Sun 27 Sept Great Missenden Pelicans Lost by 75 runs
They 277/5 in 40 overs (Kunal Kankate 99*, Josh Bailey 97, Asad Rehman 42, Extras 24, David Behar 2/31, Sunil Amar 2/45)
We 202/10 in 37.5 overs (Tim Keleher 53, Andy Stokes 44, Charan Shetty 32*, Josh Bailey 4/35, Niron Jeffrey 2/11, Hasan Arif 2/33)
A grey, chilly autumnal afternoon in late September saw us at the Nags Head ground after a two-year gap, the equivalent date last year being a washout. We had a decent batting line-up with Tim Keleher being persuaded to play as a keeper in the absence of our regulars, with Andy in good form, and Ro, Kiwi Tim and David to follow. The bowling was below our usual strength with none of the frontline pacers available – only Sunil and Neeraj were amongst the season’s leading wicket-takers playing.
Neeraj lost the toss and GMP’s Asad Rehman and Raheel Khan (once of KCC) provided a steady start on a pitch that was soft and sluggish. David Behar was the surprise choice opening bowler along with Rajat and both restricted the opposition to 38 in the first 10 overs before David clean bowled Raheel and then no 3 for a duck. This brought Josh Bailey to the crease and the game changed dramatically. With powerful hitting and deft placements he reached his 50 in 47 balls in a 74 run stand with Asad. Sunil managed to break the partnership by trapping Asad LBW, but Josh continued to maul our pop-gun attack. For some reason Neeraj held back Nav and himself while the others were going for plenty. Josh finally fell on the brink of his hundred, well caught by Nav at long off. Charan bowled the next man for a duck (193/5 after 34 overs). With 6 overs to go KCC fancied their chances of chasing a target of 230 or so. Kunaal Kankate, at this point on 21, had other ideas. Unleashing a brutal onslaught, he smashed 8 fours and 6 sixes while Nyron sensibly kept him on strike. Brought on too late Nav’s 2 overs went for 24 while Neeraj in the last over disappeared for 23 as Kunaal hit his last 3 balls for six to finish on 99 and GMP on an awesome 277.
There was an uphill task for the two Tims opening the batting for KCC and they knew it. Unfortunately, on the fourth ball faced Russell got a grubber that hit the base of his off stump. Keleher adjusted well and began to find the boundaries. Rohan started to settle in, only to be mortified by a forward defence stroke that went wrong as the ball crashed through the gate. Andy joined Tim and the runs flowed with Tim reaching his 50 in the 13th over. But alas, Hasan bowled yet another that did not bounce to castle Tim just as he was set for a determined hundred. Andy did his best, but the run rate required was always rising. Once he had departed, well caught and bowled by Josh, the innings lost momentum, save for a flurry of injudicious swipes in frantic efforts to put runs on the board. We were well short of the target when the end came with 3 overs still to go.
Both Josh and Kunaal were the winners of the Cobra award for GMP, while David won it for KCC by his untypically straight bowling to pick up two wickets. The best part of the evening was the sumptuous Sri Lankan food laid on in the pavilion by restaurant owner and new GMP recruit, Suranga Deramulla. It was a great way to end the season (did not know it would be at the time) with such wonderfully hospitable hosts. Hopefully, we will not have to wait too long for the next encounter.
Sun 29 Sept Great Missenden Pelicans CANCELLED – rain
Match 2: Sun 30 Sept Great Missenden Pelicans Lost by 4 wkts
We 199/8 in 40 overs (Saurav Sen 40, Chetan Malhotra 37, Raheel Khan 32*, Matt Syddall 29, Asad Rehman 3/32, Hasan Arif 2/39)
They 200/6 in 39 overs (Asad Rehman 73, Clive Nicholls 47, Kunal Kankate 41*, Saurav Sen 1/20, Raheel Khan 1/23)
We love this Fixture – so we play them TWICE.
A longish drive up the M4 and M40 is really worth the arrival at The Pelicans charming ground. Friendly banter, competitive game and great camaraderie is always ensured.
Richard Frank and Skipper Neej agreed on a 40 over a side bash to ensure a result, following several drawn games in the past. Richard inserted us in. Both were quietly confident of their “bench strength”.
