Last Saturday (Nov 5) saw the Phuket Cricket Group (PCG) take on a team from the British Club Bangkok (BCB) at the ACG. The match took place under sunny conditions although a soggy pitch made fours hard to come by. The match was a two innings affair with the 1st innings of 15 overs while the 2nd innings was curtailed to 12 overs. Batsmen had to retire after scoring 20 runs.
BCB won the toss and elected to bat first for their 1st innings. Despite losing the early wicket of A Spedding for just one run, the next two batsmen put together a 50 run partnership before D Allwright retired on 24. Soon after R Gupte also retired after making 21.
These retirements brought BCB young gun B Eastwell and D Narula to the crease. Eastwell batted out the rest of the innings for 18 not out but Narula fell for just nine runs. None of the PCG bowlers went for too many runs but only Dupont picked up any wickets. After the 15 overs were up, BCB had made a respectable 94.
PCG then took to the field for their 1st innings. They lost a couple of quick wickets to be 30 for three after six overs. But two retirements from Van Blerk (24 not out) and P Jha (22 not out) saw the score skip ahead to 83 before they lost their 4th wicket.
After their alloted 15 overs PCG had acquired 98 runs to go into the lunch break with a four run lead. The pick of the BCB bowlers was Eastwell who nabbed two wickets off his two overs for 14 runs.
After lunch BCB began their 2nd innings of 12 overs. They got off to a bad start when Allwright was out after facing just two balls. Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals but the scoreboard was also ticking over.
Although no retirements were seen in this innings, several batsmen chipped in; namely Spedding (13), Eastwell (19) and Narula (12). The PCG bowlers shared the wickets around but Jha was the pick of the bunch with two wickets for 12 runs off three overs. After their 12 overs, BCB had added 63 runs to their 1st innings of 94 meaning PCG needed 60 runs for a win.
Sixty off 12 overs is not a big ask in cricket and PCG’s opening batsmen got off to a steady start. However, S Ullah was eventually clean bowled for 11 in the 4th over.
This brought Van Blerk to the crease who smacked his first delivery out of the park for six demonstrating that he was in no mood to drag the innings out any longer than it need be. But Shah’s fellow opening batsman S Hamilton was soon on his way back to the pavilion on 16 runs. So PCG found themselves at 35/2 after four overs, therefore, requiring 25 runs off eight overs.
Eastwell struck twice in his next over and D Misha demolished Van Blerk’s middle stump leaving PCG a bit nervous.
But some sensible batting from H Muhammad and Jha saw them steer PCG to a comfortable win. Eastwell was again the pick of the BCB bowlers after taking three wickets for just 10 runs off his two overs.
The following day saw BCB play the Village Cricket Team (VCT) in what has become an annual social match.
Despite VCT taking a one year sabbatical from the local cricket scene, it was evident they had not lost their form as they seen “warming up” with refreshments in the ACG Boundary Bar early in the day.
VCT skipper M Platts lost the toss and his team were sent in to bat first. Their opening batsmen K Quilty (10) and M Rehman (13) got the side off to a steady but cautious start, but when Quilty fell in the 8th over with the score on 34, further wickets fell in quick succession. Only Platts managed to also make double figures, but when he fell for 10, all hope was lost. The VCT were all out in the 23rd over after making a modest 66 runs. D Mishra was the star bowler for the visitors picking up three wickets off three overs for just eight runs.
After drinks BCB strolled out to the middle to take down a target of 67 from their 25 overs.
Maybe it was the visitor’s Saturday night’s antics, or the extra energy levels from the Boundary Bar for the VCT lads, but whatever it was it was working for the VCT bowlers. None of the BCB’s first four batsmen managed to make double figures with J White and C Murphy taking early wickets. White in fact was sitting on a hat-trick when his next delivery saw an edge fly directly to Rehman in the gulley who unfortunately made a dog’s dinner of it. A hat-trick wicket is a rare event in cricket so Rehman was appropriately “fined” in the slammer session after the match.
Despite the regular loss of wickets, BCB managed to cross the finish line in the 20th over for the loss of seven wickets to take what was a well-deserved win. Rehman was VCT’s top bowler taking three wickets from five overs for just 14 runs.
Needless to say it was an entertaining weekend of cricket all round and PCG and VCT look forward to the BCB lads returning to Phuket next year.
Next up on the fixtures list for PCG are the ANZA Cricket Club from Singapore who are scheduled to play tomorrow (Nov 12) at the ACG. Start time for that match will be midday.
The PCG are always looking for new players and 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 email@example.com. They can also be found on Facebook.
Report by Mark Whetton.