Laguna Cruise to Victory Over Patong

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).

Record Partnership Sets Up Thalang Win

CRICKET: A record batting partnership of 231 runs set up a huge win for the Thalang Cricket Team (TCT) against the Island Cricket Club (ICC) at the Alan Cooke Ground on Sunday (Feb 14).
Thalang’s Hico McDonald in action; 137 off 77 balls. Photo: Michael Way -
Thalang’s Hico McDonald in action; 137 off 77 balls. Photo: Michael Way –

Thalang called correctly at the toss and choose to bat first in warm conditions with a light breeze blowing across the ground.

Paresh Borkar struck early for ICC with the wicket of Carl Baxter in the 3rd over. Fellow opening bowler Arun Virdikar kept the pressure on the batsmen as TCT crept to 33 from 8 overs thanks to some quick singles.

Garry Lane hit the ball to the fence a couple of times before he was bowled by Syed Shahnawaz in the 12th over with TCT at 2/62.

Hico McDonald joined Andrew McMillan 22* at the crease. The pair attacked the inaccurate 1st, 2nd and 3rd bowling changes to wrestle back the ascendancy from ICC and see TCT to 2/133 after 20 overs.

Alan Cooke’s cows took shelter at the far end of their paddock after the drinks break as McDonald set about hitting anything pitched up, short, wide or straight. Both he and McMillan raced passed their half centuries and were both within reach of 3 figure scores at the 30 over break.

The last 10 ICC overs came at a cost of 124 runs and some bruised ICC hands when chances were missed to catch McDonald in the deep.

Directly after the drinks break McMillan brought up his century and McDonald cleared the leg side fence in the next over to bring up his maiden century in Phuket.

McMillan brought the ACG record partnership of 231 runs (142 balls) to a close when he retired his innings of 117 (94) at the end of the 33rd over.

ICC welcomed the chance to bowl to a fresh batsmen and took the next 2 wickets for the addition of just 1 run, TCT 5/294.

McDonald continued disperse the ICC bowlers until Ravi Mehra bowled him for a massive 137 (77 balls, 9 fours, 10 sixes) with 9 balls left in the innings. TCT finished on 6/378 thanks to a 44 run (23) cameo from Mudasir Rehman.

No ICC bowlers escaped the run feast, Arun Virdikar was the most economical with 43 runs including 9 wides coming from his 7 overs.

The balance of the match may have sat largely in favor of TCT but the hospitality of the hosting team ICC was exemplary. All players sat down at the lunch break to a well catered curry and rice buffet upstairs at the Bondi Beach Bar.

Once players had their fill, they came downstairs and it was Surinder Kumar’s turn to dispatch the TCT bowlers. Kumar hit 6 fours and a six in his 38 run (28) innings. His luck ran out when he was caught behind in the 7th over off the bowling of Hossain Sylar.

ICC’s Divan Mydeen and Shah Ullah continued to push for an unlikely victory. 8 overs into the innings ICC were 1/72, 39 runs in front of TCT’s score at the same stage.

A bowling change saw Craig Murphy and Garry Lane stem the flow of runs and pick up 2 wickets each. Just before the 20 over drinks break looping leg-spinner Martin Hill was introduced into the attack and the Island batsmen threw caution to the wind in an attempt to keep with the run rate.

Hill’s variation during his 3 overs could only be described as extraordinary. Bowling to a tight field he snared the important wicket of Ravi Mehra 18 (17), LBW off a faster ball.

After the drink break his loop had Virdikar caught hooking a ball to Murphy at first slip. Two more batsmen were deceived in flight caught by Lane off Hill’s bowling. Carl Baxter got the last wicket of the innings as ICC were dismissed for 175 runs, 203 runs short of the TCT total. (S.Kumar 38 (28), D.Mydeen 31 (26), M.Hill 4/23, G.Lane 2/19).

The win places TCT 6 points clear on top of the PCL ladder with this Sunday’s match between second placed Laguna and third placed Patong important for both teams in their pursuit of a place in the final.

Thalang reclaim the “Shezza” Cup

The Phuket Cricket League was back in action last weekend at the Alan Cooke Ground after a short break for the festive period. The first game back was also the first 40 over game to be played after the T20 season and first warm up rounds of the league in December.

Seemant Raju reluctantly shaking hands with opposition skipper Andrew McMillan after handing over the Shezza Cup. Photo: Dave Thomas - See more at: http://www.thephuketnews.com/thalang-reclaim-%E2%80%9Cshezza%E2%80%9D-cup-55786.php#sthash.7QXj0fAg.dpuf
Seemant Raju reluctantly shaking hands with opposition skipper Andrew McMillan after handing over the Shezza Cup. Photo: Dave Thomas

This game was not only special due to this, but, more importantly, it was the annual Tristan Sheridan “Shezza” Cup game between Patong CC and Thalang CC.

