The Chiang Mai Gymkhana club took the
tournament beating out visitors Pattaya and Patong.
Gymkhana Club staged a successful three-team
tournament in 2013 in which teams from Pattaya and Patong played against
Gymkhana with each team playing two 20-over matches and the home side
was victorious with plenty of local talent to choose from. With the two
visiting sides visiting on 21st and 22nd
February, the local players were this time divided into two teams,
Gymkhana Club and Chiang Mai Lanna CC, which meant that a total of six
15-over matches were staged with each team playing three matches.
The first match got underway at 10 am on Saturday
morning with Gymkhana, captained and organized by Basharat Wani, taking
on Pattaya. Gymkhana showed their batting strength as they made a total
of 156 for 6 in 15 overs with Naveed on his return to local cricket
hitting six fours and two sixes in a rapid fifty.
Even though John Spires hit 26 to go with his two
wickets and Captain Simon made an unbeaten 30 a rate of more than 10 an
over was beyond Pattaya and they were restricted to a total of 104 for 7
as Gymkhana recorded a comfortable victory by 52 runs.
Chanchai shows his
class in Lanna victory over Patong
The first match saw over 250 runs scored but was
finished within two hours so the other two teams, Lanna and Patong soon
took their place on the field. Lanna made a fast start thanks to David
Holt who hit 24 from 13 balls but it was the Thai boys who stole the
show for Lanna as Bunchuai batted through the innings for his unbeaten
18 and rotated the strike so expertly that Chanchai made 49 in a
partnership of 78.
Although the Pattaya team
did not win the tournament their player, John Spires, won Player of the
16-year-old Chanchai has come on in leaps and bounds
this season and hit eight fours in his innings before being caught just
when he needed only a single to complete his fifty. Extras did pass the
fifty mark as wides were counting two in this competition which meant
Lanna reached 154 for 4 in 15 overs.
Martin Cardno immediately put Patong on the back foot
by bowling with pace as he took 3 for 17 after dealing with shoulder
problems by trying out a round-arm action. Ant Robertson has often
played with the Floggers and hit four fours and a six in his 26 before
Phil Shaw made an unbeaten 35 to show he was batting two low at number
Richard Folds had just completed a charity bike ride
from Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok and had also built a career as an
umpire so it was perhaps no surprise he was bowled first ball to see his
team dismissed for 126 as Chanchai and Eddie Joyner both took two
wickets as Lanna won an enjoyable match by 28 runs.
Pattaya win the battle
of the touring teams
The third match of the first day saw the two touring
teams face each other as Patong quickly got another chance to improve on
their batting but were restricted to 113 for 7. Anthony van Blerk played
a sheet anchor role to show his broken hand had brought a lack of power
in his stroke-play but the two Daves, Thomas and Watson, did hit some
boundaries to get the total above the 100 after young fast bowler Hamza
and experienced medium pacer Johnny G had both taken two early wickets.
Johnny G then got Pattaya’s reply off to a fast start
as he hit 15 from six balls but it was left to Dan Nicholson (33*) and
John Spires (48*) to take their side to a convincing nine-wicket victory
with Nicolson batting steadily and Spires hitting nine fours in 27 balls
to complete a fine all-round day for him. Local Thai boy Cher was given
a game for Patong as Richard Folds graciously stood down and he opened
the batting and the bowling and was their only wicket-taker.
At the end of the first day’s competition, Gymkhana,
Lanna and Pattaya had all won one match and were level on two points
with Patong just behind.
Gymkhana take the local honours
Early in the morning the local sides met in the
contest that looked set to decide the destiny of the tournament as it
saw the two unbeaten teams going head to head. The Gymkhana Club side
was a strong combination of players from Chiang Mai Cricket Club and
Chiang Mai Warriors and had their hearts set on winning the tournament,
while Chiang Mai Lanna CC were desperately trying to give a game to
everybody who wanted to play.
It was a complete mis-match as a social team with a
change of captain and six new players was soundly beaten by opposition
who were playing in their version of the World Cup final. Left-hander
Ubaid set the tone by hitting Tom Salusbury for four consecutive sixes
over the match box, into the trees and onto the golf course. Umar played
equally well before retiring on 50, and Maki hit five fours in his 24.
The only consolation for Lanna was the fact that Choo
had arrived early after getting time off from the bakery where he works
and he bowled the perfect yorker to dismiss Wani who had complained too
many fielders had been on the boundary during the innings.
Gymkhana still managed the highest total of the
competition as they scored 171 for 5 in 15 overs but just in case they
thought this might not be quite enough, the field was spread and only
three boundaries were allowed in the first 14 overs.
A total of 77 for 4 in 15 overs spoke volumes about a
disappointing contest as Gymkhana were convincing winners by 94 runs and
now had the chance to win their third match to complete a clean sweep of
victories to claim the prized trophy.
Gymkhana’s clean sweep
After watching the conclusion to the match between
Gymkhana and Lanna, Patong with two defeats so far in the tournament
must have felt like lambs to the slaughter but the Phuket side probably
gave their best display of the tournament even though they were beaten
by 56 runs.
