Today saw the rain clouds drift away and the season opener greeted by bright sunshine, initial concerns about the potential of a postponement where soon forgotten. We have had some fantastic matches with Frensham previously and the Pelicans braced for a tough match.
Ben Barclay was today's Capt and we looked to him to guide, what is in effect a new team, through the first game nerves. Ben won the toss and unsurprisingly opted to bat. Will Brown and Fergus Hanbury strode confidently to the wicket and showed aggressive intent right from the word go, Will was soon into his stride hitting 6s and 4s in quick succession, whilst Fergus set about crafting an anchor innings. Will's very entertaining innings came to an end when he holed out to the boundary and the Frensham fielder Spike took a smart catch under pressure, warm appreciative applause lit up the Sportsfield as he made his way back to the pavilion.
This brought the big hitting Capt to the crease, Fergus took this cue to wind up his big shots and was now blending elegance with brute force. Both batsman entertained the watching crowd with a variety of shots, Ben hitting 2 mighty 6s before being clean bowled as he attempted one to many big shots, his 26 was very well appreciated by all as he deservedly took the acclaim. Fergus reached 33 with a smartly taken 4 and was withdrawn retired having reached his 30, this was a super innings and we look forward to more from Fergus who looked very accomplished. Both Will Farrar and Brodie Petrie got going before being bowled by the pick of the Frensham bowlers Jack who was moving the ball into the batsman and causing problems, Jack was very impressive in his spell.
To the crease came Chris Clayden and Maxim Clarke who steadied the nerves following a mid innings slow down, after a few early nerves both settled into a terrific partnership that saw the Pelicans reach 143 for 4 after the 20 overs. Maxim hit the ball hard to the boundary on 4 occasions in a very good 26 not out effort. Whilst Chris, who impressively reached 15 not out at the close, was directing the run rate with a series of intelligent 1s/2s. The both played really well together and left the Pelicans feeling confident at the end of the innings. In addition the Pelicans received great support from their parents who performed a multitude of vital tasks - Scoring, Refreshments, Electronic scoreboard duty, Noisy home support - thanks all much appreciated.
Frensham set about chasing our total down and got off to a great start with both openers hitting boundaries and quickly put on a score. The impressive opener Sam was withdrawn after a quick fire 30 that put his team in the box seat, this was set against a good spell of bowling from both Matt Congdon and Tom Aitken. Ben Barclay then took the wicket of Harvey and both openers had now departed, Ben picked up another wicket and Frensham were 2 down. This didn't curtail their attacking intent and Oban was particularly impressive forming a good middle order partnership with Toby. The wicket of Oban was key, Matt took a very good catch to remove him (the first of two nice catches today) and gave Fergus a very well deserved wicket. The Pelicans were sensing it might be their day.
The fielding application was terrific including Will Farrar's impressive keeping, the bowling from Jack Cardwell, Toby White, Chris, Will Brown in the middle of the innings was pivotal and the boundaries were now drying up and the run rate going up in our favour. Maxim and Brodie bowled the final nervy overs, with Brodie taking 3 well deserved wickets as Frensham tried to force the issue, their effort was commendable. However this one went in the favour of the Pelicans and was received with great joy at the end.
A wholehearted affair with both teams slugging it out, resulting in great entertainment for the crowd. Frensham closed on 126-6. A fabulous day for the Pelicans and all eleven players where our Person of the Match. Big thanks to Simon (Matt's dad) who helped out with umpiring late on.