Last Sunday (May 1), the Alan Cooke Ground (ACG) hosted the Phuket Cricket Group (PCG) 40 Over Final between top of the table Thalang Cricket Team (TCT) and second-placed Laguna. With Thailand recording its hottest April in 65 years, a similarly heated match was anticipated with both sides boasting strong line ups.
The outfield was expected to be very fast in the hot and dry conditions which augured well for a high scoring match, barring any side succumbing to the nerves in the final. It lived up to expectations with Laguna securing victory by 38 runs after setting a match-winning total of 265 all out from 36.4 overs, while TCT responded with a valiant 227 all out from 36 overs.
After winning the toss, Laguna took the opportunity to bat first, setting a solid total for TCT and provide them with the opportunity to wear down the TCT team in the field with the heat prior to the second innings.
This proved an effective strategy with openers Moomin Sanga (62) and Damian Clowes (11) putting on a strong 74-run partnership until Clowes eventually fell, just 3 balls after the 10 over drinks break.
Sanga eventually lost his wicket in the 15th over with the score at 93 runs. Manish Sadarangani (41) and Arif Mushtaq (27) then combined to push the innings along to 136 before Mushtaq was dismissed after the 20 over drinks break.
If Laguna could maintain the run rate, they were looking at 250 plus total from their 40 over allocation.
In the second half of their innings, Sadarangani and Iqbal Malik (16) combined for a 31-run partnership until Sadarangani was bowled by Andrew Macmillan in the 27th over with the score on 167-4.
However, just six balls later, experienced batsman Sameer Khan (1) was dismissed nicking a ball into the bottom of wicket-keeper Mudisir Rehman’s pads, the latter claiming an unusual catch by managing to keep his feet together to prevent the ball touching the ground.
On the final ball before the 30 over drinks break, Malik was dismissed popping a catch to Macmillan at mid-wicket with TCT taking the honours in the session, restricting Laguna to just 50 runs.
Just 2 balls after the drinks break, Rishi Sadarangani (0) was sent back to the clubhouse after being caught, leaving Laguna looking like their innings was about to fizzle out and capitulate for less than 200 runs with the score now at 188-7.
However, Laguna still had plenty of experienced batting left with big-hitting Ali Khan (40) and Stuart Reading (34) smashing 61 runs off just 26 balls to accelerate the innings to 249-8 before Khan was caught at deep mid-wicket in the 35th over.
Roly Cooper (2) and Reading put on a further 15 runs before Cooper was clean bowled on the first ball of the 37th over, and Reading was eventually dismissed on the fourth ball with a solid total 265 runs leaving Thalang with 266 runs to score to defend their title.
After lunch break, TCT sent out openers Andrew Macmillan (64) and Mudisir Rehman (1). With both batsmen very fast between the wickets, they were looking to put pressure on the Laguna fieldsmen with quick singles.
However, this backfired when Rehman was run out on just the fourth ball of their innings. Gary Lane (8) then joined the action in the middle, only to suffer the same fate in the sixth over with TCT languishing at 23-2.
This brought PCG’s top run scorer Hico Macdonald (19) to the crease, and it was imperative that a big partnership between TCT’s key batsmen Macmillan and Macdonald ensued, as they had done in their previous match against Laguna where Macdonald had scored an unbeaten century.
It was not to be Macdonald’s day as he was bowled by Manish Sadarangani just 3 balls after the 10 over drinks break with the score on 63-3 leaving another 203 runs still required for victory from 30 overs.
Macmillan and D Mills (24) put on a 52-run partnership before Macmillan was dismissed in the 18th over. Mills and Mark Whetton (22) maintained the required run rate at the halfway mark of the innings. However, Mills holed out at deep mid-on just three balls after the 20 over drinks break at 133-5.
With another 133 runs required for victory from 20 overs, victory was not impossible as TCT still had plenty of experienced batsmen to come, but it was vital that one of them scored big.
W Pearce (15), Craig Murphy (14) both got good starts but were dismissed before the 30 over mark and at 188-8 at the end of the 29th over, it was left to the experienced Bill Stahmer (22) and Anthony Du Pont to bring victory home for TCT.
In the 32nd over Du Pont popped a ball up to Roly Cooper at mid-off, which he juggled but eventually caught on his second grab.
