Pirates of the St Lawrence versus Rolls Royce Aviators
Saturday 10 September 2011
By our Irish correspondent Samuel Mulligan
A fine all-round performance by Pirates of the St Lawrence sealed a comprehensive win against Rolls Royce Aviators on Saturday at The Candy Fields. Batting first, the men from Mont-Saint-Hilaire posted a mammoth 249 from their 35 overs. In response, the Aviators mustered a spirited reply, but were ultimately beaten by 90 runs.
The good men of Rolls Royce Aviators touched down at The Candy Fields on the most pleasant of September mornings. The clear skies and warmer weather made a welcome change from the stormy conditions of recent weeks.
Pirates’ captain for the day, Phil Roche, made the best of starts to his reign by winning the toss. Choosing to bat first proved to be the right decision, as the Pirates’ batsmen hit the ground running.
The opening pair of Eddie Palmer and Ahmad Rashid exhibited exemplary shot selection from the start. While decent deliveries were met with the sternest of defences, anything that was even fractionally off line or length was punished ruthlessly. Both players found the boundary with regularity as they scored at more than a-run-a-ball for the first 10 overs.
Their achievement was made all the better given the quality of the Aviators’ attack. Robinson – one of two Pirate regulars playing for Rolls Royce – and Holiday were impressive with the new ball. Robinson in particular bowled a lively spell, and was unlucky to finish wicketless after a miserly 7 overs for 20.
While Palmer finessed the ball through the gaps, Rashid took the aerial route. His innings included four sixes, two of which came in the same over off Holiday. Two high full tosses were dealt with in identical fashion, with Rashid executing textbook hook shots over square leg.
Things were going swimmingly for the Pirates’ openers, until Simon Royle – the other Pirate among the Aviators – made the breakthrough. Palmer was unlucky to be given out LBW playing a sweep, and departed for a fluid 20 from 34 balls (including 2 fours) in a partnership of 80 that laid the foundations for later.
The speed of Pirates’ innings shifted from ‘brisk’ to ‘breakneck’ when Roche joined Rashid in the middle. In devastating form, Roche took an instant liking to the opposition attack. Spurred on by his captain, Rashid, too, accelerated his scoring rate, and together the pair put on a show of brutal boundary hitting. A flurry of fours and sixes followed in the middle overs, as both men latched onto anything even remotely wayward. Rashid soon reached his maiden fifty, off only 45 balls, and immediately retired in order to let his fellow Pirates bat.
Roche was joined at the crease by the gifted Suthershini Sivanantham, who, after 10 years playing for Sri Lanka, and now Canada, was making her Pirates debut. The batsmen continued the rapid scoring rate, despite the Aviators efforts.
Roche’s fifty came in double quick time, with the Pirates’ No.3 reaching the landmark with a massive straight six off Royle. Roche began to walk off on 51 but was prompted to see out the last ball of the over. He obliged, executing a carbon copy of his previous stroke to take his innings to 57 from just 24 balls. His explosive innings contained 6 fours and 4 sixes.
Soon after being joined in the middle by Mulligan, Sivanantham was undone by a freak delivery from Vijnashwar, which skidded under her bat to bowl her for 9 from 13 balls.
The No. 4′s departure brought Legault to crease, and the Montreal native took no time to settle in. While Mulligan nudged and nurdled his way to a ‘Boycottesque’ 18 off 47 balls, Legault pierced the field on numerous occasions. He struck 7 fours during his quick-fire 42 – doubling his previous best score. The pair saw out the rest of the innings to ensure the Pirates posted a formidable 249 for 2 from 35 overs.
In response, the Aviators – who fielded 14 batsmen – opened with their captain, Mahon, and the dangerous Hamby. Things were made difficult for the pair as the Pirates’ seamers bowled tight lines from the very first ball. Blechynden and Bhawalkar found bounce, pace and swing, and rarely bowled a bad ball during their opening spell.
Blechynden worked tirelessly throughout the day and was unfortunate not to pick up a wicket. He maintained the pressure on the Aviators, and finished with the economic figures of 8 overs for 24 runs.
At the Terminal end, Bhawalkar’s rhythmical action helped him to swing the ball with apparent ease. It was this lateral movement which made him virtually unplayable on the day. He picked up the first of two wickets when he had Mahon caught down the leg side by Palmer for 1. His second followed soon after when he castled Hamby for 6.
The fall of Rolls Royce’s openers brought English pros Robinson and Royle to the crease. As they showed for the Pirates this season, the pair score their runs quickly.
Bhola and Savage did well to stem the flow of runs. The former was unlucky not to have Robinson dismissed, as a couple of tough chances went begging in the field.
Looping it from the Woodland End, Savage provided a timely breakthrough, bowling Royle for 12 from 23 balls to put the Pirates back in the box seat.
Robinson, who had been joined in the centre by Guinan, continued to score freely. The elegant left-hander raced to his fifty, smashing nine boundaries – 5 fours and 4 sixes – in the process.
With Robinson well set, it took a piece of good fortune for the Pirates to dismiss him. Bowling from the Terminal End, Sakrani managed to deflect a straight drive from Guinan on to the stumps at the non-striker’s end. Caught short of his ground, Robinson was dismissed for a valiant 53 from 37 balls.
