Bangkok Spirits and the Lanna
Juniors in a group photo.
The first ever Chiang Mai Lanna Sixes held at Prem on
6th and 7th December was a great success as the Cup was won by
Walter Persaud's Bangkok Spirits after beating Lanna Juniors by
two runs in the final. The cup final was played between the two
best sides in the competition which had each won their first
four matches and it looked like the Juniors would win yet
another trophy as Cher took two wickets in the first over both
thanks to catches from Chanchai.
Cher dives for the ball in one of
Spirits were 15 for 3 after three overs as Chanchai took his
third catch and the visitors from Bangkok looked in trouble but
21 runs came from the last two overs to give them a total to
bowl at. A target of 36 looked comfortable for after 15 runs
came from the first over but Naveed bowled a fiery over and
three spinners tied down the boys in the absence of Bunchuai who
was at college after looking so impressive on the first day.
A boundary from the last ball of the match would have brought
the Juniors to victory but only a single was scored and the
Spirits had shown their fighting spirit as they defended their
total of 36 to win by two runs.
A lot of great cricket action in the
first ever Chiang Mai Lanna Sixes.
The inaugural Lanna Sixes had got off to a fine start as the
first day was marked by a series of fine performances from Lanna
Juniors who won all three of their group matches. They defeated
the Prem Black Cats by 47 runs in the opening match and their
second match was a local derby as the boys outplayed the men of
Lanna A by restricting them to 46 in five overs and then
knocking the runs off inside four overs without losing a wicket
as Bunchuai made a superb unbeaten 30.
The Juniors' third match came against the visiting Malaysian
side SBP Old Boys who made 54 thanks to 30 from Saufi who was to
prove the most consistent batsman in the competition but
Bunchuai, Jun and Cher all batted well as the boys achieved
their target with two balls to spare.
Lanna boys and girls teams
Bangkok Spirits also looked a strong side on day one as they
defeated Lanna B by 24 runs as Naveed's 30 helped them to a
total of 72 for 2 and they were also far too good for United CC
as they restricted them to just 37 for 3 and needed only 15
balls to reach their target.
Lanna A recovered from their defeat to the Juniors by defeating
the Black Cats by 55 runs as they made 88 for 0 thanks to a
remarkable 50 in extras but the highlight of the first day was
Lanna B's surprise victory over United.
Shine Thomas and Captain Pete Warner showed they could adapt to
the shortest form of the game as Lanna B reached 62 for 1 before
Eddie Joyner talked himself on to open the bowling. The former
postman always delivers so it was no surprise that he dismissed
Burhan and Tanveer for first ball ducks. Shine Thomas and David
Holt also took wickets and Adrian Ballantyne and Pete Warner
held their nerve as Lanna B triumphed by 18 runs.
The second day of the Lanna Sixes would see the last two group
matches as places in the semi-finals of Cup and Plate
competitions were decided and the knock-out matches would follow
as all eight teams still had a chance to win one of four
different trophies. Lanna Juniors had already qualified for the
Cup semi-finals but could the two senior Lanna teams do the
Lanna A played SBP Old Boys in the first match of the day and
leg-spinner Russell Ward gave his team the perfect start by
taking wickets with the first two balls of the match. Saufi
again top-scored for the Malaysian side but a total of 45 for 3
never looked enough as Lanna A took their place in the semis by
reaching their target with only one wicket down.
Bangkok Spirits then took on the Singha Panthers with the side
from Prem needing to win or score 50 runs to qualify but the
Spirits were far too strong and bowled out the Panthers for 34
and gained their third win of the competition without losing a
The four Cup semi-finalists had been decided with Lanna Juniors
and Bangkok Spirits the two unbeaten teams and Lanna A next best
with two wins out of three. The last place went down to the wire
with Lanna B, United CC and the Singha Panthers level on points
with one win each.
Lanna B qualified as the fourth team in the Cup competition
because they had scored four more runs than United. United and
the Panthers would play in the Plate competition along with SBP
Old Boys and Prem Black Cats.
The first Cup semi-final was played between Bangkok Spirits and
Lanna A and the hosts looked to have a good chance of success
when the Spirits were restricted to 54 for 3 as Hamish Weir
showed he was another capable leg-spinner as he took two wickets
in his over. 18 runs from the fourth over kept Lanna A in the
hunt but Hadi bowled an excellent final over with two wickets
for four runs and the Spirits had won by 10 runs.
Lanna Juniors then took on Lanna B in the second Cup semi-final
and having already beaten the Lanna A side the day before it was
no surprise that the boys again beat the men as they conceded
only 39 runs and reached their target in less than three overs.
