Pirates of the St Lawrence versus New Edinburgh of Ottawa
Saturday 3 July 2010
Steady Eddie Palmer struck his first legal half-century for the Pirates, and Angus Bell his tenth, as the Black Caps snuck home against New Edinburgh in a run bonanza at The Candy Fields on Saturday. The gentlemen of Ottawa slapped a whopping 214 for 6 in 40 overs, only to be pipped at the post, as the Pirates chased down the target with 5 wickets and 11 balls to go.
Three years the teams waited for this encounter, and it lived up to the hype. New Edinburgh, after winning the toss, looked a class outfit from the start, batting patiently, then stroking the ball serenely through the gaps. Conditions were a little alien for them, as they shed their coloured pyjamas, white balls and grazing pastures in the Governor General’s gardens.
The Rocket Phil Roche and Brand Power Brander got the ball to bend early doors, taking advantage of the hairdryer blowing at Beaufort 6 towards the mountain. In a unique feat for the Pirates, both achieved maidens in their opening overs.
Kaushal and the dangerous Nandlal looked set to cash in on a lightning quick outfield. The latter smote seven fours and a six on his way to 38, before falling to the Anti-Pace. Yet again, the ball was struck high to long-on, where super-sub Warren Kett made no mistake, ending a 44-run opening stand.
Boundaries continued aplenty, with Dravya hitting with the wind to the mountain-side boundary, and Kaushal clubbing down the ground. The pair added 51, when John Carter, making his debut for the Pirates, had Dravya caught sweetly by Milot at point in his first over.
Carter, the pick of the bowlers, was in the action again, teasing Kaushal from the crease, much to the delight of Irongloves Horne.
Middleton and Finkelberg produced miserly spells in an intriguing battle with the middle order. Brady worked the ball to leg, defying the laws of physics, ably supported by ”The Wall” Briana, playing in her first encounter. Finkelberg burst the dream bubble, finding an edge through to Horne. ”I got a wicket? How? I still don’t understand what happened,” confessed the mild-mannered Quebecor.
Middleton, making the ball dance both ways, drifted one through the gate next over to account for Briana, taking the score to 129 for 5 in the 29th over.
But with 11 overs to go, The Senators still had plenty in their tank. Some lusty blows and generous retirements saw the score mount rapidly towards, and then beyond, 200. Skipper Pankaj, together with the experienced Harpreet and Jawad, walloped 10 boundaries between them. Bell came in for some severe treatment after bowling Arun, slapped mercilessly to the leg side fence.
”What’s the fuckin’ point in me spending four hours a week on a grass cutter when you don’t use the facilities?” he demanded. He was consoled at lunch break by Anne Brander, who believed not even the great Shane Warne could have contained the Senators in the breeze.
After last week’s disastrous chase versus McGill, 214 looked an imposing target. It looked even stiffer in the second over, when Greg Brander was bowled by an outswinging jaffer from Arun.
But Steady Eddie Palmer had other ideas. Shaking off the shackles of his early season injury woes, the British bulldog looked in imperious form, lashing onto anything short and whipping balls on middle stump over midwicket to the fence. Four times he cut to the off-side boundary, keeping the Pirates close to the required 5 an over.
Cap’n Bell was much more subdued at the other end, battling with gastreous problems. He was dropped at slip on 5, cutting close to his body. It was then that Harpreet, with deceptive pace and swing, struck him in the berries. Bell doubled over and collapsed at the wicket. ”Has the pain gone to your stomach yet?” asked umpire Brander.
”Yes, I can feel it rising,” whispered Bell.
”Oooh, it’s rising, that’s good,” cooed Middleton, hovering over him with a steady hand.
”Not my c@*k, man! The pain!”
With the natural painkillers kicking in, Bell began to find his feet, driving through extra cover for his first four. Palmer raised his first half-century for the Pirates with a glorious on-drive.
After a maiden from Nandlal, the required run rate jumped to 7.25 an over for the last 16. Bell, his nuts still ringing, cut lose, pulling a four and a six to leg, then driving down the ground to take 14 off Nandlal’s final over. It brought up Palmer and Bell’s third hundred partnership for the Pirates.
Pankaj was then hit for 15 in his first over, the ball flying off the edges and middle, baseball style.
Dangerman Dravya always looked threatening with his off breaks swirling and holding up in the breeze. His clever change of pace soon accounted for Palmer, bowled through the gate as he advanced from his crease.