Stahmer and Martin Hill (6 not-out) put up some resistance over the next few overs, putting on a further 23 runs, but on the final ball of the 36th over, Sameer Khan eventually secured a well-deserved victory for Laguna trapping Stahmer LBW, bowling out TCT 38 runs short of their target with 227 runs.
On a very hot, sunny and dry Sunday (Mar 27), Patong Cricket Club came face to face with the Island Cricket Club for a day full of exciting cricket at the Alan Cooke Ground.
Patong was playing to stay in contention for the finals and Island was playing to register their first win of this season.
Island won the toss and elected to bat first, which turned out to be a good decision as both openers, Divan Mydeen and Paresh Borkar, looked in good form and scored freely to reach 35 runs in 8 overs.
Stuart Hamilton, bowling for the first time in the league, got the breakthrough for Patong by getting the dangerous Divan caught by Gautam Sundershan at point-for 13.
Paresh was then joined by Shah Hidat Ullah. He was in sublime form, hitting the ball crisply and finding the gaps with ease.
Shah went on to make an excellent quick-fire century. The partnership between Paresh and Shah was 98 runs, when Paresh lost his wicket to Sami Pir.
The new incoming player was Darshan Vaigankar joining in-form team member Shah, who was in a fine nick. The partnership produced 58 runs when Darshan fell to Neil Quail.
At the very next ball, Shah also succumbed to Quail and was caught by Sami Pir at a score of 101 in just 69 balls, which included 14 boundaries and two sixes. ICC were sitting at 191 for 4.
After the departure of Shah, the Patong players had their tails up and picked up wickets at regular intervals restricting ICC at a score of 266 for 9 at the end of the innings.
Neil Quail had a great day with the ball getting a fifer for 35 runs in his 6 overs.
Patong ,with a change in batting order, promoted Stuart Hamilton to open with Captain Seemant Raju. They provided a solid start scoring 96 runs in just 77 balls.
Raju was the first wicket to fall for Patong on a personal score of 45 runs off 32 balls, when he missed a straight one which kept a bit low.
Stuart Hamilton was then joined by Simon Wetherell, producing a partnership of 43 runs when Simon was given LBW off the bowling of Divan at a personal score of 11 runs.
The Lone fighter Hamilton was then joined by Imtiaz Mushtaq and the partnership lasted for 41 runs, when Imtiaz nicked one to Balesh of the bowling of Blasco d’ Silva. After the fall of Imtiaz, Patong was unable to produce any substantial partnerships as wickets fell in quick succession.
Unfortunately, Hamilton lost his focus and gave away his wicket, falling just 3 runs short of his ton, but by that time Hamilton had ensured Patong victory with only 40 runs required to achieve the target.
This was achieved by some aggressive hitting by Sami Pir and the cool headed Gautam Sundershan.
Patong was able to achieve the target of 266 runs with one over to spare and still had 4 wickets remaining.
This victory has kept the door open for Patong to finish second in the league and reach the finals. However, to achieve this they must win their last two games against a strong Laguna side.
An exciting end to the 40 over league is ahead!
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).
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.
Last Sunday (Jan 24) at the Alan Cooke Ground, Laguna and the Thalang Cricket Team (TCT) went head to head in a 40-over-per-side match with TCT coming out victors by 44 runs.
The coin toss fell TCT’s way and they chose to bat first on a warm and windy morning.
Runs were hard to come by for TCT’s batsman early with Laguna’s bowlers bowling a tight line. At the first drinks break TCT had crept up to 60 runs.
After the drinks break Iqbal Malik and Faroq Ahmad struck with the wickets of Andrew McMillan (27 runs) and Richard Bentley (42 runs). Laguna continued to bowl to a tight field and the pressure was telling in the 19th and 20th overs with TCT losing 3 wickets and in a spot of bother at 5/96.
Alex Runhaar fell cheaply to Roly Coooper 6/118. Garry Lane and Anthony Dupont nudged the bowling into the gaps but were unable to find the boundaries through the lush ACG outfield. Laguna’s captain Iqbal Malik used 9 bowlers in the hope of encouraging some big strokes, but the batting pair saw TCT through to the 30 over break 6/141.
In the 32nd over, Dupont, who was then on 7 runs from 23 balls, dispatched Moomin Sanga to the fence for 4. That was TCT’s first boundary since the 10th over of the innings. The four started an aggressive 8 over onslaught by the batting pair and a 63 run partnership.
