Pirates of the St Lawrence versus Bengal United
Sunday 26 June 2011
By our Irish correspondent Samuel Mulligan
Bad weather brought a premature end to a game that was developing into a finely balanced contest at The Candy Fields on Sunday. Earlier in the day, part-time Pirate Maninder Singh blasted an impressive half-century for Bengal United.
There’s an old wives’ tale that agitated ants signify bad weather. Things got off to an ominous start when an infestation of ants and their offspring had to be swept off the jute mat.
Facing each other for the second time in eight days, the Pirates and Bengal United took to the field under gunmetal grey skies. Upon winning the toss, Pirates’ skipper Angus Bell elected to bowl.
Just like the previous week, the Pirates’ opening seamers, Roche and Legault, used the overcast conditions to their advantage. An on-form Roche was a handful first up. The paceman delivered a fiery four-over spell in which he picked up two wickets for only three runs.
Roche got the initial breakthrough after Pawan top-edged a ball which rose sharply from short of a length. The chance was well taken by a back-pedalling and tumbling Bell at midwicket. From 4 for 1, the Bengals were soon 9 for 2 when Roche clean bowled Shagor.
At the other end, Legault delivered an economical opening spell in which he was desperately unlucky not to pick up a wicket. The Canadian swung the ball away, consistently causing the batsmen to play and miss. Unerringly accurate, he conceded only 16 runs in eight overs.
Mesmerised by Legault’s spell, the square-leg umpire was found hiding behind extra cover. Play was temporarily suspended to give him the chance to gather his senses and find his way to the leg side.
The dismissal of Shagor brought Maninder Singh to the crease. Coming off the back of an impressive innings against the Pirates in last week’s encounter, Singh capitalised on his rich vein of form. Together with wicket-keeper-batsman Topu, he put on 52 for the third wicket.
The task of containing the Bengal United pair was left to debutant René Bousfield, who impressed during his spell. The Canadian-Swiss came close to grabbing his first wicket in his very first delivery, when he yorked Singh fractionally wide of off stump. Bousfield deceived Singh once more with a well flighted delivery, but the resulting chance was spilled by Mulligan on the deep square-leg fence. Still unsure of the rules, Bousfield said, ”Just let it bounce next time.”
Aneeq Sakrani and Faheem Awan continued the fine work in the middle overs, limiting United’s scoring opportunities. Sakrani broke the third wicket stand with a well disguised quicker ball that bowled Topu through the gate. He went on to pick up a second wicket by castling Salvi in identical fashion.
Singh raced through the gears to reach his fifty in quick time, pushing the Bengal United total past the hundred mark. He plundered 9 fours and 2 sixes before he was eventually dismissed for 78 off just 74 balls. Bell removed him with a ball which turned to find a leading edge. The lofted chance was taken by the nervy Bousfield at mid-off. Bell soon had his second when Jiya was stumped for 30, gloveman Horne making no mistake.
The wickets continued to tumble. Indar Nowrang added to United’s woes, dismissing Jasen for 1. Varying his pace cleverly over the course of his four overs, Nowrang was unfortunate to finish with only one wicket.
At the other end, Bell bowled Mahfuz for 16 with a big turning leg break. The experienced Bhajooram Sukhdeo then brought the United innings to a close, fizzing down two unplayable off-breaks to bowl Calvin and Shafin in consecutive balls. Two wickets in two deliveries leaves Sukhdeo top of the bowling averages, strike rates, and economy rates for the season.
After a quick turn around, Sukhdeo was back out in the middle to open the batting with Mulligan. Bowling from the Terminal End, Mahfuz had Mulligan on the back foot from ball one. The Bengal United skipper’s express pace was too much for Mulligan to handle, and the Irishman was clean bowled in the first over.
Together with Sukhdeo, Roche had just begun to get the scoreboard ticking over when Mahfuz struck to bag his second scalp of the day. His extra pace and bounce forced Sukhdeo to offer a caught and bowled chance, which the United man gratefully accepted.
The dismissal of Bell soon after – bowled between bat and pad second ball by Shagor – brought Horne to the crease. Together with Roche, he took the fight to the opposition, and the pair were soon scoring above the required run rate. Roche in particular looked to be getting back to his best, punching the gaps to register four boundaries, including a monster six over cow corner.
Play was then halted at the end of the 17th over when a sudden heavy downpour brought the covers on. After a 20-man clean-up job looked to have saved the game, the sky darkened once more and further rain forced abandonment. When, 20 minutes later, blazing, uninterrupted sunshine appeared, the mat (minus the ants) was already in the barn and half the opposition were en-route home.
Little has separated the two sides in recent weeks, and it is unfortunate that this match ended prematurely.
Pirates of the St Lawrence versus Bengal United
Sunday 26 June 2011
The Candy Fields, Mont-Saint-Hilaire
Match type: 40 overs per side
Weather conditions: Papua New Guinea-like, then improving, then after the typhoon, glorious – except the game was over.
Result: Match abandoned – could have played after the squall but teams had to leave for work.
Bengal United Innings
Topu (wk) b Sakrani 16 (1×4, 54 balls)
Pawan ct Bell b Roche 0 (7 balls)
Shagor b Roche 1 (10 balls)
Maninder Singh ct Bousfield b Bell 78 (9×4, 2×6, 74 balls)
Salvi b Sakrani 0 (4 balls)
Jiya st Horne b Bell 30 (1×4, 43 balls)
Jasen b Nowrang 1 (4 balls)
Mahfuz (c) b Bell 17 (2×4, 1×6, 15 balls)
Calvin b Sukhdeo 2 (5 balls)
Shafin b Sukhdeo 0 (3 balls)
Extras 36 (Byes 1, Leg Byes 4, No Balls 3, Wides 28)
Total 181 for 10 in 38.2 overs
FoW (1-4, 2-9, 3-61, 4-65, 5-133, 6-143, 7-176, 8-181, 9-181, 10-181)
Phil Roche 4 overs, 2 maidens, 2 wickets, 3 runs
Matthew Legault 8 overs, 1 maiden, 0 wickets, 16 runs
René Bousfield 4 overs, 0 wickets, 34 runs
Aneeq Sakrani 5 overs, 2 wickets, 30 runs
Faheem Awan 4 overs, 0 wickets, 28 runs
Angus Bell 7 overs, 3 wickets, 37 runs
Indar Nowrang 4 overs, 1 wicket, 24 runs
Samuel Mulligan 2 overs, 0 wickets, 9 runs
Bhajooram Sukhdeo 0.2 overs, 2 wickets, 0 runs
Pirates of the St Lawrence Innings
Samuel Mulligan b Mahfuz 1 (4 balls)
Bhajooram Sukhdeo c&b Mahfuz 3 (13 balls)
Phil Roche not out 29 (3×4, 1×6, 44 balls)
Angus Bell (c) b Shagor 0 (2 balls)
Richard Horne (wk) not out 8 (14 balls)
Aneeq Sakrani DNB
René Bousfield DNB
Faheem Awan DNB
Indar Nowrang DNB
Matthew Legault DNB (Absent)
Extras 16 (Byes 7, Leg Byes 2, No Balls 7, Wides 0)
Total 57 for 3 in 12 overs
FoW (1-3, 2-19, 3-20)
Mahfuz 5 overs, 2 wickets, 11 runs
Shagor 5 overs, 1 wicket, 22 runs
Shafin 1 over, 0 wickets, 5 runs
Salvi 1 over, 0 wickets, 11 runs