Lord Gnomes 250-7 (Richard Frank 3-14, John Greenwood 3-44) Great Missenden Pelicans 222-5 (Asad Rehman 86, Harry Kendall 43, Ali Bigrami 36*)
With the sun shining brightly the Pelicans gathered to do battle against the old foe that is Lord Gnomes, there was a toss, Skip lost and the Pelicans were asked to bowl, bit of a victory really for Skip.
Opening up from the railway end Toobes chugged in like some old steam engine, a bit rusty a bit noisy and slightly smelly, JG from the pub end similar engine but a bit less on all fronts.
The bowling was very tight as the Gnomes struggled to find the boundary, Toobes constantly polishing, JG constantly polishing looking after, like some precious gem the bright red cherry that was being hurled down at all of 20 kph.
It was not long before the first Gnomes wicket fell, as all that looking after of the ball paid off, this was quickly followed by a second wicket, expertly removed by JG, a swinging dipping moving pearl of a ball that smashed the middle wicket. The Gnomes were rocking as a further two wickets were taken and by the end of this excellent spell from JG and Toobes the Gnomes were on a grand total of 18 for the loss of 4. We were surely in for a quick game. But this is the Pelicans.
Taking over from Toobes, Andrew came into the attack, he was handed the carefully nurtured ball that had proved so beneficial for both Toobes and JG, with strict instructions to keep up the good polishing work, third ball leg side smash, 6 and lost ball. This was followed by a further 3 lost balls that severely depleted the Pelican spares box in a bowling spell that lasted 5 overs and 51 runs to the bad. An unusual occurence but just a bad day at the office.
Partnering Andrew we had Rupert, who was quickly into his groove and first over had the useful Gnomes number 5 caught by Harry, with the Gnomes on 52, there was no need to panic.
It is worth pointing Skip had relented and offered the wicket keeping gloves to soap hands Jeffrey, he had explained that he was very good in goal at saving the ball and the huge wicket keeping gloves would indeed aid things even further. Skip was convinced. Niron was happy.
Taking over from the Gnomes number 5 was the Gnomes number 7, who seemed to relish the Pelican bowling and took to it with a gusto. Skip was looking less happy but with the new Gnomes bat on about 20 Rupert unleashed his effort ball and screamed in delight as the Gnomes bat smashed it straight into Nirons open gloves, unfortunately Niron forgot to close the gloves and there was a general look of disbelief as the ball dropped serenely onto the floor, hopefully it wouldn’t be a costly drop. Rupert continued his spell and finished well a bit unlucky.
With the Gnomes batsmen getting more and more comfortable the run rate accelerated somewhat, it was therefore time to bring out the big guns, namely Adam.Unfortunately this seemed to be right up their street as Adam was slapped to all four corners of the Meadow. It did produce some classic Pelican moments, namely Asad calling for a ball that was Andrew’s, running towards him, stopping then both of them watching as the ball landed 2 feet behind them. Also we had Nico out on the boundary stopping a certain 4 but such was his surprise at stopping the ball he forgot to throw it back for the run out.
That said Adam retired after 5 overs no wickets for 75, truly monumental bowling. From the other end Raheel, showed what he can do and tightened things up eventually bowling 5 overs for 20, a fine performance. JG and Toobes came on for a cameo at the end and returned figures of 3 for 44 off 8 and 3 for 14 off 7 respectively.
The Gnomes though had finished on 250 with the last 14 overs going for 150.
Tea was a fabulous affair provided by Mrs Ali, and highlighted all the reasons why Toobes bowls second.
With tea taken it was up to Asad and Raheel to lead the charge and lead it they did as four followed four and then six followed six. This excellent partnership really attacked the Gnomes bowling and what were confident faces had a few worry lines running across them. In no time Asad had his 50, well actually it would have been quicker had Niron told everybody, but what the heck, the Pelicans duly celebrated Asad’s 50 when he reached 61. Raheel meanwhile for a change played the bridesmaid, but what a beauty she was, as between them they took this opening partnership to 142 when Asad finally fell, bowled to a skidder for 86.
Asad in full flounce mode threw both bat and helmet to the ground just before the clubhouse and once in the clubhouse dispatched the rest of his cricketing equipment. Jalil ever the compassionate father explained very loudly how he would not have played such a stupid shot and indeed probably knocked it for four. This brightened Asad’s mood up no end.
Nico who had been explaining to Skip that he was in a fine vein of form made his way out to the wicket, three balls later he was making his way back away from the wicket.
Enter Ali. Now I don’t think anybody will argue that with Ali you are never sure what you are going to get, today it was Rambo Ali as opposed to last week Tinpan.
With the loss of Raheel, Ali was joined by Harry, yes when Harry met Ali.
There then followed further carnage from the bats of both Harry and Ali as fours and sixes were the order of the day, still chasing an improbable victory, but chasing all the same.
In true fighting form Harry fell on 43 a devastating example of smashing the ball. Niron strolled out to the wicket and somehow managed to get himself stumped, so he strolled back.
It was down to JG to finish the innings for the Pelicans 28 runs short.
A fine game and a fine draw.
The Pelicans retired to the Nags Head where the fines committee were brought back and issued said fines, Adam managing to get into the paper money, a great effort.
Oh and Nirons dropped catch, he added a further 90 runs.
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.