to unleash all sorts of merry hell on the unfortunate Iffley bowlers. With 105 reached in 15 overs the target of 199 for victory appeared just around the corner but Skip has played for the Pelicans for too long and knows defeat is only 10 balls away.
With Asad striking the ball at will and on 59 he then unleashed a shot which was the equivalent of a Peli’s yorker and managed to loop the ball up for an easy catch, but at 106 for 1 and with a fine batting line up let’s be honest there was no need to fret.
Joining Raheel we had Josh Bailey, and what a fine replacement he was too as the score continued its upward trajectory to 145 and 17 overs left.
Now as I have said we have all seen these occasions where victory is worth celebrating unless we don’t have some form of meltdown and today was no different.
Following Niron’s splendid tea he then took over umpiring duties and like the Iffley opener decided to even things up a bit as he pinged Raheel LBW. To say Raheel had come down the wicket is a slight understatement, if he had ventured any further, he could have tousled Niron’s hair, anyway it says LBW in the book.
Swiftly following Raheel was our number 4 Amit, dispensed without the aid of the umpire for 0 having swished wildly at a slow straight one. To the wicket strode Tickles who it must be said kept wicket magnificently, unfortunately that would be his only worthwhile spell next to the wickets as he too went swishing at a straight one for 0. Skip again wore the pained expression of somebody who has been here before.
Very shortly Josh also followed the ever-retreating batsmen as he went for 38 having missed the straight one again, Ali was now joined by Jalil who it must be said has been in some sparkling form this year.
With a 4 and a quick single under his belt, Iffley resorted to their secret weapon Niron who pinged Jalil LBW, following the appeal and the finger raised it then took 11 Iffley players to come forward to Niron and explain that Jalil had indeed smashed it into his pads.
Called back but obviously with his confidence shot Jalil also succumbed to the Iffley bowling as he was caught for 5.
With the score on 167 and 32 needed Rex and Ali decided to put a stop to this average display and went back to plundering the Iffley bowlers, unfortunately with Rex on 13 he too missed the slow straight one and trudged back into the clubhouse.
Ali was joined by Amir whose batting style is one of calm indifference, and what a fine partnership this was.
If you want 20 runs you could call for no better person than Ali who hits the ball as sweetly as anybody at the Meadow, and for calmness and serenity call for Amir who brought the team home with two boundaries to make his total 9, perfectly dovetailing with Ali’s 15.
A great game, played with an opposition that are just a really nice set of blokes.
Man of the match…..Niron for making a game of it…… and his tea
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.