The Pirates slowly assembled on a sunny, but breezy, Saturday afternoon at the artificial Jiankang field (Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Science). Pirates skipper, Mark Henwood, won the toss and elected to bat.
A few stragglers were still walking up from the metro, so Jamie Boynton (0 off 3) and Vinny Viswanath (100* off 47) went out to open the batting. Amogh Kashyap went out to field at mid-off, while the Jiankang side waited for their final player to arrive. He was immediately in the action, taking an easy catch to remove Boynton in the first over.
Alex Cumming (68 off 37) joined Viswanath in the middle, and so began a monumental partnership that lasted most of the innings. Cumming was unlucky to face many wides just out of reach, however, at the other end Viswanath was playing a controlled innings and dispatching the ball to all parts of the field. The partnership was cruising with such ease there was a lot of talk about retiring the batsmen, but when we checked the score Viswanath had already had passed 80 on his way to bring up a clinical and chanceless 100*. On reaching the milestone he raised his bat and retired himself.
Meanwhile, Cumming had started hitting sixes and soon bought up his own fifty and with Adarsh Lobo (37 off 14) began accelerating the scoring. He was eventually run out for a quality fifty, despite some chirp from the Pirates sideline. Lobo’s innings was a whirlwind of boundaries, and together with a brief cameo from Mukul Singh (5 off 4), took the Pirates to 251/2 off our 20 overs. Once again the short square boundaries inflated the Pirates total and made fielding a challenge for the Jiankang side.
Sumesh (3-0-18-2) and Kashyap (3-0-13-1) opened up with the new ball for the Pirates. Jiankang started well, but a couple of wickets to a good slip catch by Cumming, and a loopy catch to Boynton at mid-off, slowed them down. Then Achal Gurnani (3-1-9-2) and Henwood (2.4-0-9-4) demolished the Jiankang innings, taking 6 wickets, plus a direct hit run-out from Kashyap, to end the game in a rout. Jiankang were all out for 49 after 11.5 overs, and the last five batsmen out without scoring.
This was the last match this year for the Pirates in the SCA league, and we finished with two wins, one win by a forfeit, one loss, and two matches rained off, which gives us 8 points in the competition. We also pushed the touring Hong Kong Cricket Club side to the final delivery in an exciting match.