Last Sunday (Jan 24) at the Alan Cooke Ground, Laguna and the Thalang Cricket Team (TCT) went head to head in a 40-over-per-side match with TCT coming out victors by 44 runs.

Hico MacDonald (Thalang) bowls Damien Clowes (Laguna) -  Michael Way
Hico MacDonald (Thalang) bowls Damien Clowes (Laguna) – Michael Way

The coin toss fell TCT’s way and they chose to bat first on a warm and windy morning.

Runs were hard to come by for TCT’s batsman early with Laguna’s bowlers bowling a tight line. At the first drinks break TCT had crept up to 60 runs.

After the drinks break Iqbal Malik and Faroq Ahmad struck with the wickets of Andrew McMillan (27 runs) and Richard Bentley (42 runs). Laguna continued to bowl to a tight field and the pressure was telling in the 19th and 20th overs with TCT losing 3 wickets and in a spot of bother at 5/96.

Alex Runhaar fell cheaply to Roly Coooper 6/118. Garry Lane and Anthony Dupont nudged the bowling into the gaps but were unable to find the boundaries through the lush ACG outfield. Laguna’s captain Iqbal Malik used 9 bowlers in the hope of encouraging some big strokes, but the batting pair saw TCT through to the 30 over break 6/141.

In the 32nd over, Dupont, who was then on 7 runs from 23 balls, dispatched Moomin Sanga to the fence for 4. That was TCT’s first boundary since the 10th over of the innings. The four started an aggressive 8 over onslaught by the batting pair and a 63 run partnership.

Lane was eventually dismissed for (32 runs) with a few overs remaining, Dupont (45 runs) was the last TCT wicket to fall in the 40th over.

TCT finished all out 217 from 39.5 overs. Ajay Napal took 2 catches and affected 2 run outs for Laguna. The best bowlers were Arif Mushtaq 2/19 (5.5 overs) and Faroq Ahmad 2/16 (4 overs).

After a bite to eat upstairs in the Bondi Boundary Bar the second innings begun with hard hitting Ali Khan and Moomin Sanga in the middle for Laguna.

The pair struck 43 runs from the first 4 overs. Barrie Buck bowled the 4th over and was unfortunate to wear a Sanga straight drive on the end of his finger attempting an unlikely catch.

TCT’s captain McMillan threw the ball to 7 different bowlers in the first 10 overs in an attempt to either stem the flow of runs or pick up a much needed wicket. Sanga (26 runs) was the only wicket to fall prior to the drinks break, LBW from the bowling of Hossain Sylar. Laguna were 1/84 at drinks.

Much like the first innings, the bowlers were able to restrict the scoring and then pick-up multiple wickets. Manish Sadarangani made an uncanny duck from 14 balls and in the next over A Khan (60 runs from 48 balls) was Sylar’s second wicket.

Laguna only managed 2/34 between the 10th and 20th overs and walked off for a drink at 3/118 needing 100 to win from 20 overs.

Damien Clowes was intent on hitting some much needed boundaries when play resumed. He found the leg side rope twice in the 22nd over and a few overs later he was dropped on the boundary just short of hitting the Indigo Pearl sign and winning a free brunch.

Cooper was bowled by Dupont in the 23rd over. Clowes (28 runs) and Mushtaq were dismissed in the 27th and 28th overs.

Anthony Dupont (Thalang) bowls Roly Cooper (Laguna) -  Michael Way
Anthony Dupont (Thalang) bowls Roly Cooper (Laguna) – Michael Way

The match was evenly poised at the 30 over drinks break with Laguna 6/161 requiring 57 more runs for victory and the experienced heads of Sameer Khan and Stuart Reading at the crease.

TCT had several men on the fence to start the last 10 overs and the accurate bowling of Alex Runhaar brought about an outfield catch and the wicket of Reading. The wheels fell of for Laguna very quickly with the final 3 wickets falling in 4 deliveries after S.Khan (23 runs) was also well caught in the outfield.

Laguna all out 173 from 33.3 overs. Best bowlers for TCT were Runhaar 4/23 (6.3 overs), Sylar 2/17 (6 overs), Hico McDonald 2/42 (8 overs).

TCT are now narrowly on the top of the Phuket Cricket League table.

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