Pirates of the St Lawrence versus Bengal United
Saturday 4 September 2010
O hail, yon cricket muse! As dreadlocks flail
And semi-legal two-by-four swings,
The broken Bengal youth wail,
And in the ears, ‘Rochestar!’ rings.
Bard of Bristol
(Edited by William McGonagall)
Black clouds gathered over The Candy Fields and the wind chilled to the marrow. Vexed by a spate of recent defeats and a morning of mechanical breakdowns (car, tractor and bat), Cap’n Bell urged the shipmates to redouble their efforts against a young and spirited Bengal United.
Opening up, Bell and Wardley swiped 22 for the first wicket, before Wardley was deceived by the lack of pace, spooning a Dibarkar delivery around the corner into the hands of Raju for what would have been a foul in baseball.
Bell and Horne smote fours in a hurry, before a brief and nasty rain squall threatened to wash out the game. The timely application of covers, almost carrying four Pirates off in the air, and some hearty digging and drainage work rescued the square and allowed play to continue. Meanwhile, the inside of the shed turned to a Chinese laundry.
Bell and Horne fell in quick succession after the break. Horne cracked a cut straight at point on 9. Bell top edged a pull off the lightning quick Mahfuz on 18.
Milot and Roche carried the score to 88 with a chancy 36-run partnership. Several balls flew straight to Bengal fielders, only to slip through hands to ground. Milot, after some crunching drives and savage pulls, eventually tested the field once too often and popped part-time Pirate Arman to Raju for 23.
As Dan Brodie, nearing his prime, strode to the wicket with 20 overs remaining, Andrew Granville padded up, licking his lips at the prospect of a lengthy spell in the middle. But Roche and Brodie first blunted, and then broke, the Bengal attack; the former hoisting tigrish drives and cuts, the latter nurdling en route to a second successive century partnership.
Roche accelerated majestically from 50 to 100 with three sixes, securing his first career century and claiming the highest score by a Pirate. All of this was completed in an eye-watering 90 balls, including 12 fours. Roche and Brodie’s stand of 139 in 19 overs set a new club record.
After sweating in his pads and helmet throughout, Granville’s chance, with less than two overs to go, arrived. His groaning, carried by Hurricane Earl, could be heard in Laval.
Granville and Brodie put on 6. They scampered three more off the final ball, only to realise Brodie had been given out lbw for a well crafted 40.
Bell handed the new ball to Wisden in the field. Happy to be away from the creaking tent, from whose scaffolding hung seven terrified Bengals, Wisden found himself equally discombobulated by the wind in the middle. Moving like a camel into a sandstorm, the big man from Bristol struggled through 6 overs for 34. Granville suffered, too (perhaps still ruminating on the exasperation of seeing his batting opportunity limited to three balls), as the Bengals latched onto anything with width.
With victory in desperate need, Bell turned to man-of-the-day Roche. Varying his length, Roche obliged by prising out Rajib and Shah in the space of two overs – the first edged to Horne, the second, lashed to Savage at gully. But Dibarkar and Roni came together, and started to score quickly. At drinks break, the word was, ‘Not again.’
Betraying his countrymen, Chowdhury plucked another spectacular catch at mid-off to give Roche his third. With the dangerous Dibarkar in the hutch for 52, it was Brodie’s turn to take the limelight. The gangly, former Surrey off-spinner, quickly learning to take all pace off the ball, lured Roni out of his crease on 48. Salvi then smashed to Granville on the midwicket fence for a quick-fire 26.
Topu was next to go, trapped lbw to Brodie, as the Pirates circled for the kill. Not content to leave it there, Brodie then whistled in two rockets from the square leg boundary to claim two run outs and a five-for.
A comical lack of communication between the batsmen allowed Milot to atone for some uncharacteristic blemishes in the field, as he ran out Maninder.
Bell, with nothing left to lose, completed the innings with a model moon ball that somehow spooned off the back of the bat to Horne.
Bengal United finished 48 runs short with 44 balls to spare. Their youth were exposed for their lack of experience, as they lost their last 7 wickets for 41 runs.
Man-of-the-match Roche was later spotted criticising his batting on Facebook. Even perfection can sometimes be unsatisfactory to the gods.
The Pirate management say it is unlikely players will face a ban on social media.
Pirates of the St Lawrence versus Bengal United
Saturday 4 August 2010
The Candy Fields, Mont-Saint-Hilaire
Match type: 40 overs per side
Weather conditions: Hurricane
Toss won by: Pirates of the St Lawrence
Result: Pirates of the St Lawrence won by 48 runs
Pirates of the St Lawrence Innings
Henry Wardley ct Raju b Dibarkar 10 (2×4, 16 balls)
Angus Bell (c) ct Dibarkar b Mahfuz 18 (2×4, 24 balls)
Richard Horne (wk) ct Shah b Mahfuz 9 (2×4, 16 balls)
Thiery Milot ct Raju b Arman 23 (2×4, 33 balls)
Phil Roche ct Shah b Mahfuz 113 (12×4, 3×6, 90 balls)
Daniel Brodie lbw 40 Rajib (1×4, 46 balls)
Andrew Granville not out 1 (3 balls)
Robert Savage DNB
John Carter DNB
Erfan Chowdhury DNB
Tom Wisden DNB
Extras 19 (Byes 6, Leg Byes 3, No Balls 0, Wides 10)
Total 233 for 6 in 40 overs
FoW (1-22, 2-33, 3-52, 4-88, 5-227, 6- 233)
Mahfuz 8 overs, 3 wickets, 45 runs
Dibarkar 8 overs, 1 maiden, 1 wicket, 32 runs
Arman 8 overs, 1 wicket, 44 runs
Raju 5 overs, 0 wickets, 25 runs
Maninder 7 overs, 0 wickets, 43 runs
Rajib 4 overs, 23 runs, 43 runs
Bengal United Innings
Dibarkar ct Chowdhury b Roche 52 (8×4)
Rajib ct Horne b Roche 18 (3×4)
Shah ct Savage b Roche 1
Roni (c) st Horne b Brodie 48 (5×4, 2×6)
Salvi ct Granville b Brodie 26 (2×4, 1×6))
Topu lbw Brodie 5
Maninder run out (Milot) 3
Raju run out (Brodie) 1
Arman run out (Brodie) 5
Mahfuz ct Horne b Bell 11 (2×4)
Bhaskar not out 1
Extras 13 (Byes 1, Leg Byes 1, No Balls 2, Wides 9)
Total 185 for 10 in 32.4 overs
FoW (1-47, 2-51, 3-102, 4-144, 5-159, 6-164, 7-167, 8-168, 10-185)
Tom Wisden 6 overs, 0 wickets, 34 runs
Andrew Granville 3 overs, 0 wickets, 22 runs
Phil Roche 8 overs, 3 maidens, 3 wickets, 28 runs
John Carter 3 overs, 0 wickets, 20 runs
Angus Bell 7.4 overs, 1 wicket, 54 runs
Daniel Brodie 4 overs, 3 wickets, 14 runs
Erfan Chowdhury 1 over, 0 wickets, 14 runs