The boys would play in the Cup final but the two Lanna senior
teams would now meet in the Shield final.
In the Plate semi-finals United returned to winning ways by
beating the Black Cats without losing a wicket but the Panthers
gave a fine batting display by reaching 90 for 1 in their 5
overs to defeat SBP Old Boys by 16 runs. The line-up for the
four finals had been decided.
The Cup final was held first with the Spirits anxious to make an
early start back to Bangkok. For most of the match it looked
like Lanna Juniors would enjoy a fairy tale success but the
veterans from the Bangkok League held on to win the trophy by
just two runs. Chanchai's three nonchalant catches will live
long in the memory but the boys came up just short against some
wily spin bowling.
The SBP Old Boys played the Prem Black Cats in the Spoon final
and the Malaysian side finally gained some reward for their
stylish play as they won by eight runs with openers Muazzam and
Saufi batting well but the Blacks Cats' openers put up a good
fight and it was great that so many Thai youngsters had had a
chance to play in their team.
United won the Plate by narrowly beating the Singha Panthers by
three runs as Mark Bowyer who is coaching a new team of juniors
at Prem showed he could play himself by scoring 25 runs from
just 10 balls.
Only one final remained to be played and it was a hard fought
contest between Lanna A and Lanna B which would decide the
winners of the Shield and who would have bragging rights between
CMLCC team-mates to bring the inaugural Lanna Sixes to a fitting
Eddie Joyner made the most of his promotion in the batting order
for Lanna B to make an unbeaten 12 to give valuable support to
Shine Tomas who raced to 26 from 15 balls so that the A team
would need exactly 50 to win. It looked like it would be Eddie's
day as he took a wicket with his second ball but there was still
time for some R & R as Russell Ward batted sensibly and Richard
Young went for his shots and won the match with a big six to
bring proceedings to a close.
Four winners and four runners-up duly celebrated with their
trophies and everyone involved agreed that the tournament had
been a great success and would go on to bigger and better things
A full range of photos taken at the Lanna Sixes by Danny and
Bowes and video dairies made by Jason Bray can be found at
The boys at Galle.
Three talented young cricketers who are looked after by the Hill Tribe Fund
and play cricket in Chiang Mai have just returned from a memorable stay in
Sri Lanka. Bunchuai, Cher and Chanchai have been visiting the Cricket Live
Foundation to play, train and coach but their trip began with a visit to the
famous R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo to watch the first One-Day
International between Sri Lanka and England.
There had been rain in the morning leaving the ground fully covered as the
boys arrived but the rain stopped and the covers removed in time for a full
50-over match to be played and what a match the three boys were treated to.
Over 600 runs were scored as Sri Lanka reached 317-6 in their 50 overs but
only won by 25 runs as Moeen Ali hit the ball to all parts to reach his
century in just 72 balls.
It was a fantastic occasion for the boys to watch international cricket for
the first time and as the Sri Lankan crowd was in high spirits. Bunchuai,
Cher and Chanchai were accompanied by Richard Cowles and girl friend Pern as
well as their Lamphun coach Chris Dodd who as usual recorded the trip with
The boys with some of the kids from the
Foundation in Sri Lanka.
The boys' great adventure had begun in style and they were all able to
recover with a day's sightseeing which included a visit to the Cricket Club
Cafe which is a place to which all cricket fans visit while they are in
Colombo. Every item on the menu has a name connected to cricket and videos
of famous matches are played continuously.
The boys' trip continued on with their first visit to the Cricket Live
Foundation in Moratuwa where they met head coach Sanjeewa Silva and got some
high quality net practice ahead of playing in a match on Saturday. The boys
visited the Moratuwa Sports Club and looked round the Test match ground in
The boys would later help with coaching the young Sri Lankan children who
are looked after by the charity but this afternoon they were fully involved
in a session with the local youngsters which was designed to show the
benefits of team work.
There was an entertaining class room session which saw the use of the white
board and even saw the children making Christmas decorations. This was
followed by all sorts of fun and games in the garden where each boy had to
rely on the support of his team-mates in a variety of activities.
The Cricket Live Foundation is a New Zealand-run charity which helps
under-privileged Sri Lankan children by training them as cricketers and
teaching them life skills so there seems to be a special bond between the
locals and the Hill Tribe Fund children who have all their educational needs
looked after as well as developing as wonderful young cricketers.
Bunchuai, Chanchai and Cher were fully involved in the afternoon's
activities which ended with numerous presentations with the red Lamphun caps
to the fore and the boys were also able to say thank you for the tickets for
the ODI that were kindly provided by Cricket Live.