Ledger and Malhotra opened and got us off to a slow but steady start until Chris heaved at one and Richard ran 20 yards to take a high catch. Matt Syddall joined Chetan and both scored steadily, Chetan being particularly aggressive. Sadly, once Chetan departed wickets fell at regular intervals. At 98/5 with 15 overs to go, Sid was joined by Saurav Sen who was in belligerent form. Saurav’s 40 and some late hitting by Raheel Khan got us to a defendable 199 in our 40 overs.
A fabulous tea, that included an Indian meal, was prepared for us by GMP’s Adam Fairweather. We were sure that this might be part of the strategy of getting us to field after this feast!
It seemed to work as Clive Nicholls and Asad Rehman put on 137 for the first wicket despite some magnificent tight bowling by Seethal, Saurav and Raheel. A dropped catch or two didn’t help our cause. Once the openers were dismissed and when 4 further wickets fell, the last to a sharp run out by Seethal, the game was in the balance. 28 runs were needed off the final 3 overs. Great credit should be given to GMP, and especially to Kunaal Kankate for some lusty blows, to win the match with an over to spare.
Asad was GMP’s Man of the Match for his 3 wickets and 73 runs and Matt Syddall’s wicketkeeping earned him the Cobra from our side. GMP laid on a BBQ and we hope to play them several times in a season – oh for the tea and post-match drinks too!!!
Match 1: Sun 1 July Great Missenden Pelicans Match Drawn
We 261/4 in 35 overs (Harsha Gandadi 66*, Rohan Ghosh 64, Nitin Chaturvedi 52, Stefanos Nayar 28, Wajid Tahir 27*, McKay 1/35)
They 136/5 in 36 overs (Ali Bilgrami 40, Asad Rehman 34*, Richard Frank 21*, Extras 36, Jake Elliott 2/11, Amit Kumar 2/19)
Foreword: In italics below, are excerpts from the opposition’s match report. Thank you “Toobes”@GMP.
On a day “hotter than Hotty Hotterson’s lava filled pants”Kensington batted first. HRH Jai Singh, stepped off the car in freshly starched cricket whites and strode purposefully out into the middle. Sadly, his purpose was short-lived and Jai was soon back in the pavilion, ruing his early dismissal and wondering how best to survive a long afternoon ahead. Slips can be tiring on a hot day. Especially without any shade.
Nitin joined Stef and the pair soon sparkled in a delightful partnership full of fine strokes until Stef was run out in a true WTF moment. A hot sun can play havoc with pop star hair trapped under a cricket helmet. Perhaps Stef needed a quick shampoo and conditioner.
Incoming KCC number 4, skipper Rohan, was immediately smashed on the head by a beamer … curiously leading to the bowler “seeing stars”and retiring hurt! With an Easter-egg now firmly adorning his forehead, Rohan soldiered on, playing a pivotal role in two terrific partnerships. First a 65 run stand in just 9 overs with Nitin (who made a superb 52) and then a 89 run stand with Harsha in just 11 overs. But after Rohan was dismissed for a well made 64, holing out to deep long on for the 4th time this season, Wajjo joined Harsha and wasted no time in smacking the ball to all corners. The next 57 runs came in less than 5 overs and we confidently declared at 261/4 after just 35 overs.
The stage was set for the Pelicans’ opening partnership “to set a steady foundation for the rest of the team to attack from. (But) as all Pelly followers know, such plans invariably (go) wrong … spectacularly wrong.”Jake Elliott steamed in from the Chiltern-express end and castled opener Robinson for a duck. Amit Kumar ‘Mohinder Amarnath-ed’ in from the pavilion end to bowl Kendall. also for a duck. Next over, Jake had the GMP number 3 spectacularly caught at gully by Rohan, also for a duck. Pellys were tottering at 3/3. Birds of prey hovered above. (Aside: The local red kites are truly a joy to behold.) The Pellys needed a hero.
“Cue video montage in the background, of power ballad specialist Bonnie Tyler singing ‘I need a hero’. With slow-mo shots of (ex-KCC) Ali Bilgrami in the shower shaking the cold water off his hair, strapping on cricket armour, feeling the willow and striding out to the wicket. Captain Aylesbury (soon restored calm), ably assisted by debutant Hugh who after a few defensive blocks started to strike the ball like a pro. This usually precedes a wicket. Today was no different and Hugh was (soon) dismissed.”