The “Shezza” Cup is played every year between these two teams in memory of Tristan Sheridan who played for Thalang, and who unfortunately passed away in 2013. Due to the memory of Tristan both as a fantastic player and gentleman, this annual game tends to inspire both teams to perform well, and this year was no different.

With the sunshine beaming down over a lush but hard ACG outfield, Thalang won the toss and selected to bat first. Both teams were unsure of what would be a good total, however, Thalang were eager to bat Patong out of the game, desperate to win back the “Shezza’ Cup for Tristan’s parents who had made the trip over to Phuket for the game.

A Runhaar and R Bentley opened the Thalang innings. Runhaar is a seasoned “veteran” of the Thalang side, however, it was Bentley’s first game. There were no first game nerves however, as Bentley proceeded to open the batting in confident fashion looking to dominate the Patong opening bowlers right from the start.

The score rattled onto 20 in just the third over when Runhaar (7) was cleverly stumped by Van Blerk, failing to return to his crease after playing his shot! This brought G Lane in and together with Bentley, rapidly accelerated the run rate, punishing all deliveries before them.

The partnership of 74 was only broken when Lane (28) was caught and bowled by Swart in the twelfth over. This wicket brought Captain A McMillan to the crease and he continued where Lane had left off, smashing any and all loose deliveries to the boundary.

It was looking to be a very long day in the field for the Patong players and heads were starting to drop. The prize wicket of Bentley came with the change of bowler, the slower pace of Wetherell tempting Bentley into a big shot only to sky it to Hamilton in the deep.

The end of a fantastic innings, Bentley departing for 61 off 46 deliveries – possibly a match winning innings.

Big hitting H McDonald (2) was next in, however, he didn’t last long looking to hit the ball out the park, only to find the safe hands of Paddy Morton on the square leg boundary. This was the big wicket that Patong needed and it came exactly at the right time as they were desperately trying to stem the flood of runs.

M Rehman (65 runs off 32 balls) had other ideas however, and played magnificently before the wiley off spin from Thomas forced an early drive straight to Swart at short mid off who held on to a good sharp catch.

M Foster (4) was sent straight back to the clubhouse, clean bowled by Thomas who was enjoying an inspirational spell of aggressive spin bowling. The experienced W Stahmer was next in and played the spin with a watchful eye.

McMillan (55) had been playing a captains innings, but was eventually dismissed by Mustaq, clean bowled looking to attack. P Lederboer didn’t last long either, bowled by Mushtaq for a duck and H Sylar stumped off a lovely flighted delivery off Thomas.

The Thalang innings closed with W Sthamer (13) and A Dupont (4) the not out batsman. Thalang had smashed their way to 307 for 9 off their 40 overs, however, they would be kicking themselves after looking to get 400 at one stage.

Patong had fought back well with the ball but now faced a mountain to climb with the bat. Thomas was the pick of the Patong bowlers with 3 wickets for 29 runs in 4 overs.

After a well deserved break, Patong openers I Mushtaq and S Raju strode to the crease firmly focused on the task at hand.

The Thalang team was buoyant knowing that Patong were weary after a full day in the field. The first few overs were played cautiously, Patong knowing that an early wicket would be a disaster. However, in the fourth over, Raju (4) was tempted to play at a full swinging delivery off Dupont and was bowled. Definitely not the start Patong were looking for.

J Swart (3) was next in but fell to the last ball before the drinks break, well caught by Bentley behind the stumps off Runhaar.

With 2 wickets down after 10 overs and well behind the run rate, Patong needed to regroup. S Hamilton joined I Mushtaq after drinks and together started to rebuild the Patong innings, but tight bowling meant they were always behind an ever increasing run rate.

A sharp bouncer from Rehman struck Hamilton on the side of the head, but left the batsman unhurt, but perhaps jaded. The next ball but was a full straight delivery that beat the forward defense of Hamilton (22), clean bowling him. A great piece of aggressive bowling by Rehman.

Patong's Stewart Hamilton (22) bowled by Mudasir Rehman  (Michael Way)
Patong’s Stewart Hamilton (22) bowled by Mudasir Rehman (Michael Way)

P Morton was the key Patong batsman and took the attack to the first and second change Thalang bowlers. A partnership of 72 runs with Mushtaq followed before the latter was stumped by Bentley for a fantastic 78 runs off 71 balls which included 9 fours.

