West Wycombe 124 (Amir Jafri 5-21) Great Missenden Pelicans 125-6 (Asad Rehman 43)
WON by 4 wickets
Man of the Match: Amir
With the Pelicans gathering at WW ground it is fair to say that there are fields in the Pampas region of Argentina with shorter grass than what beheld us at WWCC.
Notwithstanding the verdant outfield which would be the same for both sides there is a very important rule when playing our friends in West Wycombe, make sure you win the toss and if you do make sure you bowl first.
With history running around Skip’s mind the coin was tossed, tails were chosen and unbelievably tails were indeed the outcome. The plaintive explanation of weak team etc etc you can bat first etc etc fell on deaf ears as Skip elected to bowl, I may be stupid but I’m not daft, or something like that.
Opening for the Pelicans we had the usual duo of Amir and Toobes, to save time after 16 overs WW had advanced to 26, Toobes and Amir had come and gone and Suranja and Rags had taken over. Suranja too finished his spell of 6 overs for no wickets and 13 runs, and was replaced by Panpet Van or that is what it says in the book, we though know him as Nico. Such was the torpid nature of the batsmen can I please give you an abridged version, Rags took two wickets for 30 runs off 13, yes that’s right 13 overs, Panpet Van took one wicket off 5 overs for 17 runs and Asad took 2 wickets off 9 overs for 22 runs but Amir on the other hand was on fire and took a mighty five for off 11.2 overs for only 21 runs, a truly fantastic effort and one which saved the Pelicans from playing into Bank Holiday Monday or indeed beyond.
Now let me go back somewhat, WWCC are renowned for a particularly soporific type of cricket and this Sunday was no different. Play started at 10 to 2 and, with the Pelicans bowling in a very timely fashion the overs soon mounted up. Raheel was like a coiled spring whipping those bails off like Alan Knott himself, a cobra could not move faster, unfortunately for the Pelicans in gully we had somebody who caught like a cobra, our very own Rupert who now holds the honour of dropping the easiest catch of the season so far. Nirons similarity to a cobra well let’s not go there, but Nirons similarity to something that moved fast was not apparent as he picked up the ball ten feet from the bowlers end wicket watched the WW batsmen take a ridiculous run, get stranded in the middle, run back to the crease, Niron finally then unleashed the ball that comfortably missed the stumps. The worst run out attempt of the season so far.
With the overs racking up and more importantly tea on the horizon the Pelicans doggedly stuck to their task to winkle out the WW bats. With 40 overs comfortably bowled the Pelicans requested a drinks stop which was begrudgingly given followed by mutterings of “we will add the time on at the end”. With the clock hitting 4.30 and 45 overs bowled there was 115 on the scoreboard Skip thought it was gettable but with the conditions it could be tricky, WW on the other hand decided to carry on, and on, and on, WHEN WOULD IT END zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz anyway with Amir two balls into the 51st over he finally brought the snooze fest to an end to general mummering’s of thank xxxx for that. Those extra 5.2 overs advanced the WW sore by 9 runs to 124. A very tired Peli team traipsed off the pitch listening to Rags demanding we go for the draw, Skip on the other hand was having none of it and demanded a victory or go down trying.
Opening for the Pelicans again it was those two Ninjas Raheel and Asad, with the long grass runs needed to be run, but a steady foundation of 57 once again was laid by the time Raheel was bowled, there then followed four quick wickets, first Amit for 11, then Asad with a fantastic 43, then Niron for 11 followed by Rupert for 6. Now these may not sound high scores but each run was worth its weight in gold as the WW score came towards the Pelis, but more importantly precious overs were not used up as the Pelicans were now into their final twenty overs, indeed as Rupert departed there were 10 overs left and 32 for victory. Joining Jalil at the crease following Rupert was Suranja, now to say his stay at said crease was brief would do a dis service to the very briefest of briefs going, indeed it was so brief his partner at the wicket Jalil didn’t even notice his attendance. Anyway, out strode Rags to join Jalil and needing funnily enough 32 runs off ten overs. Surely this would be over, not as quickly as Suranjas innings but quickly. Well, to say that Rags and Jalil the epitome of the slow single were on fire, if indeed slow single running were the benchmark, it would be then fair to say they were red hot, indeed like lava.
As balls were defended or smashed to the boundary only to result in a “quick” single the score board limped on with twos, ones and zeros. It is here I must say Jalil looked like Usain Bolt compared to Rags, and indeed the Pelicans were wondering whether the draw was the aim. Nine overs to go the scoreboard read 95, 5 overs to go it had progressed to 98.
As the Mogodon started to wear off 9 was taken off the 16th over, we were back in the game, and then 2 runs were taken off the next over, we were back out of the game, then 5 runs followed by 4 runs and here we were the final over 7 runs needed. Jalil ran a quick single and left Rags at the striker’s end, 6 needed to win 5 balls to go. Rags defended the next ball, and then the next and then the next until with one ball left, we were still on 6 needed for victory. To put things into context, so far, the Pelicans had found the boundary 4 times and all of them 4s, a draw was on the cards……..bollocks. But then Rags summoning his inner Chris Gayle stepped forward and smashed the recalled WW opening bowler straight back over his head and beyond the electric fence, for SIX and victory. What a finish. It is also fair to say everybody played a very important part in this victory.
Such was the pleasure of the victory that nearly all the Pelicans headed for the Swan with the oppo, where once again animosities were quickly forgotten and once again, we came away thinking pretty decent set of blokes. And they engineered as bloody close game which really is what we all enjoy.
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.