ACC Women’s Championship
Thailand captain Sornnarin Tippoch became the
first player to score a century in ACC Women’s Cricket and was named player
of the tournament.
Thursday 31st January 2013 was a historic day for Cricket in
Thailand as their women’s team beat China by 17 runs in the wonderful new
ground at Royal Chiang Mai Golf Club in the final of the ACC Women’s
Championship to lift a prestigious trophy after bravely holding off the
mighty Chinese team who had been unbeaten in the completion.
Thailand’s girls will now have the chance to travel to Ireland to play in
the qualifying tournament for the next Women’s World Twenty20 where they
will lock horns with Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, Canada,
Japan and a team from Africa.
This all seemed only a dream at the start At the start of the day this all
seemed highly unlikely as an overnight storm had swept across Chiang Mai but
the match was moved from Prem Oval to Royal Chiang Mai and this proved to be
a fitting stage for a triumphant day for Thailand with a large and
enthusiastic crowd in attendance.
Thailand were asked to bat first in the final and were struggling against a
testing Chinese bowling attack when captain Sornnarin Tippoch was joined by
Chanida Sutthiruang and a precarious position of 46 for five was converted
into a more than useful total of 95 for six. Sornnarin played the sheet
anchor role with an unbeaten 28 and Chanida contributed a lusty 17 to a
partnership of 40 in six overs.
Chanida then dismissed both openers in her first over and China were 0 for 2
and then 5 for 5. The Chinese were unbeaten so far in the tournament with
six wins out of six but they were now surely heading for defeat. Huang Zhuo
did her best until she was out for 30 in the last over but Thailand were
able to secure victory by 17 runs as China were bowled out for 78 in 24.4
action on the pitch.
The presentations were a joyous
occasion as Sornnarin Tippoch lifted the trophy and also won the player of
the tournament award for 13 wickets and 186 runs as well as becoming the
first player to score a century in ACC women’s cricket. Chanida Sutthiruang
was named player of the match for her 17 and 3 for 6 and was also bowler of
the tournament with 18 wickets, while China’s Zhang Mei was made batter of
the tournament with 269 runs.
Iran won the Spirit of Cricket Award for their contribution on and off the
field to a memorable competition that will be long remembered in Thailand.
Chiang Mai had proved itself as the perfect venue for international cricket
at this level with three contrasting grounds and the ability to organize a
well-run tournament with 11 teams from across Asia.
The first week of the competition saw the group stages with China and
Thailand matching each other with four impressive victories. Thailand won
their first three matches without losing a wicket and then the irrepressible
captain Sornnarin Tippoch made history by scoring 108* against Singapore
which was the first hundred in the ACC Women’s Cricket.
cricket continued at the Gymkhana Club with the British Club visiting Chiang
Mai in a annual fixture that goes back more than 30 years.
The Chinese had been even more
impressive with a series of powerful performances with bat and ball and they
finished top of Group B by beating Thailand by 47 runs at Prem Oval, but the
home side had shown China were not invincible by dismissing them for 118 and
had given a performance in the field that had spectators gasping with
Nepal had easily won Group A ahead of Hong Kong who had been defending
champions, and so met Thailand in the first semi-final. Chanida Sutthiruang
was given the new ball and returned astonishing figures of 5 for 2 as Nepal
were bowled out for 38 and the home side held their nerve to win by seven
wickets and Thailand were now just one win away from glory.
China completely outclassed Hong Kong in the second semi-final with their
openers producing their second partnership of 141 in the competition. But
the Chinese finally met their match in the final against Thailand with both
openers failing to score and history was made as Thailand enjoyed a historic
triumph and the memories will live on forever.
Even with the ACC Women’s Championship taking the headlines, men’s cricket
continued at Gymkhana Club with the British Club visiting from Bangkok for
their annual fixture in Chiang Mai which has stretched back more than 30
years. Gymkhana Club easily won a two-innings match with a total of almost
40 players having an enjoyable afternoon. Singapore CC are another famous
team who enjoy regular visits to Chiang Mai and the home side showed its
growing strength by scoring 202 in 30 overs and winning by 17 runs.
Enjoyable and competitive cricket continues at Gymkhana Club every weekend
until the San Miguel Chiang Mai International Sixes begin on 31st March.
Kirilenko and Lisicki serve up a thriller in Pattaya
Women’s Open final
Russia’s Maria Kirilenko bounced back from a set down to defeat Germany’s
Sabine Lisicki 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (7-1) in an enthralling singles final at the
2013 PTT Pattaya Women’s Open on Sunday, Feb. 3 to claim her first WTA Tour
title in 5 years.
graceful Kirilenko serves to Lisicki during the opening set.
On finals day the stadium at the Dusit Thani Pattaya tennis center was
transformed into something more reminiscent of a Moscow or St. Petersburg
amphitheatre for a Davis Cup match, as a huge Russian contingent arrived to
give enthusiastic vocal support to the tournament’s number 2 seed.