Lane was eventually dismissed for (32 runs) with a few overs remaining, Dupont (45 runs) was the last TCT wicket to fall in the 40th over.
TCT finished all out 217 from 39.5 overs. Ajay Napal took 2 catches and affected 2 run outs for Laguna. The best bowlers were Arif Mushtaq 2/19 (5.5 overs) and Faroq Ahmad 2/16 (4 overs).
After a bite to eat upstairs in the Bondi Boundary Bar the second innings begun with hard hitting Ali Khan and Moomin Sanga in the middle for Laguna.
The pair struck 43 runs from the first 4 overs. Barrie Buck bowled the 4th over and was unfortunate to wear a Sanga straight drive on the end of his finger attempting an unlikely catch.
TCT’s captain McMillan threw the ball to 7 different bowlers in the first 10 overs in an attempt to either stem the flow of runs or pick up a much needed wicket. Sanga (26 runs) was the only wicket to fall prior to the drinks break, LBW from the bowling of Hossain Sylar. Laguna were 1/84 at drinks.
Much like the first innings, the bowlers were able to restrict the scoring and then pick-up multiple wickets. Manish Sadarangani made an uncanny duck from 14 balls and in the next over A Khan (60 runs from 48 balls) was Sylar’s second wicket.
Laguna only managed 2/34 between the 10th and 20th overs and walked off for a drink at 3/118 needing 100 to win from 20 overs.
Damien Clowes was intent on hitting some much needed boundaries when play resumed. He found the leg side rope twice in the 22nd over and a few overs later he was dropped on the boundary just short of hitting the Indigo Pearl sign and winning a free brunch.
Cooper was bowled by Dupont in the 23rd over. Clowes (28 runs) and Mushtaq were dismissed in the 27th and 28th overs.
The match was evenly poised at the 30 over drinks break with Laguna 6/161 requiring 57 more runs for victory and the experienced heads of Sameer Khan and Stuart Reading at the crease.
TCT had several men on the fence to start the last 10 overs and the accurate bowling of Alex Runhaar brought about an outfield catch and the wicket of Reading. The wheels fell of for Laguna very quickly with the final 3 wickets falling in 4 deliveries after S.Khan (23 runs) was also well caught in the outfield.
Laguna all out 173 from 33.3 overs. Best bowlers for TCT were Runhaar 4/23 (6.3 overs), Sylar 2/17 (6 overs), Hico McDonald 2/42 (8 overs).
TCT are now narrowly on the top of the Phuket Cricket League table.
Last Sunday’s (Jan 18) second game of the 40/40 season got off to a nice start when Laguna won the toss against the call and decided to bat.
Laguna, not always the most aggressive of scorers, were playing a safe supporting role game on one end with Manish Sadarangani holding up supporting the free flowing batting of Irfan Sanga who was playing a run a ball innings.
Laguna trotted away to a 83/1 start which most would have considered a big score. However, some wickets fell as other Laguna batsmen failed to establish themselves in comparison to Irfan, and when clouds gathered, lightly at first, and then with a bang a storm rolled over from the south west and play was halted.
Laguna were still in a strong position with only a few down and in the 160s. More than 30 minutes passed and eventually lunch was called early and the teams went in to wait out the break amid a continuing downpour and with a nervous Irfan stuck on 92.
Play resumed at just after 2pm with rain reducing the game to 38 overs for both teams, and the wet ground slowed play and bowling attacks and the boundaries dried up.
However, Laguna was still able to post a respectable 250 with Irfan cracking his century in 99 balls before being bowled after one big shot too many.
ICC had it all to play for and were well in range of a required run rate with 50 on the board in just a few overs , but the change of bowling from the quicks bought immediate results and Manish S started his onslaught of 5 clean bowled wickets through a non-stop 8 overs spell with Roly Cooper holding up the other end.
In the end, the 5 wicket haul on a tough wet pitch was the undoing for ICC and the equation became too much with 139 required off the final 18 overs.
On a different pitch most would have put ICC in with a chance , but it wasn’t to be their day and eventually reached a respectable 175 , top scorer Ravi Naik at 31 was very good despite the conditions.
The game was played in good spirits from both sides and a great day was had by all players and spectators.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.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!