Sunday August 21st vs Widmer End

Widmer End 124 all out (Raghu Kankate 4-17)   Great Missenden Pelicans 112 for 7 (Josh Bailey 41*, Alex Livie 40*)


Man of the Match: Rags

The Pelicans survived a truly epic batting collapse to get to the brink of an unlikely victory when rain intervened to force a draw with Widmer End.

A deluge of rain on top of a rock-hard pitch made for a jazzy surface. The Skipper had no hesitation in asking Widmer End to have first hit and it proved to be a sensible decision.

There were rumours sweeping through the corridors of Dusnmore that Toobes did not have a three-week holiday in France. Instead, he had embarked on an intense gym regime. The sight of the ball flying past batsmen’s noses from the arm of our Northern powerhouse only served to reinforce this thinking.

Widmer End have two very good batsmen and both were undone by some extra bounce. The second ball to the opener from Josh flew off a length, took a chunk of glove and was pouched by Tony behind the stumps. The batsman elected to walk, which was a generous decision as VDP, decked out in his umpire’s coat and pair of luminous trainers, had the look of a man who was not planning on raising his finger.

With Toobes emboldened by the sight of a bouncy pitch, he put away the full tosses and did in fact use the surface to his advantage.

A bit of extra bounce (I think you can see a pattern emerging here) did for Widmer’s second good batsman. Shaping to play some sort of drive through cover, the ball climbed and drew a false stroke. Leaping like an ageing salmon on his final swim up the river, Toobes got a hand on the ball and mopped it up at the second attempt.

Wickets fell at regular intervals, with only the tumble of stumps broken up by some typically Pelican fielding. Josh has his eye on 20 catches. He’ll need to make a better fist of it in the final few games of the season if he’s to get there, after dropping a sitter at midwicket. And he has Toobes on his tail after he took a cracker at deep mid wicket.

Rags looked like he’d never been away with a typically metronomic spell, Hasan produced a combination of pace and guile to bamboozle the batsmen. And it was left to Adam to deliver the ball of the day, a fizzing leggie to close out the innings.

125 looked a gettable total. But in the back of the Skipper’s mind was the thought ‘we’ve got to bat second on this thing.’

What followed cannot be blamed on a superb Fairweather tea of pulled pork. On reflection, the third pulled pork bap was possibly a bit excessive.

Kunaal and Alex Hill were charged with the task of laying a foundation.

If a surveyor turned up to give the property the once-over, the conclusion would be a house made of balsa wood and built on sand.

Kunaal got the sort of ball that Josh produced to remove the Widmer opener. A rising, spitting brute that took the glove.

Alex Hill’s second Pelicans innings was a vast improvement on his first. This time he hasted two balls. Trudging off after seeing his middle stump knocked backwards, Alex returned to the changing room to pack his bag. It emerged that he has three bats in his bag. He’s faced three balls in his Pelican career and not hit a ball yet. One wise sage suggested burning his array of bats and going out and buying a wider one.

The scene was set for Greg to go into full on Gandalf mode. That memo did not get past Greg’s secretary, as he trudged back one ball later after losing his middle pole.

0 for 3 and Pelicans who were contemplating a fourth pulled pork bap were sent scurrying for their pads.

Hasan joined Tony at the crease. But it was the briefest of visits as he became the fourth Pelican to enter the duck club. 3 for 4. The Pelicans were in the merde.

Amid all the carnage, Tony was showing the benefits of net sessions with Asad. A superb pull over midwicket for six and a glorious square drive finally got the scoreboard rolling.

Sadly, Widmer End kept the wickets column moving as Tony and Rags fell after a brief flurry of runs, and James Walters made it five Pelican ducks on the day.

27 for 7 was definitely not in the Skipper’s plan, but he found an ally with the willow in the shape of Josh.

There was a bit of luck mixed in amongst some decent batting, as Widmer End showed a rather Pelican-like ability to drop the ball as both Josh and Skip were given lives.

The partnership built and the Pelis were within 13 runs of victory when the rain came down to bring an end to a good day’s cricket.

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.