Amazing season for Pinatar Pirates
The Pinatar Pirates Cricket team ended their perfect season back where it began with a T20 victory in April earlier this year. From there they went on to win the T20 tournament at the Pinatar Arena, reach the final of the Last Man Stands European championship, win the La Manga T20 Classic tournament and in the same month, October 2017, became crowned the ECCL division two champions. The Cartama Oval was a special place to them where they made many new friends, so being invited the take part in this "Sports World Spain Cricket Festival", T20 tournament was a real honour.
Pinatar Pirates were joined by three two local teams, Malaga CC and Crusaders CC and a team from the UK, Hampshire Vets CC. The tournament was blessed with marvellous weather throughout the three days, and after Malaga won the opening game against Hampshire Vets, it was time for Pinatar's first game against the Hampshire Vets. The Pirates batted first in this low scoring contest. The Pirates had to be at their best in the field and thanks to a great spell of pace bowling from P. Hennesingh (4-26) and the tricky spin from A. Panchal (2-20), Hampshire were bowled out for 108.
Later that afternoon, Pinatar were back on for their second game. Pinatar found runs hard to come by. Poor batting saw them finish on 108 for 8 of their 20 overs, a remarkable win for the Crusaders.
The Crusaders reached Sun- day's final winning their next two games, Pinatar Pirates knew they needed a comprehensive win over Malaga CC in their final game of the group stages to reach the final themselves. Pinatar captain, Gopi Singh, turned to his slower spin bowlers early in the game with instant results. The Pirates won the game sending the team from Murcia into Sunday's final against the Crusaders.
Sunday's proceedings kicked off with the 3rd place play off, Hampshire Vets (198-3) beating Malaga CC (190 - 7). Victory swung in the way of the touring team from the UK.
Next up was the final, Pinatar, having lost once to the Crusaders, wanted revenge. Pinatar were faultless, and ruthless. Pinatar's bowling was superb, and unlike the previous encounter, the Pirates took all their catches with the captain Gopi Singh taking three and the pick of the catches was from the wicket keeper Sukhi Singh taking a flying one handed catch low to his left. The stunned Crusaders battled to 92 before they were bowled out. In reply the Pirates remained focused to the task and cool headed batting from Ravi Panchal (51no) Sajid Ali (22) and Lovejeet Singh (19no) finishing the game in style with a massive 6, won the game for the Pinatar Pirates Cricket Club.
It was a fabulous way to end their champagne season, and to do it in the marvellous settings of the Cartama Oval was just fantastic. Not only were Pinatar taking home the winners trophy, but Ravi Panchal won the batsman, Bittu Singh the bowler and Sukhi Singh the fielder of the tournament awards.
Pinatar Pirates would like to thank all the teams for playing the tournament in a sporting and friendly manner and thank everyone involved and the organisers for doing a wonderful job.
John Howden the tournament referee and his team of officials did a marvellous job.
The umpires, K. Healy, B. Gaynor, J. Barrett and smoking D. Riley were excellent all the way through and the scorer, LM. Rhodes was superb.
Special thanks also to David Copper owner/barman of the complex for making it all possible, working closely with Egan Dantis whose organisation was much appreciated.
The Pirates would personally like to thank Graham Shelton from Torrevieja Cricket Club for the use of their minibus.
Pinatar wanted others to share in their good fortune so some of the lads decided to go and support Malaga Football club just up the road as they played host to Celta Vigo in a La Liga clash. Malaga without a win all season and only one point to their name and sitting bottom of the league needed some of the Pinatar charm, and would you believe it, they won 2 - 1. Well done lads, and you're welcome Malaga!
The Twelfth man