Patong's Imtiyaz Mustaq made 78 runs and took 2 wickets  (Michael Way)
Patong’s Imtiyaz Mustaq made 78 runs and took 2 wickets (Michael Way)

There was a glimmer of hope for Patong now with the increase in run rate and flagging Thalang bowlers. S Wetherell came to the crease and continued where Mushtaq had left, attacking and scoring at will. Game on!

The partnership between Morton and Wetherell was worth a lively 62 runs when Morton (62 runs of 46 balls) was eventually bowled by McMillan. The innings contained 7 fours and 3 sixes. This put Patong well in position to push for the win.

Pinch hitter P Sami was elevated up the order, a move which had the desired result, hitting an entertaining 22 runs of a mere 9 balls, only to be bowled by McMillan. D Thomas (5) was next in and firmly focused on each and every available run, so much so that he was run out backing up at the non striker’s end, McMillan deflecting a powerful off drive from Wetherell straight to the stumps.

A very unlucky way to go, but perhaps Thalang were making their own luck now. With only a few overs left , A Van Blerk was looking to score off every ball, but unfortunately the rate was just too high and ended not out on 10, together with N Quail on 7.

Thalang won by 25 runs but it was anyone’s game with 5 over left. The game had once again produce inspirational performances by both batsman and bowlers, with a total of 589 runs being scored and 17 wickets taken. Thalang had reclaimed the “Shezza” Cup in fitting fashion.

There are cricket matches nearly every Sunday at the purpose built Alan Cooke Ground in Thalang. Directions to this first class cricketing facility can be found at www.acgphuket.com. Anyone who may be interested in getting involved in playing cricket, umpiring/scoring or simply wish to watch and support at a social level, please get in touch by emailing phuketcricketgroup@gmail.com. Alternatively, you can log onto www.phuketcricket.com and leave a message and/or contact PCG via their Phuket Cricket Group Facebook page. 
 
PCG welcomes all players of any standard to join their highly social and laid back cricketing fraternity here in Phuket. They look forward to hearing from you or seeing you at the ACG soon!

PCL Round 2 – Patong Pip ICC & Laguna Overcome Thalang!

The Second round of the Phuket Cricket League was played on Sunday 20th December at the Alan Cooke Ground. This was the last round of T20 matches before the 40 over format starts in the New Year. Patong CC played ICC in the morning game while Laguna CC played Thalang CC in the afternoon fixture.

A six in the making from Man of the Match, Syed Shahnaz  (Michael Way)
A six in the making from Man of the Match, Syed Shahnaz (Michael Way)

The toss was won by Patong captain Seemant Raju who elected to bat in this eagerly anticipated first clash of the season between the reigning 20 over champions Patong and Island Cricket Club.

The Patong openers got off to a steady start with Imtiyaz Mushtaq in particular looking in fluent touch and finding the boundary regularly. Himself and Raju had accumulated a partnership of 69 in the 11th over before ICC made a double breakthrough. Firstly Raju (14) was caught by Takur off the bowling of Shahnawaz with Imtiyaz (48) following almost immediately, trying one big shot too many and being bowled by Chand. This brought two new batsmen to the crease in Paddy Morton (10) and Stuart Hamilton (17). Both played positively and pushed the ball around until they were both caught on the boundary from successive balls from Shahnawaz with the score on 98, Morton at deep square leg and Hamilton at long on.

A big hit by Paddy Morton (Patong), caught on the boundry  by Thakur Anil (ICC) (Michael Way)
A big hit by Paddy Morton (Patong), caught on the boundry by Thakur Anil (ICC) (Michael Way)

 

A big hit by Paddy Morton (Patong), caught on the boundry  by Thakur Anil (ICC) (Michael Way)
A big hit by Paddy Morton (Patong), caught on the boundry by Thakur Anil (ICC) (Michael Way)

For the third time this brought two new batsmen to the crease this time Simon Wetherell (1) and Anthony Van Blerk (9). Wetherell soon became Shahnawazs fourth victim, caught by Virdicar. Pir Sami then strode to the crease and dispatched his first three balls to the boundary in an entertaining innings,  pushing the score on to 124 in partnership with Van Blerk before the former was run out. Van Blerk immediately followed, well caught at long off by Ravi Naik. At the end of the twenty overs Patong had accumulated  131/7 and knew that they would need to bowl and field well to be in with a chance of winning.

