HKCC beat Pirates in an Exciting Finish
The Pirates match against HKCC drew an overwhelming response of players available for the fixture, so the Pirates squad swelled to 13 players, including Bashers: Shit Shoes (c), Bambi, Swiper, Long Dong, Paps, and future Basher, Joshua Williams.
Discussions between the captains at the tour dinner on Saturday night led to a 13-a-side game the following morning. The following morning was pleasantly warm, with a gentle breeze across the field, and ideal for cricket. Shit Shoes has been around Skiddy too often, so he lost the toss, allowing HKCC to bat first. Things began well for the Pirates as Ankit Kawatra (3-0-9-1) struck in the first over to remove regular tourer, Bob Bettridge (0), and soon after Adarsh Lobo threw in a sharp return to runout Madhav (5). The first change bowlers, Paps (3-0-9-0) bowling left arm swing off two paces, and Santosh Yadav (2-0-3-1) bowling spin, were both miserly and at the 10 over drinks break the HKCC side were only 28/3.
After drinks, Lord Sid ran out last and was asked to field in slips, where he immediately took a fine catch off Shit Shoes (3-1-6-4). In Shoe’s second over Lobo took an incredible catch on the cow corner boundary, Mukul Singh executed a smooth stumping, and Swiper made a loopy catch at short midwicket look easy. The HKCC side were reduced to 41/7 after 15 overs. However, they made a fightback as first Nick (15), then Dackia (17) and Tejde (16*) picked up the scoring rate remarkably. Dackia was particularly aggressive in his batting and cleared the long-on boundary with a fine lofted drive off Long Dong (3-0-23-1). After losing a couple of late wickets, to Long Dong and Lord Sid (2-0-19-1), the HKCC side finished on a respectable 101/9.
The Pirates began the second innings well, with a solid opening partnership of 26 off the first four overs between Bambi (10) and Swiper (15). The HKCC bowlers then bowled well, and the Pirates runrate stalled as Alex Cumming (2) and Lord Sid (2) fell cheaply. Singh (11) batted solidly through the middle overs, before Kawatra (19) launched into the bowling and one well timed slog sweep landed amongst the spectators on the deep mid-wicket boundary. Tejde (3-0-24-1) made the breakthrough, claiming Kawatra out LBW, and that bought Lobo (18) to the crease.
Lobo immediately made an impact, lofting two incredible straight sixes into the breeze off Aayosh (3-0-20-1), and at the other end, Wotton (11) was looking composed. The Pirates needed 12 off the final over, but couldn’t quite get there. Some good fielding at long-off prevented a boundary, and with a six required off the final delivery, Lobo was bowled by Buckley (3-1-9-2), the standout bowler from the HKCC side. The match had slipped away while Paps was sipping tea on the sidelines, and the Pirates had managed only 96/7 off their 20 overs.
A jovial, and enjoyable, lunch and fines session followed at the SCSC clubhouse, with numerous awards and presentations made by both sides, including some presented by long-time SCC member and regular in the matches between the sides, Inquisition. It was a great game of cricket, competitive down to the final delivery, and both sides look forward to the next fixture when HKCC tours Shanghai again.