In a tense but high quality opening to the match both players fought hard to
gain an advantage, with Lisicki’s big serve and ground stokes being
countered by her opponent’s subtle all-court game. After swapping a couple
of early breaks the match settled down and went with serve until with the
score standing at 6-5 to Lisicki, Kirilenko was the first to blink as she
missed a forehand long on a critical point to hand the first set to her
The match really turned on its head however at the start of the second set.
After holding serve, Lisicki had three break points in the next game to take
what could have been a decisive 2-0 lead. Instead, Kirilenko dug deep into
her resources and eventually hung on to hold serve and even up the scores.
All indications were that the second set would then follow a similar pattern
to the first, however Lisicki’s form began to desert her just when she
needed it most and she promptly lost the next eight games on the bounce,
offering little resistance as Kirilenko grew in confidence and started to
dictate the pattern of each point.
Staring defeat in the face at 5-2 down and 15-40 in the final set, Lisicki
suddenly threw caution to the wind and the match was to witness yet another
remarkable swing of momentum. Fending off three match points, the German
starlet held her own serve and then set about breaking her opponent’s - not
once but twice.
Kirilenko could barely believe what was happening as she saw her lead
evaporate and at 5-6 down suddenly she was the one needing to break serve to
stay in the match. Lisicki’s powerful serve had proved a potent weapon in
the deciding set as she sent down a succession of booming aces, however,
with a chance to serve out for the title the nerves appeared to take over
and the German’s service game began to misfire. Kirilenko saw an opportunity
and pounced to break back and take the match into a tie-break.
Showing all the experience of her 10 years on the pro tour, Kirilenko
stormed into a 5-0 lead in the tie-breaker and this time she wasn’t about to
let her opponent off the hook. At 6-1 to the Russian, Lisicki’s backhand
flew just wide of the line and Kirilenko sank to her knees, raising her arms
in triumph. The match had lasted 2 hours and 37 minutes and had been a
captivating spectacle throughout.
“I had a birthday just before the tournament started and had a cake in my
room with some candles, and I made a wish. The wish was to win this
tournament and I think it was good one because it came true,” Kirielko told
the crowd following the trophy presentation.
“I was a little disappointed in the third set,” she added. “I was kicking
myself for losing the 5-2 lead and then somehow I returned her serves at 6-5
and it was a tiebreak and then I started to feel I can win it again.”
The win was just the sixth title of Kirilenko’s career and her first since
beating Martinez-Sanchez in Barcelona in 2008. As well as picking up the
first prize of $40,000, Kirilenko also garnered 280 valuable ranking points
to go with the crown.
In the doubles final which followed immediately afterwards, Japanese veteran
Kimiko Date-Krumm and Australian Casey Dellacqua easily defeated
Uzbekistan’s Akgul Amanmuradova and Russia’s Alexandra Panova 6-3, 6-2.
Aphibarnrat fires final round 63 to win Singha Masters title
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat carded an impressive final round 63 to
overhaul Baek Seuk-Hun and claim victory in the 2013 Singha Masters, held at
the Santiburi Country Club in Chiang Rai from Jan. 31 – Feb. 3.
Trailing overnight leader Baek Seuk-Hun by one shot going into the day’s
play, Kiradech opened with a blistering front nine 31 as he reeled off 5
successive birdies from the third hole onwards. The Thai star then added 4
more birdies on the back-nine stretch in a bogey free round that saw him
finish the tournament on 25-under par.
Aphibarnrat plays an approach shot during his final round at the 14th Singha
Masters golf tournament held at the Santiburi Country Club in Chiang Rai,
Sunday, Feb. 3. (Photo courtesy All Thailand Golf Tour)
Baek had to be content with second place after his final round 66 left him 2
shots adrift on 23-under par.
Lee Sung from South Korea and Thailand’s Sutjet Kooratanapisan tied for
third place after both carded final round 66’s to finish on 18-under-par
270, while defending champion defending champion Prayad Marksaeng was left
some way back in sixth on 15-under.
Kiradech took home 600,000 baht for his second win on the Singha All
Thailand Tour, while Baek received 362,000 baht.
Thidapa Suwannapura was crowned champion in the women’s tournament despite
struggling home on the last day with a 2-over par 74. Thidapa finished the
tournament on a total of 6-under 282 to claim the first prize of 70,000
baht. Porani Chutichai and Jaruporn Palakawong Na Ayutthaya shared second
place just one shot behind on 5-under.
The 14th Singha Masters marked the final leg of the 2012 All Thailand Tour.
The 2013 season gets underway this month with the Singha Esan Open at the
Singha Park Golf Club, Khon Kaen from Feb. 14-17 before moving onto Pattaya
and Hua Hin. The Singha Chiang Mai Open will be held this year from August
8-11 at a venue yet to be confirmed.