Paresh Borkar removes the bails Pir Sami run out (Michael  Way)
Paresh Borkar removes the bails Pir Sami run out (Michael Way)

The ICC innings started steadily and openers Shah (3) and Mydeen (24) had put on 20 before Imtiyaz had Shah well caught at point by Morton. Next up was Chand (5) who didn’t last long being caught at point by Wetherell from the bowling of Raju. Mydeen was next to go having hit some belligerent boundaries was pinned LBW from the leg spin of Morton. New man Virdicar (2) soon followed, top edging a Justin Swart delivery to Hamilton at short third man to leave ICC precariously placed at 56/4 from 10 overs. Shahnawaz (25) then joined Naiq (31) who had been steadily accumulating at the other end to put on 32 for the fifth wicket before Sami held a steepling catch from Naiq off the bowling of Morton. Vaiganker (6) then joined Shahnawaz before he was run out by Raju. Kumar was the new batsman and a few big hits by Shahnawaz meant that 10 runs were required from the last over being bowled by Raju. Shahnawaz calmly dispatched the first ball for four but the batmen struggled for the next four balls leaving 3 required to win from the last ball. Shahnawaz could only squirt the ball to short third man, leaving Kumar to be comfortably run out and Patong winning by 1 run. It was a very closely fought game with both teams playing in good spirit which bodes well for the rest of the season.

Man of the Match, Syed Shahnaz took 4 wickets (Michael  Way)
Man of the Match, Syed Shahnaz took 4 wickets (Michael Way)

The second games of the year for these two sides began with Laguna winning the toss and deciding to bat first on a morning designed for great cricket.

Laguna jumped out of the blocks and were running at 10 an over for the first 3 overs which looked to be a little too fast and attacking, but with more than a few chances going begging on the following overs,  Laguna held all wickets until the score was 74 with Manish Sadarangani ruing chasing a wide one. Sameer Khan came and went quickly with the score at 80 for 2 bringing the heavy hitting Ali Khan to the crease to leave the score at 100 and the drink break with Irfan showing great form and sight, piling the majority of the runs and Laguna would have felt happy with the run rate at that point, however Thalang changed their bowling rotation after the break and stymied the flow of runs to keep Laguna to 7 / over  which was very respectable and showed some great fielding skills. Wickets were still slow to come however, and by the time Irfan fell to a slow jogging run and was run out the damage had been done and Laguna were 7 for 171.

The team stopped for ten mins to catch their breath and grab a drink on what had become a very hot day and Coming back after the drink break Thalang quickly lost 2  wickets which buoyed the Laguna crew, however the irrepressible scoring  machine Andrew McMillan came to the crease and pushed the tem through the danger period and on to the point of challenging Laguna at their own game, however , with still ten an over to get after the drinks break , it was going to be an inning to remember if they were going to win. All credit to Andrew and Alex Runhaar for really forcing the pace and unfortunately coming up short by only 11 runs. Great game and very evenly matched in the end and enjoyed in a great spirit and atmosphere.

Phuket Cricket League gets Underway! Wins for Thalang and Laguna.

The Phuket Cricket League commenced on Sunday (Dec 13) at the Alan Cooke Ground with two T20 matches.

A nonchalant looking six form Hico MacDonald (Thalang) 67 not out, including four 6’s and six fours (Michael Way)

A nonchalant looking six from Hico MacDonald (Thalang) 67 not out (Michael Way)

The first match was a tight contest with the defending champions Thalang Cricket Team (TCT) defeating the recent Outrigger T20 champions Patong Cricket Club in the last over.

TCT won the toss and sent Patong in to bat. Patrick Morton and Seemant Raju were gifted with three no balls and five wides in the first four overs as Patong skipped away to 0 for 34.

Alex Runhaar had Morton (13 runs) caught behind with the first ball of the 5th over and from there TCT worked their way back into the game. Hico McDonald bowled an accurate spell before the drinks break to pick up the wickets of Imtiyaz Mushtaq (1) and Raju (21). At drinks Patong were 3/53.

After the drink break, Mudasir Rehman carried on where McDonald left off picking up 2/7 from his first two overs to have Patong 5/71 after 14 overs. Patong’s Anthony Van Blerk was the standout with the bat. On a day when boundaries were hard to come by he scored 40 not out from 28 balls including four sixes. Patong ended on 7/127 (AVB 40, S Raju 21, M Rehman 3/19, H McDonald 2/13).

TCT’s run chase started with the loss of 2 wickets for 8 runs. McDonald and Andrew McMillan then steadied the TCT innings but were well held by the accurate Patong bowlers. At drinks TCT were 2/56.

The Patong bowlers remained in control after the break and soon had McMillan 33 (47) caught off the bowling of Imtiyaz Mushtaq. Patong’s new recruit Craig Leaver took 2 wickets in his next 2 overs to place Patong in a strong position with TCT 5/87, requiring 41 to win from just 5 overs.

