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First annual Chiang Mai Lanna Sixes sees local and international teams vie for the Cup

Bangkok Spirits and the Lanna Juniors in a group photo.

Richard Lockwood
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 the matches.

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 same?

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 wicket.

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 climax.

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 next year.

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

Chiang Mai Lanna CC's tribute to Phillip Hughes

Cricket bats lined up as Lanna CC players pay tribute to fallen Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes.

Richard Lockwood
A minute's applause was made and the bats lined up in tribute to Phillip Hughes before the start of Lanna CC's match against United CC from Vietnam on Saturday. The match was played in a very good spirit and the two teams met up again later in the evening at UN Irish Bar to reflect on a wonderful match which saw the home side defend a total of 135 to win by two runs. Man of the match was Russell Ward on his debut for the club as he scored a controlled 29 when he opened the batting and then took three wickets for just two runs with his leg-spin as United were bowled out for 133.
Another notable performance came from Lanna captain Pete Warner who showed the virtue of years in the game by overcoming a sticky start to make an unbeaten 26 from 29 balls as 39 runs came from the last five overs. Russell Ward had batted very steadily but other batsmen had found a varied attack difficult to get away.
After another sumptuous cricket tea it looked like the home side were a few runs short of a good total as James blasted 33 from 21 balls before retiring so Lanna knew they would have to bowl out the opposition. Wickets fell regularly as Adam Green took 3 for 17 and Chairman Tom's hypnotic lobs seemed almost unplayable at times.
Tanvir was one of three members of United CC (Chiang Mai) who were welcome additions to the touring team and he made 21 while Guy brought his side close to victory as he made 19 batting down the order but Russell was well rested after his batting exertions when he came on with 11 runs needed from 3 overs. First he had Burhan caught at mid off as Paul Johnson took his third catch and in his next over he had Guy stumped and Mark Jones was brilliantly caught by Southend Pete to end the match.
The dangerous James had come back to the crease at the fall of the ninth wicket but he was left stranded without adding to his score and Lanna had won a memorable match by two runs and an enjoyable day was had by all as we reflected on the sad passing of Phillip Hughes.

Trip of a lifetime to Sri Lanka for Hill Tribe Boys

The boys at Galle.

Richard Lockwood
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 his camera.

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 Moratuwa.
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 trip.
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 quality coaching.
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 outfits.
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

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

First annual Chiang Mai Lanna Sixes sees local and international teams vie for the Cup

Chiang Mai Lanna CC's tribute to Phillip Hughes

Trip of a lifetime to Sri Lanka for Hill Tribe Boys