Pirates of the St Lawrence versus Bengal United
Saturday 18 June 2011
By our Irish correspondent Samuel Mulligan
A record unbeaten partnership of 161 between Angus Bell and Thiery Milot handed the Pirates their first win of the season on Saturday. Under the baking Saint-Hilaire sun, the pair smashed the highest stand in the club’s history to secure an eight-wicket win over a youthful Bengal United outfit. The comprehensive victory heralds the end of a gloomy start to the season and signals brighter times ahead at The Candy Fields.
After negotiating the toss, the men from the banks of the St Lawrence took to the field in what can only be described as sticky conditions. The combination of overcast skies and high humidity enabled the Pirates’ opening bowlers, Roche and Legault, to find conventional swing early doors. On a fast, bouncy wicket, the pair were often unplayable in the first ten overs.
Bowling from the Terminal End, Legault consistently beat both edges of the bat. At the Woodland End, Roche’s express pace extracted sharp bounce from the pitch. Legault made the early breakthrough with a pitched up out-swinger which found the edge of opener Shajib’s bat. The catch was taken spectacularly by wicketkeeper Steady Eddie Palmer, who dived full-length to snaffle the ball inches from the ground.
One quickly became two, as Roche was rewarded for his lively spell with the scalp of Sonu. A rising ball found the edge of the left-hander’s bat and flew to gully where it was comfortably taken by substitute Shafin.
The fall of Sonu brought United skipper Maninder Singh to the crease. Together with opener Rony, the pair launched an aggressive counterattack, scything anything short or wide to the fence and taking the visitors to the hundred mark in rapid time. With sunscreen dripping into Pirate eyes, a score of 250+ looked on the cards.
Resplendent in their new ‘Baggy Black’ caps, the Pirates came out fighting after drinks. Under sunnier skies, tight bowling and sharp fielding reigned in the scoring. The pressure paid dividends, as Skipper Bell broke the stand just four shy of the 100 partnership. A floaty delivery was too much for Singh to resist, as he managed only to hole out to Legault on the mid-wicket boundary.
The breakthrough brought about a Bengal batting collapse, with wickets continuing to tumble throughout the middle overs. After Bell had picked up a second – inducing a top edge from Topu, smartly caught by Mulligan at square leg – Krishnan dismissed dangerman Rony for a sparkling, quicker-than-a-run-a-ball 86. The Little Master’s fiery spell included a brace of well directed bouncers which skidded through at a nasty height. He finally removed Rony with a ball that seamed back through the gate and smashed into middle stump.
The quick fall of wickets caused panic in the Bengal ranks. Bell trapped Umar in front for 13, before removing Salvi for a duck. Looking to pick up the pace, Salvi saw his firm drive pouched by Milot at extra cover.
The Pirates continued to apply the squeeze through spin. Just as the seamers had earlier in the day, debutant Rashid got the best off the pitch, consistently getting to ball to bounce and spit. With pressure continuing to build on the batsmen, Rashid found the top of off stump to dismiss Amit.
At the other end, Bell found prodigious turn, bowling Mahfuz for four and grabbing his fifth wicket to record just the second five-wicket haul in Pirates’ history.
With nothing to lose, last-man-standing Shafin was free to play his shots. As he smote a series of fours and sixes into the forest, he threatened to undo the Pirates’ hard work in the field. A tight spell, however, from Savage restricted Shafin’s scoring opportunities and the innings was brought to a close by Mulligan, who bowled Shafin for 19.
Set 192 in 40 overs, the Pirates began their task in a professional manner, Brodie and Palmer contributing 24 for the first wicket. Brodie’s quick fire 18 off 16 balls – including 4 fours – ensured the Pirates were up with the required run rate.
After the bright start, the fearsome Mahfuz, generating bouncers in excess of 80 miles-per-hour, removed both openers within 14 balls, reducing the Pirates to 31 for 2 and threatening to blow a large hole in the side of the ship. Unlike the first innings, however, the double strike did not herald a collapse.
Bell and Milot began to build a match winning partnership, featuring the perfect blend of shot selection, aggressive running between the wickets and, at times, devastating boundary hitting.
Scoring at a rapid rate, the pair never looked in trouble. Even in the face of genuine pace they remained unruffled. When the Bengal fielders failed to hold on to a couple of tough chances, Bell and Milot were quick to punish the mistakes. Bell’s fifty was quickly followed by Milot’s – the third of the Canadian’s career and second in front of his parents and girlfriend.
The eight-wicket victory was sealed with more than 11 overs to spare. Bell and Milot’s unbroken stand of 161 featured no less than 20 boundaries – including a pair of massive sixes which Milot deposited over the mid-wicket boundary.
Bell’s unbeaten knock of 61 came of 65 balls and included 8 fours. Milot registered his career-best innings of 72 not out off 54 balls, with 10 hours and 2 sixes.
Pirates of the St Lawrence versus Bengal United
Saturday 18 June 2011
The Candy Fields, Mont-Saint-Hilaire
Match type: 40 overs per side
Weather conditions: Singapore to St-Hilaire
Result: Pirates of the St Lawrence won by 8 wickets
Bengal United Innings
Shajib ct Palmer b Legault 5 (1×4)
Rony b Krishnan 86 (11×4, 3×6)
Sonu ct Shafin (sub) b Roche 1
Maninder Singh (c) ct Legault b Bell 30 (2×4, 1×6)
Topu (wk) ct Mulligan b Bell 8 (1×4)
Umar lbw Bell 13 (2×4)
Salvi ct Milot b Bell 0
Amit b Rashid 0
Mahfuz b Bell 4
Shafin b Mulligan 19 (2×4, 1×6)
Extras 23 (Byes 9, Leg Byes 1, No Balls 1, Wides 12)
Total 191 for 10 in 36.2 overs
FoW (1-12, 2-27, 3-123, 4-145, 5-145, 6-151, 7-163, 8-163, 9-191)
Phil Roche 7 overs, 1 maiden, 1 wicket, 35 runs
Matthew Legault 4 overs, 1 wicket, 12 runs
Thiery Milot 4 overs, 0 wickets, 28 runs
Daniel Brodie 2 overs, 0 wickets, 12 runs
Sam Mulligan 2.2 overs, 1 wicket, 21 runs
Angus Bell 7.2 overs, 2 maidens, 5 wickets, 23 runs
Sundar Krishnan 4 overs, 1 wicket, 20 runs
Ahmad Rashid 3 overs, 1 wicket, 18 runs
Robert Savage 1.4 overs, 0 wickets, 10 runs
Pirates of the St Lawrence Innings
Edward Palmer (wk) ct Singh b Mahfuz 4 (14 balls)
Daniel Brodie lbw Mahfuz 18 (4×4, 16 balls)
Angus Bell (c) not out 61 (8×4, 65 balls)
Thiery Milot not out 72 (10×4, 2×6, 54 balls)
Phil Roche DNB
Robert Savage DNB
Sundar Krishnan DNB
Samuel Mulligan DNB
Matthew Legault DNB
Ahmad Rashid DNB
Extras 34 (Byes 13, Leg Byes 2, No Balls 2, Wides 17)
Total 192 for 2 in 28.2 overs
FoW (1-24, 2-31)
Mahfuz 6.2 overs, 2 wickets, 34 runs
Shafin 5 overs, 2 maidens, 0 wickets, 30 runs
Sony 3 overs, 1 maiden, 0 wickets, 13 runs
Salvi 4 overs, 0 wickets, 31 runs
Maninder Singh 5 overs, 0 wickets, 28 runs
Umar 2 overs, 0 wickets, 23 runs
Shajib 3 overs, 0 wickets, 16 runs