Man of the Match Morgan seals Beefy Bash win
Piers Morgan XI (181/4) beat Brian Lara XI (177-7) by six wickets with one ball remaining
Piers Morgan was the unlikely hero as his side shocked a team captained by West Indies legend, Brian Lara, to win the Beefy Bash charity Twenty20 match as part of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League in St Kitts.
In an entertaining match, organised by Sir Ian Botham and played in front of a capacity crowd at Warner Park, Morgan starred with bat and ball. In what must surely be his greatest sporting achievement, the broadcaster dismissed double-world record holder Lara for a duck, caught at mid-wicket. As if that wasn’t enough, he then smashed the former West Indies captain for a six and a four in the final over of his side’s run chase to seal a thrilling victory, by six wickets, with one ball to spare.
The teams were formed of a mixture of cricketing legends such as Lara, Graeme Swann, Darren Gough, Ian Bishop, Tom Moody, Roger Harper and Matthew Maynard, celebrities Piers Morgan and Marcus Mumford, lead singer of folk-rock giants, Mumford and Sons, politicians, cricket administrators and local players. Fans were treated to spectacular entertainment and comedy, with practical jokers Gough and Danny Morrison playing up to the crowd.
Former England spinner, Swann, playing for the first time since retiring from all cricket in the middle of last year’s Ashes series, performed well with both bat and ball for Team Lara, helping local batsman Shane Jeffers to add 100 for the sixth wicket, and drying up the runs when he bowled. Britain’s Grammy award winner, Mumford, wasn’t so lucky, as his lively medium pace was dispatched to all parts of the ground. At one point, he even resorted to pleading for mercy from Jeffers, but to no avail.
Former Glamorgan and England batsman, Matthew Maynard, coach of the St. Lucia Zouks in the CPL, rolled back the years for Team Morgan with some clean hitting, but when he was dismissed with a few overs remaining, the responsibility fell to Morgan and Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel coach, Simon Helmot to help his team get near the target. Lara brought himself on to bowl for the final over, but Morgan was to be the star, sealing a Man of the Match performance with a boundary which sparked jubilant celebrations from the former newpsaper editor.
The ever-modest Morgan was keen to play down his achievements: I got Brian Lara for a duck, then slapped him for a six and a four in the last over to win the game...and the Man of Match award. No big deal! Seriously though, for a club cricketer like me, playing in front of a crowd like this with some of the world’s most legendary players is a dream come true.
Proceeds from Beefys Bash will go to Special Olympics St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Kitts and Nevis Association of Persons with Disabilities and the Creative Youth Academy.