Much like Patong’s innings, the last overs were again fruitful for the batting side. McDonald took full advantage of any loose deliveries, hitting long and straight to bring up his half century and narrow the target to 21 runs from 18 balls. Mushtaq bowled Garry Lane 6 (10) off his pads with 15 balls remaining and 12 runs separating the teams. Gary Carrick came out swinging but wasn’t able to connect with the moving ball.

McDonald had the strike to start the last over with just 6 runs required for victory. Patong’s captain Raju choose to bowl and delivered a wide first up followed by a full pitched ball that was hit for four to tie the game. With the fielders brought in to save the single McDonald sent the next delivery over the fence to end an exciting first Phuket Cricket League match. TCT 6/133 (McDonald 67*, McMillan 33, C Leaver 2.18, I Mushtaq 2/35).

Anthony Van Blerk had a good day with the bat 40 not out including 4 sixes (Michael Way)
Anthony Van Blerk had a good day with the bat 40 not out including 4 sixes (Michael Way)

In the day’s second game between Island Cricket Club (ICC) and Laguna, Laguna win the toss and deciding to field first .

ICC started well and were on track for a nice score at the 10-over drinks break, and arguably well on top with only 2 wickets down in the 50s and would have counted themselves as unlucky with a wicket on the stroke of drinks.

Ali Khan (ICC) opened his account with a big six (Michael Way)
Ali Khan (ICC) opened his account with a big six (Michael Way)

None the less, they would have been confident to go and really challenge in the following 10 overs. Laguna had witnessed a good start in the field with a nice catch to S Khan removing the ever dangerous A Chand off a tricky ball from N Youseff. But following that, the irrepressible Shah took charge and kept the score ticking over and Laguna fell under pressure.

Laguna were presented with another chance and the catch was agonisingly taken for three seconds, but, the ball fell loose and the new recruit Ellis eventually limped off with a corked Hamstring and Laguna were down to 10 men. Coming back after the drink break ICC lost a quick wicket but pressed on to the 70s when calamity fell to some good bowling from A Langston 3/13 and N Youseff 4/19 (still on a hat trick) cleaned up the tail and Laguna were left chasing 109 to win.

Nadeem Yousef (Laguna) was the bowler of the day taking 4 wickets for 19 runs (Michael Way)
Nadeem Yousef (Laguna) was the bowler of the day taking 4 wickets for 19 runs (Michael Way)

Laguna’s innings exploded fast with Irfan chasing the runs and knocking the ball off the boundary, but he fell away and skied one to be well caught. When Manish Sadarangani fell for 26 off the bowling of A Chand things slowed down for Laguna and with some great bowling from P Bolkar, ICC moved in for the kill and set some very aggressive fields.

A see-sawing contest in the final 5 overs saw Laguna drop to 7 wickets for 97, but after some shaky moments, 2 dropped catches, a dead ball from hitting the power lines, Laguna held on to win with 2 overs to spare.

PCG Return to Winning Ways Against Loose Cannons

It was the turn of the “Loose Cannons”, a team from Singapore to play the last of the tour games at Alan Cooke Ground last weekend. And it was games which PCG desperately needed to win in order to regain some kind of credibility on the field.

PCG bowled nine of the Loose Cannons in the T20 game (Michael Way)

In Saturday’s game of 30 overs a piece, the visitors won the toss and elected to bat first in the hope of putting on a good total for the hosts to chase.

It wasn’t until the third over that the first wicket of S Ladbury fell for 12, run out from a spectacular throw from long-off by L Dura. Two balls later, new batsman M Davies was bowled for 0 by H McDonald. Only 1 more wicket fell just before the first drinks break, that of D Norris for 2, while opener B Sharp kept the scoreboard ticking over at the other end bringing the score to 44-3 after 10 overs.

After drinks, K Silva gave both teams a master class in the art of leg spin bowling picking up the wicket of Sharp for 22. A Runhaar, bowling from the Airport end, took his wicket trapping A Tefler LBW for just 1 run.

Silva was at it again in the next over claiming his next victim, C Kiernan with help of an awkward catch by P Sami. G Hobden holed out the next ball to long-off putting Silva on a Hatrick. Unfortunately for him he was unable to convert leaving him with figures of 4-26.

With the score now at 72-7 things weren’t looking great, but the tail end showed resilience with C Russell making 17, caught off the bowling of M Sadarangani and R Hands 20 not out. That left S Wetherall and L Dura to pick up the last 2 wickets leaving the visitors with a total of 117 all out.