Sri Lankan schools cricket is world famous as a breeding ground for
first-class and Test players so it was a great opportunity for Bunchuai,
Chanchai and Cher to be involved in a junior match played at St Benedict's
College in the Kotahena district of Colombo. The school was founded in 1865
and is considered as one of the leading schools in Sri Lanka and known as
the oldest catholic school in the island with a history of almost 150 years.
The school has a long history in playing sport with a champion cricket team
as well as enjoying great success at football and rugby so the boys will
have learnt a lot from being involved in a match with some outstanding young
Sri Lankan cricketers.
After spending Sunday working on their game, it was time for a day out for
the boys so the tour party headed for Galle. The Galle International Stadium
is one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world as it is
overlooked by a historic Dutch fort and stands beside the Indian Ocean on
the south coast of Sri Lanka.
Richard and Chris took the boys on a sight-seeing trip that involved a visit
to the Test ground that was completely rebuilt after the tsunami of December
2004 and was the ground on which Muttiah Muralitharan took his 800th Test
wicket to bring down the curtain on an outstanding Test career.
The boys then looked round the historic fort which was first built by the
Portuguese in 1588 and then heavily fortified by the Duch in the 17th
century. The fort has had a colourful history which is reflected by the
architecture of the buildings inside the fort and its importance has been
recognized as it has been made a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it perfectly
illustrates the interaction of European architecture and South Asian
traditions over four centuries.
With the history lesson over, Rich and the boys soon found a game of cricket
to join in on one of the grassy areas within the fort. Chris was busy taking
several memorable photographs of the interaction between Thai and Sri Lankan
cricketing traditions which has been the centre point of this wonderful
After an enjoyable trip to Galle the tour party returned to Colombo to
sample another part of the local cricket scene after they had been invited
to visit Colts CC which is a leading first-class club by their Secretary
Sanjaya Attanayake who is an enthusiastic supporter of junior cricket in Sri
Lanka and has shown great interest in the development of cricket in Thailand
following a recent visit by his Sri Lankan Masters team.
Richard Cowles provided the details:
'We had a nice afternoon today with the sun finally shining in Colombo
at Colts CC. Sanjaya took us all out for a superb buffet lunch, followed by
nets at Colts and coaching with their senior captain Muthumudalige
Pushpakumara ("Pushi"). We then had a few beers in the clubhouse and talked
about Thailand cricket and met Nishantha Ranatunga, brother of former
national captain Arjuna, who is president of the club and secretary of Sri
Lanka Cricket, who was inspecting alterations to the pavilion. Ranatunga
said Thai juniors would be welcome at the Colts academy.'
Lanna Juniors and Lamphun coach Chris Dodd also reflected on a very
enjoyable and successful trip:
'It has been a great trip, the boys have thoroughly enjoyed it and will
definitely go back more knowledgeable about what it's like to be in a real
cricketing country. The boys haven't looked out of place here, their skill
levels are good and their performances have been high. They'll need to tweak
some things when we get back but generally I'm very happy with it all.'
The boys only played in one match but they were immersed in a cricketing
environment on every day of their trip that will benefit them greatly.
Contacts have been made in Colombo, Moratuwa and Galle that should ensure
the boys will return again to play more cricket and receive more high
The last day before the boys returned home was again spent in Moratuwa with
the Cricket Live Foundation as they had a last net practice in the morning
and then visited two schools to help Sanjeewa Silva as he put the local
youngsters through their paces.
This gave Bunchuai, Cher and Chanchai the chance to try their hand at
coaching which will also prove invaluable experience when they return to the
schools of Lamphun where they help Chris with the coaching. They were
familiar with the throw downs and the perfect forward defensive shots being
practised but it was quite a sight when the mat was rolled out and a mini
game was played.
Perhaps one of the Sri Lankan children they coached will become the next
Kumar Sangakkara or Mahela Jayawardene and the three boys certainly returned
home with their appetite for cricket re-invigorated after a very memorable
trip. They went straight to the nets to demonstrate what they had learnt to
their young team-mates.
There was almost a fairy tale end to their Sri Lankan adventure as the three
boys all played for Lanna Juniors in the inaugural Lanna Sixes and reached
the Cup final before being narrowly beaten by Bangkok Spirits. The five HTF
girls also played and looked splendid when wearing their new Sri Lankan
Funding for the boys' tour to Sri Lanka has been provided by The Willows CC
in New Zealand, Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes and Chiang Mai Lanna
Cricket Club and the financial assistance is greatly appreciated. Thanks
also to Sanjeewa Silva and Alex Rees at Cricket Live Foundation for all
their help in arranging this wonderful trip.
A full range of photographs from this trip and further details on all
cricket played in Chiang Mai can be found on www.lannacricket.org