Pirates of the St Lawrence versus Rolls Royce Aviators
Sunday 20 September 2009
Pirates of the St Lawrence recorded their eleventh win of the season in a historic clash versus Rolls Royce on Sunday. After more than a decade away from the game, the Aviators pushed the Pirates all the way to the wire, falling by just 8 runs in the final over.
As the kit arrived by tractor on a dewy Candy Fields at 10.30 am, Rolls Royce were already dressed in white and ready to play. Celtic captains Angus Bell and Paddy Mahon tossed, the Pirates electing to bat.
Dominique Lemoine, playing in only his second game, opened the innings with Bell. The pair were greeted with a nest of spitting cobras, as The Aviators pacemen kept the Pirates to 13 in 5 overs.
Lemoine, milking the strike like a pro, and having faced more balls than in an entire baseball season, decided enough was enough. Twice he smote three fours in succession through the leg side, as the left-hand-right-hand combo began to wreak havoc. The Quebecois, learning a little more about the rules between each over, whipped the ball with impecable ease timing, bringing up the 50 partnership inside 10 overs.
Bell, with bruised fingers and a purple navel, chopped, pulled and lapped the ball either side of the wicket, looking to give his senior partner the strike.
Just three runs short of a hundred partnership, Lemoine fell lbw to Rana – the pick of the Aviator bowlers – for an extraordinary 48. He faced only 43 balls and was confused about how he was out.
George Robertson – no relation to the former Nato Secretary General – continued his rich vein of form, dancing down the track and swinging high and handsome.
Bell brought up his seventh fifty of the season, before walking for a tickle to the keeper standing up to the stumps.
Tuffers Fairbairn, flown in from England just for this match, added 15 with Robertson, before the latter fell lbw again to Rana.
Andrew Granville was dropped at short mid-wicket, only to be run out as he took two steps down the wicket and the ball was flung back to the keeper. Tuffers Fairbairn then swung across the line to a full one from Karan, sounding the death clunk.
Geoff Benoit opened his account for the Pirates, pulling a single and edging a second to third man. Ashok then tempted him with a floater, sending one through the gate as Benoit tried to hoy the ball into the forest.
Enter Manas Gupta, the little Indian wearing no pads. “Erm,,,are you sure you don’t want pads?” asked umpire Bell. “No, no. I’ll be fine,” he said. Gupta was struck first ball on the shin before the ball cannoned into leg stump.
Two in two to the off spinner. Enter Tom Wisden.
Exit Tom Wisden, one ball later, bowled Ashok to complete an astonishing hattrick. The Pirates had lost 4 wickets for 0 runs, 5 wickets for 4 runs, and the last 6 wickets for 13.
The experienced Roy Middleton and Ceylonese Chris (on loan from the Aviators), hobbling from a a dicky knee and a freshly torn hamstring, saw out the final three overs, adding 17 to nudge the Pirates to 168 for 8 in their 30 overs.
The Aviators came out blazing in reply. Former Queen’s University champ Irishman Paddy Mahon and his English counterpart Richard gunned 19 in three overs, hoisting the ball high over the infield.
Manas Gupta, keeping the ball up to the pads, made the first breakthrough, sneaking one through Mahon’s defences.
A nervy Pirate oufit watched as the second wicket added 45 in eight overs. The Aviators were ruthless with anything short or on leg.
Finally the Anti-Pace, after spraying three wides, struck dangerman Sundar dead infront.
Boundaries continued aplenty as pies continued to be served and opportunities in the field went begging. The third wicket came on 91 in the 17th over, Bell bowling Ashok for 13.
The score raced over 100. Captain Bell’s stomach was in knots. Opener Richard, having survived a stumping opportunity, looked determined to bury his hosts.
Tuffers Fairbairn pegged the scoring back with his left-arm pace. Stand-in keeper Granville used his ankles to stop a spate of potential leg-side byes rolling to the boundary.
Bell, struggling for length, picked up two more wickets, the first spooned to Lemoine at cover and the second to Staniszewski at extra. Robertson returned at the other end to claim the wicket of Vicky to give the Pirates a glimmer of hope.
Roy Middleton’s solitary over went for 10, as the Pirates fielders began to lose the plot, hurling the ball at the stumps when the batsmen were comfortably in, with no one backing up.