With a run rate of just under 4, PCG’s opening pair P Ledeboer and S Khan had plenty of time to play themselves in. Left hander W Buck opened the bowling from the Lake end finding some good bounce and swing. The batsmen set a good pace in the opening overs, but in the fourth Ledeboer mistimed his shot to be caught at mid-wicket for just 14.

A Khan was up next, but he too went for the big shot getting caught in the same over for 0. S Wetherall came out, but not for long, as Buck, finding some movement, bowled him for 0.

5 overs gone and PCG were 27-3, not the start they we looking for and the Cannons took the wicket of the other opener S Khan for 14, caught behind just before the break leaving the score at 45-4.

PCG captain A Van Blerk saw off a few overs, hoping to restore some discipline, before eventually being dismissed LBW for 6. L Dura couldn’t add much more getting bowled for 6 as well.

At 63-6 M Sadarangani, already at the crease, was joined by H McDonald. The pair started to play some nice shots getting the scoreboard moving, and some hope back for the PCG. As the target came closer H McDonald opened his shoulders to knock a few out of the ground, and with 3 runs needed put one over the ropes to take victory in style. Sadarangani finished not out on 25 and McDonald not out on 34.

 

On Sunday, a T20 game, the Loose Cannons won their second coin toss and again choose to bat first.

S0200394

Things didn’t go to plan for the visitors as both A Virdikar and Y Ventrapatti picked up early wickets to have the Cannons 4 for 30 from 6.5 overs. Batsmen G Hobden and M Davies knuckled down and steered the Cannons to 4/51 at the 10 over drinks break.

The PCG should have been thankful with the scoreboard which included 29 wides!

After the break, the Cannons came out firing. Hobden finished with 29 runs, R Hands made 21 (15) and W Buck blasted two big sixes on his way to 26 from 14 balls. The Loose Cannons ended their innings with the respectable total of 145/9 from 20 overs.

S Raju and R Sadarangani opened for the PCG and got off to a flying start. However, Sadarangani 9 (7) was the first to go caught behind after the umpires conferred in the third over.
The Cannons picked up S Hamilton’s wicket cheaply and then W Buck found a way through Raju’s tight defence in the 8th over. This brought M Rehman to the crease with the PCG score 3/58.

Rehman attacked the Loose Cannons bowling, leaving A McMillan to knock the ball around as a cool change swept across the ACG. Rain came down forcing the players off the ground for 40 minutes with the PCG well above the run rate.

But the rain delay wasn’t enough to switch the balance of the game with Rehman hitting the winning runs in the 18th over. The PCG finished on 5/146, Rehman 42* (27), McMillan 30 and Raju 29. Best of the bowlers for the Loose Cannons was Ben Sharp 2/7 from 2 overs.

The PCG now prepare to start the 2015/16 league, with the opening round consisting of two T20 games on 13th December where Thalang take on Patong at 10am, and Island take on Laguna at 2pm. All games played at the Alan Cooke Ground in Thalang.

There are cricket matches nearly every Sunday at the purpose built Alan Cooke Ground in Thalang. Directions to this first class cricketing facility can be found at www.acgphuket.com. Anyone who may be interested in getting involved in playing cricket, umpiring/scoring or simply wish to watch and support at a social level, please get in touch by emailing phuketcricketgroup@gmail.com. Alternatively, you can log onto www.phuketcricket.com and leave a message and/or contact us via our Phuket Cricket Group Facebook page.

We welcome all players of any standard to join our highly social and laid back cricketing fraternity here in Phuket. We look forward to hearing from you or seeing you at the ACG soon!

 

 

 

 

ANZA Leave PCG Well and Truly Stumped!

Last Saturday (Nov 28) saw the second Singaporean touring side visit the ACG in as many weeks. ANZA Champs made their annual pilgrimage to Phuket to play a PCG XI in a 30-over-a-side game for the Champs Cup which had kept its position proudly on the trophy shelf at the ACG for the past few years.

Another Trophy gone from the PCG shelf, for the time being at least (Michael Way)

PCG Chairman Anthony Van Blerk hands ANZA the trophy (Michael Way)

The toss was won by PCG skipper Anthony Van Blerk who elected to bat first on a sweltering afternoon. PCG got off to a good start with openers Pir Sami and Imtiyaz Mushtaq expressing themselves and putting the fielders under pressure with some good shots. They had posted a score of 52 from 9 overs before Imtiyaz tried one big shot too many and was bowled by Klaus for 33. Three balls later Sami was back in the pavilion after being caught at log on off the bowling of Wray for 14. This left two new batsmen at the crease in Stuart Hamilton and Ravi Naique. They managed to advance the score to 74 from 14 overs before Hamilton failed to beat the man at long off and was caught for 11, the first what were to be 5 victims for Gary Hawker.

