On Sunday (Oct 23), the Alan Cooke Cricket Ground (ACG) played host to the Finals of the Outrigger Resorts 2016 T20 competition. The morning match was a play-off between the Laguna Cricket Club (LCC) and the Island Cricket Club (ICC) to see who would take on tournament favourite’s the Patong Cricket Club (PCC), who went on to take the title later on in the afternoon.
After a lot of overnight and early morning rain, the AGC was in quite a damp state for the day’s proceedings. After a minute’s silence was observed for the recent passing of King Rama IX, LCC won the toss and elected to bat first.
Things didn’t get off to a good start for LCC with S Khan being bowled for a duck by A Virdirkar after facing just three balls. S Kumar also took a couple of early wickets to have LCC struggling on 19 runs for 3 wickets after just six overs. Things stabilized for LCC after a couple of decent partnerships were put together, but when A Khan (31) was run out it was felt the writing was on the wall.
M Kohler also contributed with the bat with a handy 28 runs, but there was not much assistance from the rest of the Laguna line-up.
However, despite being short a couple of players, LCC managed to put together a modest total of 89 runs, albeit being bowled out in the 15th over, which left the ICC team a target of 90 runs for a win.
After a short innings break, ICC went in to bat for what should be a comfortable win. However, the LCC bowlers bowling a tight line and kept the run rate down to help their chances. Unfortunately, in the 5th over the heavens parted and play was temporarily stopped until conditions improved. At the time ICC were on 20 runs for the loss of two wickets.
Play resumed after about 20 minutes which meant the Duckworth/Lewis system was implemented which reduced the ICC innings to 15 overs and chasing a revised target of 40 runs for a win.
The ICC lads must have become nervous during the rain delay as upon resumption of the match a steady stream of wickets fell despite only needing 20 runs from the remaining 10.2 overs. However, a slight shortage of players and not being able to bat out their entire allotment of 20 overs in their innings came back to haunt the LCC team and ICC passed the target in just the 9th over for the loss of six wickets, thereby meaning they moved forward to face Patong in the Final.
With the semi-final decided, ICC were now through to take on table toppers Patong Cricket Club (PCC) in the afternoon Final. As per the mornings match, both teams took to the field for a well observed moment of silence to pay their respects for the passing of Thailand’s much loved King.
It was ICC who won the toss and put PCC into bat first. S Wetherall (51) and A Runhaar (12) were given the job of opening the batting, whilst A Virdikar (0-21-4) and S Kumar (1-33-4) opened the bowling.
With a pretty uneventful first five overs, neither side looked to be gaining the upper hand with no wickets being taken and the score at 32. The first bowling change came in the 6th over with D Mydeen being brought into the attack and was rewarded on his 2nd ball when he took the wicket of Runhaar.
To the crease came P Ledeboer (34), who looked a little nervous playing in his first final at the ACG. He took time to get off the mark and was dropped on several occasions, but he eventually settled down and help the scoreboard tick over. The last two overs before drinks were bowled by P Borkar (0-27-4) and Vaiganker (0-8-1), and at the break PCC were 75-1.
After drinks PCC continued to score as freely as they could, and just after scoring his half century Wetherall was bowled by Kumar in the 14th over. In form H Jordaan (26 N/O), who was now in the middle, continued to bat like he has all season not given any chances away and scoring runs.
But Ledeboer was next to fall being caught in the covers with the score at 115-3.
With four overs left in the innings, S Hamilton (19) joined Jordaan and between the pair they piled on a 45 run partnership, including some big 6s, with Hamilton being caught on the last ball of the innings leaving PCC at 160-4.
With eight runs per over needed, ICC needed to come out fighting and it was up to M Khan (5) and Vaiganker (6) to try and put the pressure on S Raju (1-19-4) and H McDonald (2-11-4), but it was the PCC bowlers who turned up the heat going for only 19 runs in the first four overs.
Vaiganker fell first caught behind off Rajus’ bowling. McDonald picked up his first wicket in the next over bowling Mydeen (0) and then his second shortly after with Khan caught behind. With S Kandolkar (20) and Kumar (15) now batting, N Quail (1-17-2) and A Van Blerk (0-12-1) finished off the overs before drinks. ICC were at 52-3.
In the first over after drinks, Kandolkar was caught by Raju racing in from the deep at square leg. Runhaar (1-13-3) picked up the wicket of new batsman B Desai (0 with some decent swing bowling that the batsmen were finding hard to hit.
Wetherall, (2-15-3) now bowling from the other end, got his first wicket, that of Kumar caught by Runhaar. 13 overs down and ICC were 73-6 and now facing an uphill battle.
Wetherall later took the wicket of A Kalakar (4), stumped after coming down the wicket only to be left stranded. Hamilton came on in the 19th over to bag two caught and bowled, G Shirodkar (6) and V Tiwari (0).
Jordaan (1-0-0.1) was brought on to bowl the last over, but he only needed one ball to bowl out A Virdikar (13) to end ICCs innings. ICC were all out for 106 which meant PCC were crowned the Outrigger T20 2016 champions.
Next on the agenda for the Phuket Cricket Group (PCG) are three incoming tours from Bangkok and Singapore during the first three weeks of November.
There will then be a short break before the resumption of cricket sometime in the New Year.
The PCG are always looking for new players & officials to assist with the running of cricket on the island. For further information about cricket on Phuket, visit the PCG web-site at www.phuketcricket.com or e-mail the PCG committee at firstname.lastname@example.org
Text by Paddy Lebedoer and Mark Whetton