Dave Watson is a highly talented all-rounder but
cannot produce unless he has looked after himself the night before. An
early night did the trick as he was very pleased with his figures of 2
for 11 in 3 overs but he couldn’t stop Gymkhana from making another
large score as they reached 162 for 5 with Ubaid making 45 and Naveed
Watson continued to show what we had been missing
earlier in the tournament by hitting four fours in an innings of 27 and
he finished as Patong’s highest scorer as Maki took 3 for 12 to restrict
the opposition to 106 for 8. Gymkhana had won three matches out of three
but they would have to wait to be crowned champions as there was one
more match to be played.
Lanna take second
place by finally beating Pattaya
Chiang Mai Lanna and Pattaya have been regular
opponents over the last few months and it has been Pattaya who had taken
the honours by winning four matches in a row; three of the four matches
had gone down to the wire so Lanna were looking for a long-awaited
Eddie Joyner took his place at the helm and put
Martin Cardno back at the top of the batting order where he belongs and
he didn’t disappoint as he smashed the ball to all parts to reach his
fifty from just 20 balls with 6 fours and 3 sixes. Nithi Thongmanee
provided one of his cameos but it was left to Tim Jones and young
Chanchai to make sure that an impressive total was posted.
Tim Jones had waited for his chance and hit 5 fours
and a six in his unbeaten 41 and Chanchai again showed himself to be a
fantastic young cricketer in the making with 27 not out as the final
score reached 161 for 2.
Surely this would at last prove to be Lanna’s day
against Pattaya but Captain Eddie was determined not to let this
opportunity slip, even though he did let the ball go through his legs
before recovering with a pin point throw to gain a run out. John Spires
proved himself to be the most consistent player of the tournament to
pass 100 runs with his innings of 37* and it was left to Eddie to make
sure of victory by bowling the final over.
Lanna had beaten Pattaya by the margin of 30 runs to
finish second but it was Gymkhana who finished as champions in this
four-team tournament by winning all three of their matches in
comprehensive fashion. John Spires of Pattaya won the player of the
tournament and Patong didn’t win anything except for the thanks of the
cricket fraternity of Chiang Mai for being such good tourists and for
giving places in their team to Thai juniors who will have benefited from
taking part in such an enjoyable tournament.
Plans are already in place for another joint visit
from Pattaya and Patong so that this weekend becomes another regular
highlight in the Chiang Mai cricketing calendar.
Team Asia Captain, Thongchai Jaidee, is looking forward to this month’s
EurAsia Cup, taking place from March 27-29 at the Glenmarie Golf and
Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the 44-year-old Thai golfer
is excited ahead of the challenge at the inaugural event.
“I’m really looking forward to captaining Team Asia. I believe I have a
very strong squad which is capable of challenging and beating Team
Europe. I’ve been talking to the Asian players in recent weeks about the
possible pairings and everyone is very excited about coming together
under Team Asia and playing in Malaysia.”
Thongchai is aware that as Team Asia’s captain he has to set the example
and lead from the front.
“As captain, I believe I need to lead by example and that means playing
my best possible golf to deliver points for the team. Match play golf is
always very exciting and the scores very close, so I will be ready to
give everything I have for my team. We are fighting for our pride and
honour and as captain, I am ready to do that, and hopefully inspire the
other nine players to produce their best golf for the team.”
The makeup of Team Asia team excites Thongchai and he describes their
“Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Siddikur Rahman and Anirban
Lahiri all qualified as the top-four Asians from the Asian Tour Order of
Merit. They are all in their 20s and their qualification is a reflection
of the rise of the new generation of players in Asia. They are all very
exciting players who have achieved success at such a young age and their
presence in Team Asia is a reflection of their abilities.
“Koumei Oda, Hideto Tanihara and Kim Hyung-sung enjoyed fantastic
seasons in Japan last year and they are all very capable of matching up
against the Europeans. The trio are all attacking players which will
suit the Match play competitions well.”
Thongchai is hoping the crowds will show a similar passion to the Ryder
Cup crowd and cheer Team Asia onto a famous victory.
“We have seen in the Ryder Cup how the home fans have become the “15th
club” for the home team through their passionate support. I have played
in Malaysia for a very long time and I know the fans love their golf.
With my success in the Malaysian Open in the past and with Kiradech
being the reigning Malaysian Open champion, I’m sure we will have plenty
of local support which will be important for the team as we seek to win
the EurAsia Cup!”
Thongchai Jaidee (Captain, Thailand), Kiradech Aphibarnrat
(Thailand), Gaganjeet Bhullar (India), Nicholas Fung (Malaysia), Kim
Hyung-sung (Korea,) Anirban Lahiri (India), Prayad Marksaeng (Thailand),
Koumei Oda (Japan), Siddikur Rahman (Bangladesh), Hideto Tanihara
Miguel-Angel Jimenez (Captain, Spain), Thomas Bjorn (Denmark), Jamie
Donaldson (Wales), Victor Dubuisson (France), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
(Spain), Stephen Gallacher (Scotland), Pablo Larrazabal (Spain), Joost
Luiten (Netherlands), Graeme McDowell (N Ireland), Thorbjorn Olesen