A middle order collapse then saw PCG lose their next 4 wickets for the addition of just 8 runs. Nique became Hawkers second victim when he was caught for 7. A mix up between new batsmen Hossain and Paddy Ledeboer saw the former run out for a duck. Ledeboer having just hoisted a big six to the mid wicket boundary tried to repeat the shot only to see the fielder that had just been placed there pouch the catch. When Arun then tentatively prodded a Teddy delivery to slip PCG had slipped to 80/7. Van Blerk then set about playing some attacking shots to give the innings some respectability before he was caught at log off for 20. Last man out was Khiderar, bowled to give Hawker, his fifth wicket. At the break PCG had posted a below par score of 125 all out from 23 overs. ANZA began their reply cautiously with Hawker and Biju knowing that occupying the crease for the 30 overs would surely bring them victory. PCG bowlers huffed and puffed but couldn’t make the break through. Biju was particularly impressive playing some crisp drives and punishing anything loose.

The score had advanced to 71 without lose before PCG turned to the part time slow left arm bowling of Hamilton. This immediately paid dividends when Biju was deceived and chipped-at catch to Ledeboer at mid-wicket. Two overs later ANZA lost their second wicket with Simon stumped by Van Blerk off the bowling of Hamilton. Vinos joined Hawker at the crease and the two combined to ease ANZA to within 2 runs of their target before Vinos was bowled by Sami during a fiery spell towards the end of the match. When new batsman Teddy flailed one through the slips ANZA picked up the 2 runs needed for victory.

The match was played in great spirit between two sides that enjoy their cricket, and although PCG were soundly beaten in the end, they showed enough fighting spirit to suggest that they will be a force to be reckoned with when the two sides meet again next year. This weekend PCG play host to a third visiting Singaporean team, the “Loose Cannons”. Saturday *Dec 5) is a 30 over game and Sunday (Dec 6) is a 20/20. Both games start at midday and as usual, the Boundary Bar at the ACG will be open all day serving cold refreshments/tea and coffee etc and light snacks.

Singapore CC Reclaim the “Sensible” Cup

On Saturday 21st November, The Phuket Cricket Group once again hosted the Singapore Cricket Club, an annual tour which brings the famous team from the “Lion City” to the picture perfect Alan Cooke Ground in Thalang.
PCG Chairman, Anthony Van Blerk, hands over the Sensible Cup (Michael Way)

PCG Chairman Anthony Van Blerk Reluctantly hands over the “Sensible” Cup to SCC Captain Hugh Darwell

On a glorious afternoon for cricket, SCC won the toss and chose to bat first. The recent rain had resulted in a lush outfield and the SCC was eager to put some runs on the board early.

There was also something else on the minds of the touring team, and that was to avenge their loss to the PCG in last year’s fixture and take back the “Sensible” Cup to the Pavilion of the Padang, the famous headquarters of the SCC.

As eager as the SCC were to win back the cup, the PCG side were not going to let go of their hold so easily, proving a very difficult team to be at their home ground in the past. The stage was set for an intense game.

SCC openers R Shah and V Jeyaratnam strode to the crease in confident fashion. In order to win the game, the PCG knew that chasing would be difficult later in the day together with the risk of thunder showers. The key would be to restrict SCC to as low a total as possible through tight bowling and even tighter fielding.

Phuket Cricket Group in the field against Singapore Cricket Club at ACG (Michael Way)

A Runhaar opened the bowling for the PCG and immediately set the tone by an over of tight line and length. H McDonald opened from the other end and must have been inspired by his opening partner as he too found a great line and length, together with good pace.

It wasn’t long before the first wicket fell after the buildup of pressure, with McDonald clean bowling Jeyaratnam (1). C. Thompson was next in and immediately steadied the ship in typical fashion for first down.

Together with Shah, both batsman guided the score to 50. The lack of further wickets did not worry the PCG too much as they were keeping the SCC to a slow run rate due to their exceptional bowling.

However, the breakthrough came after the first drinks break with a change of bowling, S Raju removing Thompson (40) after a good innings. The loss of the stalwart and need to increase the run rate seemed to play on the SCC batsman mind, with a flurry of wickets to follow.

A change to the slower bowlers done the trick, with opener Shah (17) caught in the slips by M Whetton off the bowling of Whetherell, N Power (5) clean bowled by Whetton , Skipper H Darwell (8)hitting a catch straight back to bowler Raju, D Wright (7) caught in the deep by McDonald off Runhaar, H Thompson (5) edging to the keeper off Runhaar, S Bird (7) c&b McDonald and B Grigg (6) clean bowled by Mydeen.

