Pirates in Malaga!
Don’t be alarmed, it’s the Pinatar Pirates Cricket Club!!
That’s right, David Cooper at the Cartama Oval, minutes from Malaga invited the Pirates to travel down to take part in two days of T20 competition.
Pinatar Pirates being a club that just enjoy playing a game they love were quick to take up the offer and players made arrangements to travel south to Malaga for an exciting weekend of cricket. Not knowing what to expect they were in for a pleasant surprise, arriving on the 25th of March for the first match, they were greeted by a beautiful green grass wicket, very different to the artificial wickets that clubs around Spain are used to playing on.
Day 1 the Pirates were scheduled to play the Costa del Sol Crusaders for two T20 matches. Perhaps still taken back by the breath taking beauty of where they were playing, and not used to playing of grass wickets, the home team took full advantage of some wayward Pinatar bowling allowing the openers to build 117 opening stand before the first wicket fell. The Pirates did finally get to grips with the conditions and they had a gettable target of 180 to win the match. However the Pinatar batsman found the surface as difficult and different to bat on as to bowl, and no one really made any real contribution, all out for 111.
After a lovely tea, in the second game the Pirates seemed to have woken up and got used to their surroundings, with the openers posting 79 before the first wicket fell. The home side tightened the screw and Pinatar slowly moved onto a disappointing 132 for 4 of their 20 overs, Paul Hennesy 50 and Ravi Panchal 43. The target looked too low but good bowling and much improved fielding from the Pirates helped Pinatar win the match, restricting the home side to 123 all out of their 20 overs, with Ravi Panchal impressing with bat and ball and picking up the man of the match award.
Day 2 was hotter and better, especially for Pinatar Pirates as they played Malaga CC for next two T20 games.
Pinatar continued their impressive bowling and fielding, dismissing their opponents for just 87, the one concern for them being that the extras was more than runs scored off the bat. The Pirates chased the runs reaching the target in 13 overs, Bittu Singh 45 not out.
Game two was all about a Paul Henessingh, the home side winning the toss elected to bat first, the young bowler demonstrated just how important it is to bowl straight, fast and accurate, Paul took 5 wickets in 6 balls, including a Hatrick, and if that wasn’t special enough, if he hadn’t dropped a catch of his own bowling, he could have had two hatricks, but still finished with a fantastic 6 wickets for 18 runs in 3 overs. However if the Pirates thought the Malaga team would surrender, they were wrong. An entertaining 10th wicket partnership of 50 saw them post a challenging 139 of their 20 overs.
The Pirates were always up with the run rate thanks to scores from Gopi Singh 38, Ravi Panchal 35 no from 15 overs, however when the man of the match, Hennessingh came into bat, everyone expected him to bring home the win on this, his perfect day. But it’s a funny game, and when they say it only takes one ball, they were right, Paul was out first ball for a golden duck! This left Bittu Singh to bring home the win for Pirates.
It was a fantastic two days of cricket, with some excellent cricket being played in a very supporting and entertaining manner, credit to all 3 side involved. It was also a credit to see young players like Jamie and Harry play, and more than hold their own.
The Pirates want to thank the two teams for giving them some challenging and competitive matches, but most importantly, for making them feel so welcomed. Thanks to David Cooper and his family for all the effort and hard work they put in, to make this such a special and successful tour.