It was the turn of the “Loose Cannons”, a team from Singapore to play the last of the tour games at Alan Cooke Ground last weekend. And it was games which PCG desperately needed to win in order to regain some kind of credibility on the field.
In Saturday’s game of 30 overs a piece, the visitors won the toss and elected to bat first in the hope of putting on a good total for the hosts to chase.
It wasn’t until the third over that the first wicket of S Ladbury fell for 12, run out from a spectacular throw from long-off by L Dura. Two balls later, new batsman M Davies was bowled for 0 by H McDonald. Only 1 more wicket fell just before the first drinks break, that of D Norris for 2, while opener B Sharp kept the scoreboard ticking over at the other end bringing the score to 44-3 after 10 overs.
After drinks, K Silva gave both teams a master class in the art of leg spin bowling picking up the wicket of Sharp for 22. A Runhaar, bowling from the Airport end, took his wicket trapping A Tefler LBW for just 1 run.
Silva was at it again in the next over claiming his next victim, C Kiernan with help of an awkward catch by P Sami. G Hobden holed out the next ball to long-off putting Silva on a Hatrick. Unfortunately for him he was unable to convert leaving him with figures of 4-26.
With the score now at 72-7 things weren’t looking great, but the tail end showed resilience with C Russell making 17, caught off the bowling of M Sadarangani and R Hands 20 not out. That left S Wetherall and L Dura to pick up the last 2 wickets leaving the visitors with a total of 117 all out.
With a run rate of just under 4, PCG’s opening pair P Ledeboer and S Khan had plenty of time to play themselves in. Left hander W Buck opened the bowling from the Lake end finding some good bounce and swing. The batsmen set a good pace in the opening overs, but in the fourth Ledeboer mistimed his shot to be caught at mid-wicket for just 14.
A Khan was up next, but he too went for the big shot getting caught in the same over for 0. S Wetherall came out, but not for long, as Buck, finding some movement, bowled him for 0.
5 overs gone and PCG were 27-3, not the start they we looking for and the Cannons took the wicket of the other opener S Khan for 14, caught behind just before the break leaving the score at 45-4.
PCG captain A Van Blerk saw off a few overs, hoping to restore some discipline, before eventually being dismissed LBW for 6. L Dura couldn’t add much more getting bowled for 6 as well.
At 63-6 M Sadarangani, already at the crease, was joined by H McDonald. The pair started to play some nice shots getting the scoreboard moving, and some hope back for the PCG. As the target came closer H McDonald opened his shoulders to knock a few out of the ground, and with 3 runs needed put one over the ropes to take victory in style. Sadarangani finished not out on 25 and McDonald not out on 34.
On Sunday, a T20 game, the Loose Cannons won their second coin toss and again choose to bat first.
Things didn’t go to plan for the visitors as both A Virdikar and Y Ventrapatti picked up early wickets to have the Cannons 4 for 30 from 6.5 overs. Batsmen G Hobden and M Davies knuckled down and steered the Cannons to 4/51 at the 10 over drinks break.
The PCG should have been thankful with the scoreboard which included 29 wides!
After the break, the Cannons came out firing. Hobden finished with 29 runs, R Hands made 21 (15) and W Buck blasted two big sixes on his way to 26 from 14 balls. The Loose Cannons ended their innings with the respectable total of 145/9 from 20 overs.
S Raju and R Sadarangani opened for the PCG and got off to a flying start. However, Sadarangani 9 (7) was the first to go caught behind after the umpires conferred in the third over.
The Cannons picked up S Hamilton’s wicket cheaply and then W Buck found a way through Raju’s tight defence in the 8th over. This brought M Rehman to the crease with the PCG score 3/58.
Rehman attacked the Loose Cannons bowling, leaving A McMillan to knock the ball around as a cool change swept across the ACG. Rain came down forcing the players off the ground for 40 minutes with the PCG well above the run rate.
But the rain delay wasn’t enough to switch the balance of the game with Rehman hitting the winning runs in the 18th over. The PCG finished on 5/146, Rehman 42* (27), McMillan 30 and Raju 29. Best of the bowlers for the Loose Cannons was Ben Sharp 2/7 from 2 overs.
The PCG now prepare to start the 2015/16 league, with the opening round consisting of two T20 games on 13th December where Thalang take on Patong at 10am, and Island take on Laguna at 2pm. All games played at the Alan Cooke Ground in Thalang.
There are cricket matches nearly every Sunday at the purpose built Alan Cooke Ground in Thalang. Directions to this first class cricketing facility can be found at www.acgphuket.com. Anyone who may be interested in getting involved in playing cricket, umpiring/scoring or simply wish to watch and support at a social level, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can log onto www.phuketcricket.com and leave a message and/or contact us via our Phuket Cricket Group Facebook page.
We welcome all players of any standard to join our highly social and laid back cricketing fraternity here in Phuket. We look forward to hearing from you or seeing you at the ACG soon!