M Seabright (3) and A Hahtani (0) were the not out batsman.

SCC finished their innings on 129 for 9 off 30 overs. With only two SCC batsman making double figures, PCG fancied their chances of chasing down the score and an early shower.

PCG openers O Pringle and S Hamilton took to the field, looking to be positive from the first ball. However, this mindset was immediately changed when Hamilton was clean bowled first ball off the bowling of Grigg.

Certainly not the start the PCG had envisaged, but with the experience of S Wetherell coming in at 3 it wasn’t a complete disaster, until he nicked one behind for a duck as well!

Commeth the moment, commeth them as they say with star batsman P Morton next in. Together with Pringle, they steadied the PCG “ship”, however, the early wickets had slowed the run rate considerably. O Pringle (4) was unlucky getting bowled by Streeton to one that kept low.

A Van Blerk (9) came out playing his shots and was unlucky to be caught looking to increase the run rate. At this stage, the run rate was equal but PCG had class players still to bat and were still firm favorites. Next man in was S Raju (15) who also fell looking to push the run rate up, being caught off the bowling of Mahtani.

There was concern now in the PCG dressing room. Too many wickets had fallen with not enough runs on the board. SCC could smell a hint of victory in the air and they pounced on it.

M Whetton played with a cool head, taking singles and doubles without risking the big shots. Everyone had forgotten about Morton who had weathered the storm, taking his score into the forties. He was eventually bowled by Thompson for 41, very unlucky not to make his half century.

This was the key wicket and D Mydeen soon followed him back to the clubhouse after being bowled by Bird for a duck!

The wheels had well and truly come off the PCG run chase. Big hitting H McDonald was the trump card and together with D Thomas decided that it was all or never. McDonald took the attack to the visitors scoring a quick fire 14, while Thomas (4) was unlucky playing on to his stumps from a wide ball from Streeton.

A Runhaar and P Sami were the last hope but Singapore kept the pressure on and Runhaar was dismissed for a duck, cleaned bowled by Streeton. Pir Smai the not out batsman.

Singapore has clinched an unlikely victory from the jaws of defeat, a well-deserved victory which proves that the game is never over, until its over, winning by a mere 4 runs.

Singapore clinched the “Sensible” Cup once again and PCG look forward to the next meeting between these two great friendly sides next year.

Hico MacDonald lofts a six into the pavilion (Michael Way)

Hico McDonald goes BIG!

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Madras Cafe Superkings take first T20 win

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Madras beat PACT on the last ball of a close game. Photo: Michael Way

The morning match didn’t disappoint with the Madras Cafe Superkings notching up their first Outrigger T20 win in a thrilling victory against an 8 man Phuket Asian Cricket Team (PACT).

The PACT captain Manish Sadarangani won the toss, and short on players, he choose for his side to bat first. Dipesh Bagdal and Taweekorn Suttiprapha got PACT away to a great start reaching 87/0 at the drinks break.

Suttiprapha was bowled 8 balls later and his captain walked off without scoring shortly after thanks to a great over from Superking Aamir Ali. Bagdal continued to battle on for his side bringing up his maiden half century.

PACT finished on 151/6 (Bagdal 65, Suttiprapha 27) while Ali took 2/22 from his 4 overs.

The Superkings found the swinging ball hard to play early in their innings losing 4 quick wickets in 4 overs making the run chase very difficult.

Hossain Sylar of PACT was the chief destroyer, swinging himself to 3/13 from his 4 overs. The Superkings found a partnership when Aamir Ali and Mudasir Rehman came together for the 6th wicket just before the drinks break. The pair put on a 69 run partnership off 37 balls before a running mix-up finished Rehman’s 29 run innings.

Ali continued to target the leg-side fence, when he was eventually bowled in the 17th over. He had accumulated 58 runs from 39 balls including 3 x sixes and 5 x fours. 27 runs were needed from 21 balls for the Superkings to gain an Outrigger T20 win with their captain Balesh Desai and Rahul Dangwal now out in the middle.

The game remained in the balance with Suttiprapha bowling the final over and 9 runs separating the teams. The first 3 balls went for just 3 runs, the fourth ball was hit for 3 runs and brought the captain Desai on strike.

Desai hit the fifth ball onto the leg-side and the batsman raced back for a 2nd run. With 1 run to draw and 2 to win for the Superkings captain struck the final ball into a vacant leg side area, the batsman scampered back for a 2nd run as Suttiprapha fielded off his own bowling but was unable to hit the stumps with the throw. Andrew McMillan