“Cue yet more video montage, in the background power ballad specialist M People singing ‘Search for a hero’. Slow-mo shots of Jalil sweating in front of a punchbag, running up Coombe Hill, then striding out to the wicket.”
Together, Ali and Jalil were successful in thwarting the twin belligerence of Nayar Sr. and Tabby K., who were locked in their own personal duel. At stake, the coveted end-of season leading wicket-taker’s prize. After 14 fruitless overs and 73 turgid runs later, Tabby finally broke through with Ali’s wicket. With 16 overs still to play, “Jalil (then) took charge of the game striking 4s and 6s looking like a man that had just retired from 29 years in the City and (had) a Ferrari in the garage.”At the other end, GMP skipper Richard Frank (Toobes) “stood and admired (offering) the odd encouraging word”and other astute observations. Such as — “Bloody hell he is a bit rapid”— after attempting to head-butt a Wajjo beamer.
Anyway, with the score stuck at 136/5, the game was eventually drawn. Cue BBQ. Cue Cobras. Cue J Walker. And the man of the match awards. For the Pelicans Ali deservedly received his accolade. For Kensington it was Rohan’s 64 that just edged Harsha’s massive 6s.
Sun 1 Oct Great Missenden Pelicans CANCELLED – rain
Match 2: Sun 25 Sept Great Missenden Pelicans Match Drawn
We 204/4 in 42 overs (Matt Syddall 110*, Preetinder Singh 65, Richard Frank 2/25, Josh Bailey 2/46)
They 171/9 in 40 overs (Harry Manisty 46, Hasan Arif 36*, Richard Frank 18*, Chris Chunnillal 4/42, Ryan Konson 2/16)
Our final game of the season is nearly always played against our most friendly opposition. Hangovers from the Youth Vets game the previous day and Neej still reeling from being at the receiving end of a spectacular run chase by the Youths – did not wish to be on a losing side, two days in a row.
Late arrivals again meant planned batting orders (after being inserted by Alex Livie on a very wet and sticky track) would need re-shuffling. Neej and Saikat opened but both fell swiftly. Stef steadied the ship with Matt Syddall to be eventually dismissed by the tall and pacey Josh Bailey – who deserved Stef’s wicket after some top overs at him. 3/29 and in a Precarious position again! Dasher Preetinder joined Matt and they battled hard to put on 170, the highest ever KCC partnership for the 4th wicket (breaking the previous record held by Jai and Neeraj since 2009). Pelicans did not help themselves by dropping Matty a few times and he also survived being bowled off a No Ball (thankfully the umpire was a member of the opposition). However, nothing should be taken away from a magnificent 110 not out by Matt on a very difficult wicket. Preetinder leant full support with some brutal hits and accelerated the scoring to be eventually out for 65. KCC finished on a strong 204/4.
Pelicans got off to a shaky start with Ryan Konson and Saikat bowling with fire. First, Alex Livie was bowled by Saikat, then Ryan got the next two wickets – a caught behind by Matty and a brilliant catch in the gully by Preetinder. But Harry Manisty was holding things together. When the ‘last 20 overs’ was called Pelicans were on 72/3 and in a good position to press for a win. The introduction of the very wily New Man Chris Chunnilall however completely altered the script. Chris’s off breaks bowled slowly and cleverly saw a flurry of wickets and very soon Pelicans were 9 wickets down with eight overs to survive. And survive they did. Hasan Arif and Richard Frank fought hard and put together a fine last wicket stand to deservedly finish undefeated and force a draw.
Susan’s BBQ after the game, many beers and great camaraderie were the perfect way to end the season. We look forward to more of the same next year.
Match 1: Sun 26 June Great Missenden Pelicans Won by 5 runs
We 139/10 in 39.2 overs (Deepak Ramachandra 36, Matt Syddall 30, Sid Chhibbar 16, Adam Fairweather 2/8, Richard Frank 2/13, Raghu Kankate 2/25, Hasan Arif 2/32)
They 134/10 in 38.4 overs (Josh Bailey 26, Jalil Rehman 20, Asad Rehman 19, Deepak Ramachandra 3/14, Neeraj Nayar 2/29)
Our June outing to this lovely fixture, always played in excellent spirit and against our very friendly opposition “Pelicans”, started with a Brexit hangover.
