Sunday August 19th vs Old Elizabethans

Great Missenden Pelicans 217 for 4 (Asad Rehman 96, Hasan Arif 36*, Raghu Kankate 35)   Old Elizabethans 144 all out

WON by 73 runs

Man of the Match: Tooby (nominated by Greg for 2 world-class catches)

The worst words a Skipper can hear when talking to the opposition: “we are a bit of a weak side”. “Bo**ocks we’re going to lose” was my immediate thought.

After a gentlemen’s toss Great Missenden elected to bat against a new opposition and on a new ground within the M25 no less. Relegated to the second pitch as their first team were playing a cup game, the Pelicans made ready to face the best the Old Elizabethans could offer, which was primarily a team made up of 16 to 20 year olds. “Bo**ocks we’re going to lose” thought Skip as he surveyed the youthful opposition.

Taking up arms for the Pelicans we had Asad and Iceman, Asad who lets be fair had experienced a bit of a dip in form was raring to notch up a big score, Iceman was primed to unleash hell, which he did in the clubhouse having been LBW’d for 3, not the start Skip was looking for.

Following his recent vision once again Rags found himself elevated to the number 3 position and started his innings with a crisp 4. Asad too was finding the boundary with great regularity and in no time reached his 50 with very little drama.

Rags on 35 finally succumbed to one of the 17 year olds who had openly hoped that we would make a game of it, brave words indeed.

Asad was now joined by Ali who in true Ali form started his innings with a number of conservative singles, then mad Ali appeared and the boundary began to be peppered. Asad meanwhile decided that a bit of the Ali red mist was the order of the day and merrily skipped down the wicket, he then turned around as the wicket keeper merrily removed his bails – not the best of shots when on 96.

Hasan made his way out to the wicket and quite frankly if I didn’t know any better I would have sworn he had just inhaled a kilo of monkey dust as his first shot of the day was an almighty 6. Such was his desire to get on with it he was soon chasing Ali down, who on 31 swished once too often and was bowled by said youth who had hoped we would make a game of it.

Taking Ali’s place we had Mini Toobes himself Robert Frank, ready to do battle in the final 3 overs.

Hasan meanwhile onto his second kilo of monkey dust sent another ball over the boundary for 6 quickly followed by a couple of 4’s, in fact such was his desire to retain the strike that with the ball rolling towards the boundary a single was called for but declined from big 6 himself, a crescendo of boos followed as Robert made his way back to his crease.

With the 40 overs finally bowled Hasan returned to the clubhouse with 36 and Robert with 1 and the Pelicans on a very respectable 217

Now it’s fair to say that our forays into London town have been a somewhat disappointment when it comes to tea, who could ever forget Old Minchendenians, but I am pleased to say Old Elizabethans are made of much better stuff and put on an almost Pelicanesque feast.

With tummies filled the Pelicans opened up with Toobes and Hasan, unfortunately with the wind gusting in the same direction as the slope of the wicket Toobes’ first ball flew down the leg side leaving stand-in wicket keeper Niron watching it sail past him.

As is so often the case, such is the quality of Toobes’ bowling the second ball trapped the opener LBW, the Old Elizabethans were rocking.

Enter the young 17 year old who hoped we would make a game of it, actually he turned out to be quite a nice bat as well as bowler and in no time was sending the ball to the 4 corners of the pitch, unfortunately for him Toobes had him bowled for 12.

Hasan continued from his end and on a couple of occasions watched the ball go past the great wall of China that is Niron.

With Has and Toobes removed from the attack the able double act of Kankate and NVDP took over.

In no time at all NVDP had his first wicket removing the solid number 4 batsman who had accelerated the run rate somewhat, this was rapidly followed by his second wicket which was a caught and bowled. Did NVDP know anything about it, who knows, all we know is that a screamer of a shot flew at Mach 3.5 towards Nico’s shoulder and was only stopped on its flightpath by Nico’s left hand.

Rags then decided he too would make a bit of an effort and bowled the OE’s opening batsman, a crucial wicket as he had just hit his 50 and looked like a player that could curtail any thoughts of victory.

With Niron starting to wilt in the wicket keeping position his plaintive calls for respite were soon answered and Rags having finished his spell with 8 overs 3 for 23 took over the duties. Who could possibly fill those massive Raggy boots, there was only one Pelican manly enough, and he is called Grego. With his twirling looping high rise bombs Grego had the lower OE’s order all over the place and in no time had his first wicket, a nice caught and bowled. Nico had continued with his impressive spell and finally saw out his 8 overs with 3 for 46. Only one person was man enough to fill his shoes, the Pelicans answer to Jeff Dujon……………Niron.

Grego meanwhile well into his third over twirled another at the OE’s number 10 who swished, sent it up towards Mid Off and into the welcoming hands of Robert Frank. A fine catch, no doubt taught by his father.

With victory complete the Pelicans retired to the clubhouse and enjoyed a winning team beer.

A good day’s cricket made all the more entertaining by Niron behind the stumps whose plaintive shout of “No No No No No” to Asad as he was unleashing his arm sounded like Cleveland Brown falling out of his house in his bathtub. (Family Guy reference)

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.