Sunday April 24th vs Little Marlow

Little Marlow 162-7 (R Kankate 3-32, N Vanderpeet 2-8)   Great Missenden Pelicans 163-8 (A Livie 63*)

WON by 2 wickets

Man of the Match: Alex

After the mauling at the hands of those Fleet Street Strollers, the Pelicans jumped back into the saddle and put on a show of grit, determination and a little bit of skill to claim the win at Little Marlow.

New blood was in the Pelicans’ ranks and judging by the raft of debuts that have been made down the years, we were not expecting much. Oh how wrong we were.

Harry Manisty demonstrated gazelle-like qualities in the field, as he made a string of fine stops and ran around in a very un-Pelican-like manner.

James Walters was the second debutant on the day and he too showed talent in all areas. Two spiralling catches were taken with aplomb and he showed real nous with the ball. The word ‘skill’ was uttered, as James varied his line and length to keep the batsmen on their toes.

James removed Little Marlow’s most dangerous-looking batsman, but Toobes will tell you that it was the softening up job he did during his wicketless spell of 8 overs that laid the foundations. Hero is all that I can come up with to describe Toobes’ display.

But for all the good, there was the usual sprinkling of Pelican farce added to the mix. The tone was set by Bechervaise attempting, and thankfully failing, to stop a full blooded cover drive with his leg.

Julian Jeffrey stepped in to the breach to take our number to 11 and he proved the family penchant for dropping catches had not passed him by. Julian may have dropped the ball, but he at least had the good grace to go and chase the ball after spilling the chance, unlike a certain Kiwi in our ranks who simply stood stock still as if to pretend the moment had never happened.

VDP’s fielding has clearly not improved over the winter. It appears he spent the cold months working on his bowling as a two-over spell brought two wickets and checked Marlow momentum.

And despite the moments of comedy and calamity, the good outweighed the bad in the field as the Pelicans restricted Little Marlow to 162 for 6 at tea.

Thoughts turned to who would open the batting and the Skipper gave the nod to Gibson and Bechervaise. Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin these two are not, so running calamity looked on the cards. On three occasions, Bech somehow avoided being run out thanks to some sloppy Marlow fielding and the pair built a nice little partnership.

The Pelicans were progressing nicely and were not knocked off their stride by newly qualified umpire VDP signalling one short (he learnt that one on day two of the umpiring course) even though the ball had gone for 4.

Pelican spirits were climbing higher than the temperature in Marlow, but we were quickly brought down to earth by a flurry of wickets. And it was a flurry of wickets as the top four in the Pelican batting order were all bowled.

Things looked a little bit grim when Rags departed after a a brief cameo, with the Pelicans rocking at 69 for 6.

It’s fair to say Marlow were a little bit chipper in the field at this stage in proceedings, but Harry and then Niron stuck around with the Skipper for a little while. But it was when James strode out that the tide started to turn back the Pelicans’ way.

Happy to rotate the strike early on, James grew into his role and took 13 off one over off Marlow’s best bowler to put the Pelicans on the front foot.

30 runs were still required when James fell, but the ever reliable Toobes joined the Skipper at the crease to forge a Yorkshire-Teesside alliance. It was an alliance forged in steely determination, as Toobes planted his shield in front of his stumps in a ‘you shall not pass’ declaration of defiance.

As hard as Marlow tried they could not find a way through and the Pelicans sealed the win with 8 balls remaining.

An excellent win was celebrated in the Queens in Marlow, with one notable absentee as Niron elected to go to the other pub in the village and made a fashionably late arrival.

Onward to Ballinger next week and a shout out goes to the person who scooped up my t-shirt, base layer and pants to bring them along next week. Being t-shirtless and sans pants on a chilly Marlow evening was livening experience.

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.