Neej won the toss and promptly chose to bat. You could call it choice or you could say the lack of a full 11 at the time of the toss might have also had something to do with it. Matt Syddall started strong and scored an excellent 30. On a wicket that had a fair bit of Tennis Ball bounce and kept low for good measure too, it needed Deepak to come in at No.7 and rescue us from a very dodgy 63/5. Neej joined Deepak and together they steadied the ship, Deepak top-scoring with 36. Sid Chhibbar, batting at No.11 and in his first season showed us what he could do with the bat – he bludgeoned 16 quick and very valuable runs at the end to somehow get us up to 139. A very disappointing score by all accounts but KCC and Pelicans have a history of turning little scores into mammoth tasks and run fests into a walk in the park.
And…so it proved to be. Another pulsatingly exciting game played by these two.
With Tubes out early and KCC picking up frequent wickets the game was well poised. At 80/7, when Neej had his second victim well caught by Oscar behind the stumps, it seemed the pendulum had swung in KCC’s favour. However, it was Josh Bailey’s turn to star with the bat this time. Using his long levers – Josh struck some big blows over the boundary line to get to 26 and set up another nail biting finish. It needed the terrific bowling of the ever-reliable Deepak to take the vital wicket of Josh and thus effectively end Pelicans hopes. A run out and a Deepak special saw KCC home by just 5 runs with 8 balls to spare.
Great chats around a sumptuous traditional BBQ provided by Susan. Several beers later (the non-drivers of course)….and KCC dispersed into the flow of the M40 and M4 back to London but eagerly looking forward to being back for our September fixture with our good mates at Great Missenden.
Match 2: Sun 27 Sept Great Missenden Pelicans Match Drawn
We 201/10 in 42.3 overs (Shahzeb 43, Deepak Ramachandra 38, San Gore 28, Neeraj Nayar 28, Kunal Nathwani 25, Arif 4/41 2/34, Raghu Kankate 4/61)
They 186/8 in 37 overs (Kunaal Kankate 94, Clive Nicholls 40, Deepak Ramachandra 4/43, Saikat Barua 3/42)
The last match of the season and the game centred around who was going to end up with most wickets for the year – Deepak currently on 18, or Saikat on 17. What better venue for this little duel than the delightful surroundings of Missenden and against our favourite opposition too.
But first, the match. Neeraj lost the toss and we were inserted on a slow pudding of a wicket. With no pace to work with San and Shahzeb batted with caution against some accurate bowling from John Greenwood and Alex Livie. San was the first to go trying to break free with 43 on the board after 16 overs. Shahzeb stuck doggedly to his task with no help from No.3 Tabby, but after a straight six was caught at mid-on next ball trying to repeat the shot. Pammi looked a million dollars until he steered one into slip’s hands, Regan and Varun were out to successive balls and KCC were in dire trouble at 100/5. Deepak and Neeraj steadied the ship and upped the run rate in a 43 run stand, followed by a rapid 25 from Kunal which included a six and 4 fours. We were all out for 201, a score which earlier we did not look likely to achieve.
A truly sumptuous tea prepared by one of the GMP players whose birthday it was appeared to be their secret weapon as we reluctantly took the field. Saikat and Deepak went head to head straight away each given a six over burst, but openers Clive Nicholls and Kunaal Kankate held firm. The wicket had dried out and now the batsmen were getting full premium for their shots, being particularly severe on Sunil and Neeraj and aided by very lethargic fielding. The wheels were surely coming off for KCC. Then Neeraj held a blinding catch at slip off Deepak (wicket number 19) to dismiss Clive when the score was 130 with 10 overs left to play. A cruise one would have thought with wickets in hand and Kunaal flowing confidently.
The crucial moment, however, came when Deepak (having earlier run out the unfortunate David Bailey) held a high return catch from Kunaal to end an excellent innings (wicket number 20). 35 required in 6 overs with two new batsmen at the crease brought the fielders back on high alert. Livie was bowled by Deepak (victim number 21) and Neeraj was compelled to bring back Saikat, now trailing by 4 wickets, (but still 6 available) for the second last over. And what an over. San held a miraculous diving catch at point (at his age!), then Saikat shattered the stumps twice to achieve a rare three-for in an over (184/7). However, the personal duel had ended as Deepak was one ahead. But the match was still to be won – could Deepak get three in the last over? Alas, he managed only one and the game ended in an honourable draw with both sides having had a sniff of victory.
