Last Sunday (Mar 12) saw a double-header in the 6th round of the C&C Marine 2017 T20 tournament at the Alan Cooke Ground (ACG) with Team ACG (ACG) taking on Island Cricket Club (ICC) in the morning game, while Phuket Cricket Group (PCG), who were hoping to maintain their unbeaten run, faced tough competition in the afternoon game against a motivated Patong Cricket Club (PCC) who were looking to get back their spot back at the top of the league table.
In the morning game between ACG and ICC, ICC’s skipper R Naik won the toss and made the decision for his side to bat first.
Openers S Ullah and A Virdikar got off to steady start for ICC, that was until the 5th over when Virdikar (19) was caught by F Mir off the bowling of Mushtaq, ending a 30 run opening partnership.
This brought Naik (19) to the crease, who after a brisk innings was caught by Dupont off the bowling of Khan. Not long after opener Ullah (15) was clean bowled by Malik.
Next batsman in was H Singh (3) who took to the crease just before the drinks break, but was trapped LBW by Khan.
With the score at 60 runs at the 10th over stage, ICC were looking to increase the run rate going into the second half, but things didn’t go to according to plan as B Dessai (6) was trapped LBW in the 12th over by Baxter, he was shortly followed by A Kalakar (4) caught and bowled by Beigh.
However, S Kandolkar provided some much needed runs towards the end of the ICC innings, scoring 30 off 22 deliveries including two 6s, but was eventually caught by Sadarangani off the bowling of Bilal.
Last batsman out was M Denskar (3) caught by Mir off Mushtaq which left S Kumar (1) the not out batsman.
ICC had set ACG 112 runs to win.
With a meager total to chase, ACG opened with F Mir and R Sadarangani. Both batsmen started positively and were looking to score off every delivery and reach the total with all wickets intact, the pair were unfazed by the ICC bowlers and went about their job with relative ease until ICC got a breakthrough in the 6th over, Sadarangani (45) caught by Virdikar off the bowling of Kalakar.
This ended a superb opening partnership of 86 runs, with Sadarangani just missing out on his half century scoring 45 runs off just 17 deliveries, including five 4s and three 6s.
This brought B Beigh to the crease with just 26 runs needed for victory and plenty of overs in hand, and together with opener Mir (43) they steered ACG to victory, hitting the winning runs in the 12th over.
Mir’s innings of 43 runs (not out) came off 39 deliveries including two 6s and five 4s.
ICC’s poor run in the C&C Marine T20 continues as they chase their first win.
In the day’s second game PCG had a weakened line up as they were missing a few regular players, but they made that up in quality as the side included the Kashmiri brothers Ibrahim and Waseem who are a force to be reckoned with on the cricket field.
PCG won the toss and elected to bat first, and Captain Ibrahim made his intentions clear with a flying start of 33 (25) inside 6 overs, but that was before he skied one and was caught and bowled by M Kohler.
That wicket brought about a steady fall of wickets without any partnerships forming, that was until Waseem made his way to the crease. And his first ball from spinner J Robertson will go down in ACG folklore – a fast and well directed bouncer to the fastest bowler on the island.
However, maybe this fired Waseem up as soon after he started blasting the ball to all ends of the park, although he did ride his luck and was dropped no less than six times on his way to an unbeaten 72.
The two brothers were the only PCG players to reach double figures in their innings which finished at 137 for 7 after the 20 overs.
Chasing 138 for victory, PCC openers Hamilton and Raju started slowly, losing Hamilton for 5 in the 4th over. However, the momentum then started to shift and some solid partnerships formed as PCC focused on getting the runs required.
Raju (12) and Wetherell (35) scored 27 before H McDonald strode to the crease, and he and Wetherell added a quick 38 before the dismissal of Wetherell, and then the fireworks really began.
Kohler, adding to his earlier bowling performance, came to the crease and smashed three 6s in a row, then McDonald went on a similar rampage doing the hat-trick himself as he brought up his half century and finished not out at 53 off an just 23 balls.
PCC comfortably reached the required 138 runs needed to win the match with almost five overs to spare, meaning they have re-claimed the top spot in the league table.
This Sunday (Mar 19) will see PCC take on Team ACG with the start time set for 11am.
For further information about cricket on Phuket, visit the Phuket Cricket Group (PCG) web-site at www.phuketcricket.com or e-mail the PCG committee at email@example.com. New players are always welcome & would be well received by the current teams on the island.