Super Sub Bullivant appeared and tore out his hair as his first over went either side of the wicket for 10, one chance slipping through Staniszewski’s hands at point.
With 18 needed from 18 balls, 5 wickets in hand, Richard unmovable on 50 and Karan slapping it around on 20, the Pirates needed a miracle.
Bell took the keeping gloves from Granville and handed the seasoned stalwart the ball. Having watched many situations like this on Sky Sports over the years, Granville proceeded to bowl four full tosses and contain the Aviators to four runs in the over.
Fourteen needed off twelve. Bullivant produced a pearler to beat Karan for length and Bell whipped off the bails. Bullivant’s next ball was fast and full, trapping Simon lbw. Karan survived the hattrick ball, as four more runs were added in the over.
Ten required off the final over, three wickets remaining. Richard, on 54, emerged from his crease and fell to a Granville submarine that crashed into off stump. It had been a heroic effort in his first game for eight years.
Kanishka drove the next ball for 1. Granville tossed the ball up again. Karan took half a step out the crease and Bell did the rest. The Aviators had lost four wickets in nine balls.
With nine needed off three balls, twelfth batsman Martin Staniszewski appeared at the crease in hockey gloves. He was stumped first ball. The Pirates gave him a reprieve and one more run was added to the score, handing the Pirates a thrilling eight-run victory.
Rolls Royce Aviators can take a bow for a magnificent comeback effort.
Pirates of the St Lawrence versus Rolls Royce Aviators
Sunday 20 September 2009
The Candy Fields, Mont-Saint-Hilaire
Match type: 30 overs per side
Toss won by: Pirates of the St Lawrence
Weather conditions: Sunny as you like
Result: Pirates of the St Lawrence won by 8 runs
Pirates of the St Lawrence Innings
Angus Bell (c/wk) ct Simon b Rana 54 (6×4)
Dominique Lemoine lbw Rana 48 (7×4)
George Robertson lbw Rana 20 (2×4)
Neil Fairbairn b Karan 12 (2×4)
Andrew Granville (wk) run out 2
Jeff Benoit b Ashok 2
Roy Middleton not out 3
Manas Gupta b Ashok 0
Tom Wisden b Ashok 0
Chris not out 4
Extras 23 (Byes 9, Leg Byes 5, No Balls 0, Wides 9)
Total 168 for 8 in 30 overs
FoW (1-97, 2-123, 3-138, 4-147, 5-151, 6-151, 7-151, 8-151)
Vicky 6 overs, 1 maiden, 0 wickets, 17 runs
TJ 6 overs, 0 wickets, 25 runs
Sundar 2 overs, 0 wickets, 24 runs
Karan 6 overs, 1 wicket, 39 runs
Ashok 3 overs, 3 wickets, 19 runs
Rana 6 overs, 3 wickets, 28 runs
Kanishka 1 over, 0 wickets, 4 runs
Rolls Royce Aviators Innings
Richard b Granville 54 (6×4)
Pat Mahon (c) b Gupta 11 (2×4)
Sundar lbw Wisden 23 (3×4)
Ashok b Bell 13 (2×4)
Rana ct Lemoine b Bell 16 (2×4)
Paul ct Staniszewski (sub) b Bell 1
TJ b Robertson 1
Vicky st Bell b Bullivant 22 (3×4)
Karan st Bell b Granville 2
Simon (wk) lbw Bullivant 0
Kanishka not out 1
Stanieszewski not out 1
Extras 16 ( Byes 3, Leg Byes 5, No Balls 0, Wides 8 )
Total 160 for 10 in 30 overs
FoW (1-19, 2-64, 3-91, 4-111, 5-113, 6-117, 8-155, 8-155, 9-159, 10-159)
George Robertson 6 overs, 1 wicket, 36 runs
Manas Gupta 3 overs, 1 wicket, 24 runs
Tom Wisden 4 overs, 1 wicket, 16 runs
Neil Fairbairn 6 overs, 0 wickets, 25 runs
Angus Bell 6 overs, 3 wickets, 29 runs
Roy Middleton 1 over, 0 wickets, 10 runs
Darren Bullivant 2 overs, 2 wickets, 14 runs
Andrew Granville 2 overs, 2 wickets, 5 runs