Vol. VIII No. 4 - Tuesday
January 27 - February 2, 2009

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by Saichon Paewsoongnern

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Oman win ACC trophy in style; Thailand collapse in semi final

Inaugural Gurkha Golf Tournament held in Chiang Mai

Oman win ACC trophy in style; Thailand collapse in semi final

CMM Reporters
Oman served up warning of their 2011World Cup aspirations with a crushing 213 run victory over Bhutan in the final of the ACC Trophy Challenge played at the Prem Oval last Wednesday.

Farhan Khan (Oman) bowls to Bhutan’s Jigme Singye during the final at the Prem Oval. (ACC Photo/Danny Bowes)

After winning the toss and electing to field first, the Bhutan players then stood back and watched as straight from the off Maqsood Hussain tried to flay the ball to all parts of the boundary. He struck 14 from his first 6 balls, including 2 fours and a six, before eventually holing out to Jigme Singye on the boundary.
Meanwhile at the other end Adnan Ilyas was missed by the keeper off Lobzang Yonten and it was to prove a huge miss, as the Omani opener went on to compile a superb 138 off just 118 balls, with 19 fours and 4 sixes in his innings.
Ably supported by cameo knocks from his teammates, Ilyas steered Oman to a formidable total of 322 for 9 from their full 50 overs.
In reply Bhutan never really threatened to get close, and despite a stubborn 40 from opener Kumar Subba they were bowled out for just 109 in 42 overs, with both Farhan Khan and Hemal Mehta taking three wickets each.
Bhutan have now made it to the final of every ACC Challenge group tournament they’ve played in the past two seasons, bar the Under-17s, but have won none, beaten each time by Middle Eastern countries. However, despite the latest loss, both teams will still move up into the ACC Elite Group on the basis of their results achieved here in Chiang Mai.
Thailand, who suffered a monumental batting collapse in the semi-final against Bhutan, falling from 48-1 to 72 all out, then repeated the trick in the third and fourth place playoff match against the Maldives. Batting first, the home team were dismissed for just 60 of 33.3 overs with only two batsmen making it into double figures.
The Maldives, who had lost to Thailand in an earlier group match, had no trouble knocking off the required runs for the loss of just two wickets and with 35 overs to spare.

Inaugural Gurkha Golf Tournament held in Chiang Mai

Tournament organiser Peter West (3rd right) poses with other golfers
and brigade piper George MacKenzie.

Michael Davies
The inaugural Gurkha Golf Tournament was held between January 16 and 18 in Chiang Mai, with golfers and guests coming from Australia, the UK, Korea, China, Spain, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand itself, and of course Nepal, the original home of the Gurkhas. Every visitor had connections with the Brigade of Gurkhas and most of the players were retired British Army officers.
Players and their guests decided to stay at the Amari Rincome Hotel, possibly because of GM Wim Fagel’s prior association with Nepal - he was the first GM of the Summit Hotel in Kathmandu, where his MD was a Gurkha, replaced by another Gurkha when he retired. Whatever the reason, everyone enjoyed their stay in Chiang Mai.
At a cocktail reception, with the brigade’s resident piper George MacKenzie playing nostalgically on the rooftop, Narendrakumar Rai explained that this was his first visit to Chiang Mai. Both he and his wife thought that “flying into Chiang Mai was just like approaching our capital city, Kathmandu, with the wonderful green hills on all sides.”
Narendrakumar explained that the tournament was a great opportunity to renew old friendships, particularly his association with Rodney Farrar, which dates back to Calcutta, where they first met in 1964.
The Gurkha Regiment is a traditional and highly-valued part of the British Army, with the Gurkhas themselves, recruited from Nepal, being a by- product of Britain’s colonial past.
During the colonial years of the 19th century, Nepalese tribesmen had so distinguished themselves fighting against British- backed forces that they were recruited into the British Army, where they distinguished themselves again and again, particularly in the Second World War.
Since the inception of the Brigade of Gurkhas, no less than 13 Victoria Crosses – Britain’s highest award for valour in the face of the enemy - have been won by Gurkha soldiers from the brigade, an admirable achievement.
In the golf tournament itself, the Texas Scramble, played at the Royal Chiang Mai Golf Club on January 17, was won by the Team 8 composed of John Birt, Tony Lowrie and Rob Bulloch. The Ladies’ Stableford, played at the Summit Green Valley Golf Club on January 18 was won by Pushpa Rai. The Men’s Stableford, played on the same day, was won by David Pettigrew.

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