Pirates of the St Lawrence versus McGill
Saturday 26 June 2010
A spectacular Pirate collapse gifted victory to McGill’s students on Saturday. After a stirring performance in the field, which restricted the visitors to 162, the Pirates lost 9 wickets for 54 runs, losing the game by 22 at The Candy Fields.
McGill, with the aid of their premiership ringers, batted with care and abandon through the first nine overs, as Roche and O’Driscoll maintained disciplined line and length. Omar Hyat, who has one Pirate cap to his name, tried to inject some urgency into the innings, flaying three fours over the top. He survived two difficult chances – one by Legault at long-on, a second by Chowdhury at mid-off, before slicing to the latter at cover. Chowdhury, leaping like an epileptic salmon, bagged one of the catches of the season, one-handed above his head.
Nick Wigley, after a winter spent relaxing in Barbados and Nigeria, was again backed up by top-drawer fielding in his second over, as Bell hurled himself to his right at midwicket to claim another one-handed screamer. Wigley and Bell combined again to dismiss Tayab, leaving the students wobbling at 45 for 3.
Sensing lambs’ blood, the Pirates circled for the slaughter, terrorising the students with their razor-sharp fielding. Wigley snapped up his fourth victim with another tumbling left-handed effort, this time off his own bowling.
Wisden mixed the good with the bad, as he struggled to find his run up. All the while, opener Amsal remained patient, scoring at one an over as the Pirates turned the screw.
Bell pinned down one end and then grew frustrated as suddenly any ball 5 cm outside off stump was signalled wide. Skipper Hyat replaced the umpire to restore sense to proceedings.
Matt Legault struck in his third over, inducing Adeel into a nibble behind after a 17-ball 1, giving Palmer his first of two catches. Bell then trapped Salman on the crease with a quicker arm-ball for 2.
Hayat must have spiked the students’ drinks, for after the break at 20 overs, opener Amsal went berserk, running everything and turning nones into twos. Shoaib and Amsal mounted a 50-run fightback in quick time.
Amsal brought up his 50 in the 35th over, but the celebrations were short-lived as Roche returned to pick up three wickets in his seventh over. Barker, bounding in from squareleg, took a blinder to remove the left-hander, as O’Driscoll closed in for the rugby tackle. Shoaib then top-edged a pull high to Bell at extra cover. Capping the spell off, Roche had Zeeshan caught behind for a duck.
Wigley returned in an attempt to collect his five-for. Wadood handed him the chance, skying a pull to short midwicket. Four fielders descended for the catch, but Chowdhury made the mistake of going for it two-handed and spilled the ball.
Legault polished the innings off, claiming Wadood’s scalp, as the batsman holed out to O’Driscoll at mid-off.
Only 113 runs were scored off the bat, as some genuinely wayward bowling, combined with some of the most ludicrous umpiring ever witnessed at The Candy Fields, helped raise the students’ score to 162 – not a daunting target by any stretch on an excellent track and a lightning quick outfield.
In reply, McGill offered very little to hit. The ball either bounced wide of the gravel, racing down to the fine leg boundary, or landed full on the stumps. The score rattled past 50 in the tenth over, as Steady Eddie Palmer and Danny Boy Barker, back after a two-year hiatus, blunted the attack.
Screams could be heard atop Mont-Saint-Hilaire as the opposition appealed for every leave that bounced twice in front of the keeper. Umpires O’Driscoll and Bullivant were tested to the limit; O’Driscoll eventually having to retire hurt with sore arms from signalling wide so often. He was replaced by Andy Myron, who, donning the white coat, looked like he should be judging cows at the local agricultural show.
Palmer belted several powerful hooks and drives, backed up by Barker’s trademark sweep and cut. The Englishman was the first to fall, at the introduction of spin, biffing a full toss first ball into the hands of cow corner.
Man-of-the-hour Nick Wigley, unusually batting under the influence of just three beers with his promotion to first drop, looked to finish the game in a hurry, carving the ball to all parts. At 86 for 1 in the 18th over, with the bowlers struggling to hit the carpet, the Pirates were cruising.
”Can somebody wake me up when the game is over? I’m going for a sleep in my car,” said Erfan Chowdhury. No sooner had he started snoring when Wigley was caught and bowled by the fiery Omar.
Darren Bullivant, back after months in the gator-infested swamps of Alabama, recorded his first duck for the Pirates, victim of a sensational left-handed catch at cover.