The Cobras, the presentations (thank you sponsors), the barbie (thank you, Peter and Susan) and the great company (thank you all) were a wonderful way to end the season. Roll on the next…
Match 1: Sun 28 June Great Missenden Pelicans CANCELLED
Match 2: Sun 28 Sep Great Missenden Pelicans Match Drawn
We 195/6 in 42 overs (Rohan Ghosh 50, Deepak Ramachandra 39, Bharat Gorasiya 30, Asad Rehman 2/34, Raghu Kankate 2/39)
They 189/5 in 36 overs (Kunaal Kankate 54, Asad Rehman 35*, Simon Tickler 29*, Neeraj Nayar 2/48)
Contributed by the Opposition:
Skipper-for-the-day Simon Tickler reports: “a reasonably exciting draw, and good fun with Kensington as always. They won the toss, batted first, the first 100 took 28 overs, the last 95 took 14 – a hard track on which to time the ball and pretty tight bowling from Kunaal, Hasan, Rags, JG. Asad turned it miles. Main feature was some fairly unpelican-like fielding, many stopped stops, runs saved and a tasty catch from Kunaal.
In the reply, Clive Nicholls looked solid, but John Greenwood smashed one to short extra cover, Kunaal made 54, Rags and Jalil came and went. Pelis needed 115 off 20 overs, 70 off 8 overs. I came in at the end with Asad and we got fairly close without ever looking like we’d do it. Needed 35 off 5, then 11 off the last over.
Kunaal, with a couple of wickets, 2 catches and a fifty won the sponsored whisky.”
Match 1: Sun 29 June Great Missenden Pelicans Won by 49 runs
We 154/10 in 40.5 overs (Shahzeb 41, Akhi Shailendra 31, Tim Keleher 25, Neeraj Nayar 22, Asad Rehman 4/25, Josh Bailey 4/45)
They 105/10 in 26.1 overs (Simon Tickler 46, Alex Livie 21, Neeraj Nayar 4/11, Khush Khan 2/23, Bernard van Vuuren 2/38)
A wise man once said: “when in doubt, bat first”. Newly appointed match manager Shahzeb took the saying too seriously and decided to bat first on a tricky track. A regrettable decision as David Behar, Gautom (“I only hit sixes”) Menon and Trib Das were cleaned up by three identical yorkers from GMP’s opening bowler Josh Bailey.
Shahzeb and Tim both survived Josh’s accurate initial spell and did some rebuilding without losing further wickets. Introduction of GMP’s superstar Asad (Shane Warne) Rehman got Tim out in his very first over, adjudged LBW for 25. Shahzeb (41) soon followed trying to hit his vertical six. On a difficult track, Neeraj (22) and Akhi (31) batted responsibly and finally KCC were bowled out for only 154.
KCC opening bowlers Khush Khan and Bernard provided the dream initial spell in a low scoring game. Both bowlers bagged two wickets each using banana-swing technology. Soon GMP were in tatters with Neeraj virtually unplayable bursting through the rest of the middle order, including Simon Tickler who was the only batsman offering any resistance with a brisk hard-hitting 46. Neej with his change of pace planned his wicket nicely at mid-wicket.
Tim took the last wicket, his first ever for KCC, in his one-ball spell to complete a comfortable victory. He was also given the KCC Man of the Match award despite Neej’s all-round performance (22 runs, 4 wickets). Rough justice Neej – don’t GMP like you anymore? Josh Bailey got the Whisky for his excellent bowling spell of 4/45.
Match 2: Sun 29 September Great Missenden Pelicans Lost by 7 wkts
We 180/10 in 40 overs (Shahzeb 54, San Gore 36, Furquan Kidwai 28, Asad Rehman 6/17)
They 184/3 in 30.5 overs (Rob Bailey 102*, Clive Nicholls 43, Sunil Amar 1/14, Saikat Barua 1/20)
Saurav won the toss and elected to bat at this traditional end of season friendly fixture. Rohan and Shahzeb got us off to a perfect start, with Shahzeb launching a particularly brutal assault in the 10th over, taking the score from 48 to 71 in a single over. Of course it was too good to last, as the introduction of young Asad Rehman (6/17) put a screeching halt to the KCC run machine and the innings folded for 180.