Rich Horne arrived and, with no time to play himself in, worked the ball through mid-wicket, haring back for twos. The Pirates required a further 83 in 13 overs. Every single would push the required run rate up.
A hook into the ditch brought up Bell’s second half-century of the season and his tenth for the Pirates. Swinging at everything, he could only add two more boundaries before cutting to short backward point, where Brady, having shed the keeper’s gloves, clung onto a stunner.
Horne holed out to long-on two balls later, after a rapid 17.
Warren Kett joined Thiery Milot in the pressure cooker. Milot, in his comeback after six months out with a severed knee ligament, was tested him to the limit as Kett screamed for a third run to fine leg off his first ball. The little Frenchman displayed admirable resolve against a barrage of fast, swinging bowling.
Kett, in a masterclass in the art of batting, square drove, hooked, and cut boundaries to all parts, relieving much of the tension for the home team. Milot’s stumps were then demolished by Arun. ”There was nothing I could do,” he confessed. ”It’s too good.”
Phil Roche, with a knack of finishing not out this season, looked determined to banish the daemons of McGill’s master’s students a week before. Clipping into the gaps and running harder than he’s ever had to for the Pirates, he and Kett carried the Black Caps home with 11 balls to spare.
Despite the five-wicket win, this Ontario-Quebec thriller ranked as perhaps the Pirates’ greatest ever victory.
Pirates of the St Lawrence versus New Edinburgh of Ottawa
Saturday 3 July 2010
The Candy Fields, Mont-Saint-Hilaire
Match type: 40 overs per side
Weather conditions: Beaufort 6, like a hairdryer. ”Would blow the collar off a dog,” said Greg Brander.
Toss won by: New Edinburgh
Result: Pirates of the St Lawrence won by 5 wickets
Nandlal ct Kett b Wisden 38 (7×4, 1×6)
Kaushal (wk) st Horne b Carter 29 (5×4)
Dravya ct Milot b Carter 32 (5×4, 1×6)
Brady (wk) ct Horne b Finkelberg 15 (1×4)
Briana b Middleton 1
Arun b Bell 1
Pankaj (c) retired not out 20 (2×4)
Harpreet retired not out 30 (3×4, 3×6)
Ali not out 5
Jawad retired not out 17 (2×6)
Kundai not out 0
Extras 26 (Byes 5, Leg Byes 2, No Balls 2, Wides 17)
Total 214 for 6 in 40 overs
FoW (1-44, 2-95, 3-112, 4-129, 5-129, 6-146)
Phil Roche 7 overs, 1 maiden, 0 wickets, 25 runs
Greg Brander 5 overs, 1 maiden, 0 wickets, 31 runs
Tom Wisden 4 overs, 1 wicket, 33 runs
Warren Kett 3 overs, 0 wickets, 22 runs
John Carter 4 overs, 1 maiden, 2 wickets, 12 runs
Angus Bell 8 overs, 1 wicket, 65 runs
Roy Middleton 4 overs, 1 maiden, 1 wicket, 9 runs
Ben Finkelberg 3 overs, 1 maiden, 1 wicket, 6 runs
Thiery Milot 2 overs, 0 wickets, 10 runs
Pirates of the St Lawrence Innings
Eddie Palmer b Dravya 60 (8×4)
Greg Brander b Arun 4 (1×4)
Angus Bell (c) ct Brady b Dravya 68 (8×4, 2×6)
Richard Horne (wk) ct Dravya b Kundai 17
Thiery Milot b Arun 4
Warren Kett not out 32 (6×4)
Phil Roche not out 8 (1×4)
John Carter DNB
Roy Middleton DNB
Ben Finkelberg DNB
Tom Wisden DNB
Extras 22 (Byes 3, Leg Byes 3, No Balls 1, Wides 15)
Total 215 for 5 in 38.1 overs
FoW (1-9, 2-131, 3-168, 4-92, 5-196)
Kundai 6 overs, 1 wicket, 25 runs
Arun 8 overs, 2 wickets, 46 runs
Nandal 8 overs, 1 maiden, 0 wickets, 37 runs
Harpreet 7.1 overs, 0 wickets, 39 runs
Praviya Sharma 5 overs, 2 wickets, 28 runs
Pankaj 4 overs, 0 wickets, 36 runs