Sunday May 15th vs Hyde Heath

Hyde Heath 172 for 9 (Raghu Kankate 3-9)   Great Missenden Pelicans 173-9 (Hasan Arif 42, Josh Bailey 36*)

WON by 1 wicket

Man of the Match: Hasan

Words. There are over 200,000 of them in the Oxford English Dictionary. More than that would be needed to do justice to an epic game of cricket at Hyde Heath, so we’ll go with the abridged version of the victory instead.

Shock is the best way to describe the opening salvo, as the Skipper won his third toss in a row and had no hesitation in sending Hyde Heath into bat.

Fuelled by half a pint of cider from the Plough, Toobes went into Beast Mode and whipped out a couple of the Heath mob – one with a genuine slower ball.

It could, and definitely should, have been better for Toobes as he drew a false shot from Hyde Heath’s stylish left hander who looped the ball straight to the Skipper, who dropped it.

The Heath left hander took advantage of his life as he moved past 50, which was just as well as wickets tumbled with great regularity at the other end.

The Pelicans were dealt a blow mid-way through the innings, as Niron fell victim to a sniper who took aim from a grassy knoll and took out his hamstring. Salsa dancing is on hold for the moment.

With Hyde Heath numbering only 10, the Pelicans elected to mix up the bowling a shade. The home side limped towards 120 when John Wayne rode over the horizon to take their number 11 slot. Mr Wayne had the look of a cricketer, so the Skipper hatched a plan and told VDP to bowl two feet outside off stump in order to NOT take a wicket. Three balls later, VDP took out leg stump – and out strode John Wayne.

Roughly three overs later, Hyde Heath’s score had rocketed from 120 to 172 – albeit with the aid of another dropped catch from the Skipper.

It didn’t quite have the feel of Sunday friendly cricket when the opposition draft in a ringer at the 13th hour. That feeling was reinforced when John Wayne charged in off his long run and ran through the Pelicans top order.

Tony stood firm and made up for his duck in league cricket on Saturday to craft 29. He looked on the brink of cutting loose, only for the finger of Adam to fire him lbw for the second week in a row. Those were the words uttered by Tony as he trudged off. Adam said something along the lines of ‘stop putting your pad in front of middle stump’.

A partnership was needed, and Greg and Hasan provided it. Raising his bat after passing 1, Hasan laid waste to the bowling with a string boundaries.

The Pelis were well on course for victory when a Pelican-like collapse opened the door. The Skipper’s torrid day was capped off when a submarine ball took out his stumps.

John Wayne returned and got the prize scalp of Hasan, to leave the Pelis tottering.

But the calm head of Toobes strode out to join the less-calm head of Josh. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, let me take you through it. A tickle off his legs, let’s call it a mini shovel, led to a call of two. Josh, though, had other ideas and egged on by a shout of ‘one for the arm’ from an unnamed Kiwi, took off for a third. Toobes did not want three and both batsmen were parked at the keeper’s end. Toobes took the decision to fall on his sword before trudging off, face like thunder, and depositing his bat with a degree of force into the changing room.

VDP suggested the irony of ‘one for the arm’ was lost on Josh. The Skipper suggested there’s a decent chance Josh can’t spell irony.

The onus was now on Josh to see the Pelicans home. He’s certain to keep his head, surely? One ball later he scooped a wild heave straight into the air. Thankfully, their fielder had been taking tips from the Skipper and dropped it.

Adam came and went so last man VDP joined Josh at the crease. Laurel and Hardy immediately came to mind and we expected some sort of slapstick comedy moment.

But no, VDP played an exquisite late cut off John Wayne to take the Pelicans to within a boundary of victory. That boundary was brought up by Josh who bludgeoned the ball over long on.

Redemption for Josh and Toobes opted not to wrap his bat round the youngster’s chops – instead demanding a pint of the Plough’s finest shandy.

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.