KCC’s opening bowlers started a spirited defence of this moderate total, reducing the opposition to 7/2, with Saikat being the pick of the attack. However, GMP rebuilt steadily and, aided by some friendly bowling, the 3rd wicket stand of 101 between Rob Bailey and Clive Nicholls took the game away from KCC. GMP won in a canter.
Match 1: Sun 30 June Great Missenden Pelicans Won by 58 runs
We 142/10 in 39.4 overs (Karan Bali 30, Oscar Jefferson 26*, Ajit Ramsagar 21, Taylor 4/15, Kankate 4/23)
They 84/10 in 19.2 overs (David Bailey 22, Bobby Deol 3/26, Farrukh Hasan 3/30, Eddy Barreto 2/12)
Contributed by the opposition:
Nags Head Meadow played host to Bollywood royalty and it was Bobby Deol who led Kensington to victory over the Pelicans.
The skipper once again wasted a good two minutes of his life by walking to the middle and promptly losing the toss. And on a freshly rolled (yes, the roller is back in business) and mowed wicket, Neeraj opted for Kensington to have a hit.
The Kensington openers took to their task with relish, particularly young Karan Bali who slapped a couple of balls into the hedge – losing one in the process. Toobes, who got redder and redder as the sun belted down on his Tintin hair, was given a breather after a decent spell and replaced with Shoelace. Toobes had done the softening up, allowing Shoelace and his unique run-up to take the glory. And take the glory he did with three quick wickets to knock the Kensington momentum.
There was the amazing sight of Pelicans taking catches and KCC were staggering at 80/7. At this point the skipper, mistakenly as it turned out, took pity on the visitors and took his foot off the gas, which allowed Kensington to creep up to 142.
On what was still an excellent track, confidence was high that the Pelicans could chase things down. Misplaced is a word that can often sit well in a sentence containing the word confidence. And it certainly fits the bill here.
It’s fair to say we have a good relationship with Kensington (they do bring beer and whisky after all) and JG ensured the relationship was not strained as he had the decency to walk for a caught behind – even though the umpire had no intention of giving it.
Mr Deol seems to be a fan of Missenden as he makes a big effort to play in the game and he found himself a nice furrow to plough from the top end. Whether it was the yard of pace he’d lost or the shiny blue and yellow trainers he was sporting, but his whippy right-arm swingers proved too hot for a number of Pelicans to handle.
The Pelicans’ top and middle order did not cover themselves in glory. Neither did the lower order if truth be told but there was still talk of salvation when Toobes was at the crease. Sadly, he did not stay at the crease. Now Oscar, the Kensington keeper, had ruffled a few feathers while batting with his constant chatter and he ruffled Toobey’s Tintin hair with one appeal for a caught behind too many. A play and a miss from Toobes saw an appeal go up. So Toobes did what any sensible batsman would do, he stepped three yards out of his crease and allowed the keeper to walk up to the stumps and run him out. Toobes wandered off saying he was so incensed by the appeal that he lost the use of his brain. We simply said he was an idiot.
With the Pelicans staggering on the ropes, the knockout blow was delivered – leaving Josh not out having not faced a ball. Still we enjoyed a beer, Shoelace snaffled the whisky, and we look forward to the rematch in September.
Match 2: Sat 30 Sept Great Missenden Pelicans Won by 29 runs
We 180/7 in 45 overs (T.Khan 36, Ghosh 35, Ramsagar 31, Rehman 4/44)
They 151/10 in 41 overs (Nichols 73, Tharakan 5/32, S.Nayar 3/39)
Match 1: Sun 17 June Great Missenden Pelicans Lost by 70 runs
They 156/6 in 38 overs (Clive Nicholls 73*, Asad Rahman 27, Bobby Deol 2/37)
We 86/10 in 29.3 overs (Rohan Ghosh 43, Al Naser Regan 23, Tickler 5/36, Kaz 2/5)
Bollywood sparkles but Kensington fizzles at GMP
When the BBC announced that on Sunday, June 17th, 2012, it would stop raining for a change (hallelujah!), skipper Neej pulled out all the stops. A large Nayar retinue rolled into the rural setting that is GMP’s cricket ground, complete with a Bollywood star and accessories in tow.
