Sunday June 5th vs Old Mincheldenians

Old Mincheldenians 175 for 8   Great Missenden Pelicans 87 all out

LOST by 88 runs

Man of the Match: Josh

A miserable Pelis effort enlivened only by a run-out by Josh that would have done credit to a T20 international, and Toobes pushing his batting average through 50

The Pelicans took in a new venue, a trip to the outskirts of sweet-smelling London town, to take on Old Minchendenians.

But despite the joyous sight of a man who should know better hooning around on the edge of the field on a motorbike and a decent bowling display, a truly insipid effort with the bat saw the Pelicans slump to an 88-run defeat.

There were high points (Skip won a toss, Iceman took a catch, Josh acted like Jonty Rhodes in the field), but they were outshone by the low points (more on them later).

It started well, with the coin falling in the Skipper’s favour and a decision was made to take first use of the ball.

For a good portion of the innings, it looked like a good decision. Toobes and Josh had to contend with a raised square that made landing the delivery stride a trifle tricky. Toobes did a decent job, but he did have a couple of moments. The second time he almost took off his own toe with the ball after failing to let go at the correct time prompted a petulant kick at the ball (he missed, obviously) and then vented his spleen at Bech, imploring him to run faster. Bech and Usain Bolt should not be uttered in the same sentence, so imploring him to run faster after the ball is as futile as asking your teenage son not to toss himself off in the shower.

Despite the occasional flounce, Toobes bowled with precision and was rewarded with a couple of quick wickets. They brought in the Minchendenians’ No. 4 and he looked a batsman of real quality. It was therefore a shame on his part that he smashed a ball down the ground and set off for a single, only to see Josh scamper to his left, pick up and throw down the stumps. It was a moment of brilliance that is seen very few times in a Pelicans season.

Another high spot was the sight of Iceman clinging on to a looper in the gully, which was greeted with the sort of joy reserved only for a man who had dropped the biggest sitter ever seven days previous.

But highs are often followed by lows in the field and comedy moments were sprinkled in amongst the brilliance. Minchendenians had seemingly spotted a weakness in Bech’s armoury. The ball was turned to short square leg, Bech was roughly 10 paces from the stumps, and they scampered through for a single. After an age, in which it seemed as if the leaves had turned from green to an autumnal brown, Bech let go of the ball and threw down the stumps, prompting a long, pleading appeal. It was a shame for Bech that the batsman had passed the stumps about 15 minutes previous.

We had Greg at one point enacting his own version of the Matrix by holding a throwing pose for what seemed like hours (in hindsight, it was obvious) before letting fly at the speed of custard.

And we had a stunning comedy of errors, in which Tony lost his bearings and sent a throw roughly 30 yards wide of its target. All the while the two batsmen were at the same end of the wicket, Rags forgot to pick up the ball and complete the runout as he was so shocked by the events that were unfolding in front of him.

But the comedy moments were not enough to deter the Pelis who worked hard all the way through a tough 40 overs in the field to restrict the oppo to 175.

Now we’ll gloss over tea, except to have a shout out for Beastie Bites – which are a poor man’s Monster Munch. If that’s not a mind f**k then I don’t know what is.

Bech and Iceman were charged with the task of getting the Pelis off on a solid footing. It was a truly glorious three-ball stand. Iceman looked primed to take heavy toll on the bowling, but elected to shoulder arms to one that cannoned into off stump. Iceman came off muttering something about the ball keeping low, which prompted puzzled looks from those on the sidelines.

Tony strode out, and strode back one ball later. Greg was slated to bat at four. He made his way out to bat roughly 8 minutes after Tony was dismissed (again, hindsight is a powerful weapon).

Those who were not in attendance may be wondering what the hindsight reference is all about. Strap yourselves in, for this slow and steady ride.

Bech and Greg attempted to repair the damage by digging in. If they had still been batting now, they would have broken ground in China at roughly 4am so determined were they to lay a foundation.

After 10 overs, the Pelicans had powered their way to 23 for 2. Bech fell in the 11th over, for a solid 5, and Skip ambled out. The message communicated to Greg was ‘let’s look at stepping this run rate up’. Sadly, in attempting to do so, Skip missed a straight one. Greg felt the time had come to dig in, again.

A message was sent out at drinks, which Greg took on board and said the time had come to cut loose. The sight of Greg cutting loose was remarkably similar to the sight of him digging in.

Greg was finally undone by a stumping in the 23rd over. It was one of cricket’s finest ever 23-over innings of 11.

James, Rags and Josh attempted to push the scoring on but all fell in doing so, so it was left to Adam and Toobes to ensure complete embarrassment was avoided. There was no defibrillator at the ground, so Adam gave Toobes the hard stare when asked to come through for a third run. But the pair did edge the Pelicans towards three figures.

Sadly Adam, was bowled by a tricky spinner and VDP was undone by the umpire giving him out LBW, despite our favourite Kiwi being of the opinion that bat had made contact with ball.

It left Toobes stranded on 20 not out and with a batting average of over 50. If we get a couple more red inkers, there could be the real prospect of a celebration leading to a sixth Frank child.

It was a rare disappointment in what has been a winning season so far and we saddle up again to face the Fiddlers next week.

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.