Cap’n Bell came to the crease in some discomfort. Needing to go to the crapper since 9.45 that morning, but unable to because of the late arrival of his players, clamped his buttocks like a vice in order to keep his whites clean. He watched, aghast, as Barker slashed at a wide one to give McGill a glimmer of hope.
Having requested all game that the players run off the gravel, Bell could then not believe his luck as a short, wide ball from the left-arm spinner hit a pile of stones and shot through at ankle height as he went for a pull, clipping leg stump. The Pirates were suddenly foundering at 99 for 5.
Roche looked determined to beat the students, shepherding the strike and accumulating with the utmost caution. He could only shake his head at the cacophony of ridiculous appeals. Legault showed his best form with the bat yet, and was furious to be run out from a suicidal single to the keeper. With more than a month off lecturing in Trump Tower, Manhattan, he would be left to stew his dismissal for a long time.
The students encircled the batsmen, as the field resembled the fifth day’s play on a New Delhi dustbowl. Myron popped one skyward to shortleg for a blob.
Dangerman O’Driscoll, who has seen this situation before, had no answer to the pace and skid of Shoaib. Erfan Chowdhury, only minutes out of a cricket nightmare in the car, faced a more terrifying scenario out in the middle, and was caught and bowled for zero off a beamer.
It was all up to take-your-time Tom Wisden, jettisoning the scorebook for his jockstrap. His solid defence has earned him the nickname ”The Wall” this season. There was absolutely no way McGill were going to get passed his forward press.
Unfortunately he was run out, lumbering down the wicket like a camel into a sandstorm, as Roche demanded a second to cow corner. Having run out [of] partners, Roche was left stranded on 29, an agonising 22 runs short of victory.
Pirates of the St Lawrence versus McGill
Saturday 26 June 2010
The Candy Fields, Mont-Saint-Hilaire
Match type: 40 overs per side
Weather conditions: Better than the forecasters predicted
Toss won by: Pirates of the St Lawrence
Result: McGill won by 22 runs
Omar (c/wk) ct Chowdhury b Wigley 16 (3×4)
Amsal (wk) ct Barker b Roche 58 (2×4)
Bilal ct Bell b Wigley 3
Tayab ct Bell b Wigley 1
Ammar c&b Wigley 10
Adil ct Palmer b Legault 1
Salman lbw Bell 2
Shoaib ct Bell b Roche 17 (2×4)
Zeeshan ct Palmer b Roche 0
Wadood ct O’Driscoll b Legault 5
Amir not out 0
Extras 49 (Byes 1, Leg Byes 2, No Balls 3, Wides 43)
Total 162 for 10 in 38.3 overs
FoW (1-29, 2-31, 3-45, 10-162)
Phil Roche 7 overs, 1 maiden, 3 wickets, 26 runs
Tony O’Driscoll 4 overs, 0 wickets, 18 runs
Nick Wigley 6 overs, 4 wickets, 27 runs
Tom Wisden 3 overs, 0 wickets, 12 runs
Angus Bell 8 overs, 1 wicket, 17 runs
Matthew Legault 5.3 overs, 2 wickets, 24 runs
Erfan Chowdhury 2 overs, 0 wickets, 16 runs
Daniel Barker 2 overs, 0 wickets, 12 runs
Andy Myron 1 over, 0 wickets, 8 runs
Pirates of the St Lawrence Innings
Ed Palmer (wk) ct Omar b Mohammed 18 (3×4)
Danny Barker ct Amsal b Omar 15 (2×4)
Nick Wigley c&b Omar 17 (2×4)
Darren Bullivant ct Amir b Omar 0
Angus Bell (c) b Amir 2
Phil Roche not out 29 (2×4)
Matthew Legault run out (Amsal) 3
Andy Myron ct Omar b Amir 0
Tony O’Driscoll b Shoaib 1
Erfan Chowdhury c&b Shoaib 0
Tom Wisden run out (Tayab) 0
Extras 55 (Byes 0, Leg Byes 2, No Balls 1, Wides 52)
Total 140 for 10 in 37.2 overs
FoW (1-55, 2-86, 3-89, 4-92, 5-99, 6-104, 7-109, 8-115, 9-127, 10-140)
Bilal 7 overs, 0 wickets, 37 runs
Amir 8 overs, 1 maiden, 2 wickets, 32 runs
Shoaib 8 overs, 2 wickets, 27 runs
Omar 8 overs, 2 maidens, 3 wickets, 11 runs
Mohammed 6.2 overs, 1 wicket, 29 runs