Bobby Deol donned Kensington colours, not for the first time. Although his borrowed kit bore tell-tale signs of lesser mortals, notably the trouser length, which struggled to reach past his shins. Despite the unforeseen shortcomings in the wardrobe department, Bollywood Bobby won over one and all through his affable nature and cinematic smile. A particularly emotive groan, when struck on the box first ball, drew peals of laughter from the gallery. Post match, Bobby gamely posed for photos with new and old fans. Meanwhile, Kensington CC fizzled to a resounding defeat, collapsing from a barnstorming start of 52/0 to 86 all out. All this chasing only 156 against a largely friendly attack.
Sun 2 Oct Great Missenden Pelicans Lost by 1 wkt
We 163/10 in 35 overs (Shahzeb 47, Gabriel Thomas 46, Rohan Ghosh 41, Asad Rehman 5/33)
They 164/9 in 32 overs (Neliman 44, Taylor 25*, S.Nayar 3/27, Shailendra 2/47)
Contributed by the opposition:
The Pelicans exorcised the ghosts of Hit or Miss by extending summer one more week and beating those fellas from Kensington.
On a day that could have been mistaken for some time in July, apart from the fact it was not raining, a typical Pelis display was served up as victory was in our grasp, only to be thrown away, before the match was pulled out of the fire right at the death.
After yet another lost toss, we were asked to chase leather in the baking sun. Frank Toobes, clearly getting the wrong idea by the prospect of chasing leather, charged in like a man half his age to produce one of his best spells of the season. There were suggestions that he may be a winter bowler. We’re awaiting a big-money transfer to the IPL. Supported well at the other end by Gov, the Pelis had a hold of the reins. Josh stepped up to the plate and gave an impression of someone who had never bowled before. Beamers were blocked and long hops swotted away; but he persisted and was rewarded when a long hop was spanked by Shahzeb straight to Sushil.
A big breakthrough and Josh suddenly found his rhythm, until we took him off as he was in danger of knocking the head off Stefanos, arguably the youngest cricketer ever to take the field at the Meadow. Kensington said he was 12 – we had our doubts with the lad having to stand on his tiptoes to see over the top of the stumps.
The Pelis turned to spin and there was an inevitability about things as Asad started taking wickets. The quicker one finally found its range and did for Rohan Ghosh, Kensington’s best bat. A Mike Gatting ball was served up to the little lad and he was left bewildered as his stumps were splattered. We took pity on him and called him back. A mistake some would say as he put on a partnership with Gabriel, the KCC No. 9, that took them past 150. Asad finally got his man (boy, actually), completing another five-for, and Tiger wrapped things up to leave the Pelis chasing 163.
Clive and Sushil made a bright start before Clive – described as the Pelis’ “gun bat” by the Kensington skipper (personally I think he is more Goose than Maverick) – fell to a super catch by Bharat.
Kensington celebrations were cut short as Butcher went in and caused carnage. Balls flew to all parts and we were sitting pretty until Sushil was given run out. With no TV replays, he had to go. But the sight of the normally mild mannered Sushil leaving the field like a spitting cobra told a story.
The skipper and Butch were going well until both fell victim to the so-called 12-year-old who proved himself a mean customer with the ball. He’ll be quite handy when he breaks through the four-foot barrier.
Wickets started to fall. Toobes, fearing he was about to be given out lbw by Clive, fell on his sword by running himself out. Jalil put in a call and that IPL contract has been ripped up.
Tiger strode out under orders to play sensibly and support Shoelace. Sadly, it was Shoelace who had the rush of blood to the lung as after playing a textbook forward defence that went straight, and I mean STRAIGHT, back to the bowler he set off for a run and left Tiger stranded.
With tension mounting, Asad marched out and marched straight back. Clive’s finger of fate deemed him lbw. The sound of a bat flying round the changing room suggesting Asad felt different.
Our hopes rested on the skinny shoulders of Josh and Shoelace. Josh did his job by playing out the over and nicking a couple of runs.
The stage was set for the Shoelace with six required. He went for the big heave, the ball spooned in the air to cover. Thankfully he picked the one Kensington player who could not catch (what happened, Jeffers? – Ed). Somehow they scrambled two, leaving four to win. Shoelace took aim, it looked like an edge, but we’ll say it was an angled guide down to third man for the winning boundary.
A fine way to end the season, washed down with the Kensington Cobras.