It was 2nd placed Laguna and 3rd placed Patong who squared up for their first 40 over clash of the season at the Alan Cooke Ground (ACG) last Sunday (Feb 21).
Ali Khan was Man of the Match, with 61 not out off 36 balls, and a wicket from his bowing stint. Photo: Michael Way
Ali Khan was Man of the Match, with 61 not out off 36 balls, and a wicket from his bowing stint. Photo: Michael Way

Victory for either team would have meant staying in touch with competition leaders Thalang, but it was Laguna who eventually prevailed and secured a comfortable victory by 6 wickets reaching 210-4 off 27.5 overs against Patong’s innings total of 207-8 off 35.4 overs.

Upon winning the toss, the understrength Patong opted to bat first hoping to wear down the Laguna side in the field, who were also initially short of their two opening bowlers who arrived late at the ground due to a delayed flight.

Openers Imtiyaz Mushtaq (49) and Seemant Raju (20) got off to a solid 52 run opening stand before the partnership was broken upon the first bowling change with Sameer Khan securing the breakthrough on his very first ball.

Stuart Hamilton (23) then added a further 31 runs with Mushtaq before he was also clean bowled by Khan.

Laguna then had the ascendency picking up two quick wickets and Patong at 117-5 desperately needed a good partnership to steady the innings. This came when captain Anthony Van Blerk (24) and Paddy Morton (63) put on a valuable 75 runs including three big sixes by Morton.

Van Blerk was eventually well caught at deep mid-on by Ajay Napal. Morton’s elegant innings came to an end shortly thereafter with the score on 207 and Laguna managed to quickly clean up the tail without further runs being added.

Pick of the bowlers for Laguna were Iqbal Malik (3 for 21) and Sameer Khan (3 for 63).

Patong would have been feeling hopeful of a Laguna capitulation, who had done this on their previous match against Thalang chasing a gettable total.

Patong’s tails were up when they achieved an early breakthrough dismissing Iqbal Malik (11) in the 3rd over with the score on 15 while trying to hook a short pitched delivery.

Patong continued with their body line attack but this proved to have minimal impact with Manish Sadarangani (59) and Moomin Sanga (34) putting on a valuable 84 runs before losing their 2nd wicket in the 15th over with the score on 99.

Ali Khan (61 not out) provided the crowd with plenty of entertainment smashing 4 sixes out of the ACG, which had officials reaching into their stock of cricket balls in order to keep the game continuing.

Sadarangani eventually fell to a sharp catch at square leg by Izhar Mohsin on the final ball before the 20 over drinks break with the score on 159-3.

Rishi Sadarangani (1) fell shortly after the break to a full toss being adjudged LBW. However, Laguna managed to steady their nerves with Sameer Khan (20 not out) and Ali Khan eventually surpassing the Patong total in the 28th over.

 Next match sees league leaders Thalang take on Patong this Sunday (Feb 28).

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