Spurred on by the run out, Sakrani went on to deliver a triple wicket maiden. Guinan was the first to go, brilliantly caught by Blechynden at cover. The Western Australian dived forward to take a tumbling catch mere millimetres from the turf.
Kanishka followed soon after, beaten by a turning delivery. Sakrani showed his versatility for his third wicket. Switching from spin to seam, he came off a long run-up to york Ammar.
At the other end, the Montreal Metronome, Matthew Legault added to his fine performance with the bat by clean bowling Vijnashwar with his cunningly disguised slower ball.
Sivanantham played a role in the next four Aviator dismissals. After bowling Bilal with a well flighted delivery, she produced the first of two excellent catches. Savage, in his second spell from the Woodland End, rushed Chetham with a ball just back of a length. The batsman pulled a little uppishly and was pouched by Sivanantham diving forward at mid-wicket.
Sivanantham then bowled McDonald next over with a ball that turned and bounced. The Sri Lankan dynamo was soon in the action again, when she held onto a sharp catch in the covers. Bhuwan rocked back to cut a shortish delivery from Mulligan through the off-side, but drilled the ball to the waiting Sivanantham.
While wickets fell all around him, Neale managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over. His 22 not out from 26 balls – including 3 fours – suggest that the Aviators may have missed a trick by sending him in at 13.
The Aviators’ innings was finally wrapped up by Bhola when, after a change of ends, he induced a false shot from Holiday. Holiday – who scored a run-a-ball 12 – top edged a sweep to square leg, where he was bagged by Bhawalkar. Despite having to contend with the ball being hit into the sun, Bhawalkar took a well judged catch to hand the Pirates their fourth victory of the season.
Pirates of the St Lawrence versus Rolls Royce Aviators
Saturday 10 September 2011
The Candy Fields, Mont-Saint-Hilaire
Match type: 35 overs per side
Weather conditions: English country garden
Result: Pirates of the St Lawrence won by 90 runs
Pirates of the St Lawrence Innings
Eddie Palmer (wk) lbw Royle 20 (2×4, 34 balls)
Ahmad Rashid retired not out 51 (3×4, 4×6, 45 balls)
Phil Roche (c) retired not out 57 (6×4, 4×6, 24 balls)
Suthershini Sivanantham b Vijnashwar 9 (13 balls)
Samuel Mulligan not out 18 (47 balls)
Matthew Legault not out 42 (7×4, 37 balls)
Robert Savage DNB
Prashant Bhawalkar DNB
Aneeq Sakrani DNB
Sarran Bhola DNB
David Blechynden DNB
Extras 52 (Byes 2, Leg Byes 3, No Balls 3, Wides 44)
Total 249 for 2 in 35 overs
FoW (1-80, 2-139)
Robinson 7 overs, 1 maiden, 0 wickets, 20 runs
Holiday 7 overs, 0 wickets, 35 runs
Chetham 5 overs, 0 wickets, 37 runs
Ammar 2 overs, 0 wickets, 19 runs
Royle 4 overs, 1 wicket, 47 runs
Neale 1 over, 0 wickets, 20 runs
Kanishka 2 overs, 0 wickets, 18 runs
Vijnashwar 2 overs, 1 wicket, 14 runs
McDonald 2 overs, 0 wickets, 13 runs
Guinan 2 overs, 0 wickets, 16 runs
Hamby 1 over, 0 wickets, 7 runs
Rolls Royce Aviators Innings
Mahon (c/wk) ct Palmer b Bhawalkar 1 (13 balls)
Hamby b Bhawalkar 6 (12 balls)
Robinson run out (Sakrani) 53 (5×4, 4×6, 37 balls)
Royle b Savage 12 (23 balls)
Guinan ct Blechynden b Sakrani 10 (16 balls)
Vijnashwar b Legault 0 (11 balls)
Kanishka b Sakrani 0 2 balls)
Ammar b Sakrani 0 2 balls)
Bilal b Sivanantham 4 (1×4, 2 balls)
Bhuwan ct Sivanantham b Mulligan 4 (11 balls)
Chetham ct Sivanantham b Savage 0 (4 balls)
McDonald b Sivanantham 3 (4 balls)
Neale not out 22 (3×4, 26 balls)
Holiday ct Bhawalkar b Bhola 12 (2×4, 12 balls)
Extras 32 (Byes 5, Leg Byes 1, No Balls 3, Wides 23)
Total 159 for 13 in 31 overs
David Blechynden 8 overs, 0 wickets, 28 runs
Prashant Bhawalkar 3 overs, 2 wickets, 6 runs
Sarran Bhola 6 overs, 1 wicket, 49 runs
Robert Savage 4 overs, 2 wickets, 28 runs
Aneeq Sakrani 2 overs, 1 maiden, 3 wickets, 4 runs
Matthew Legault 2 overs, 1 maiden, 1 wicket, 3 runs
Suthershini Sivanantham 2 overs, 2 wickets, 8 runs
Samuel Mulligan 3 overs, 1 maiden, 1 wicket, 12 runs
Eddie Palmer 1 over, 0 wickets, 7 runs