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CPP beat Wat Don Chan in 2010 U-16 Final in a landmark game from the junior cricket archives

Saturday, 19 June 2010
CPP beat Wat Don Chan in 2010 U-16 Final in a landmark game from the junior cricket archives

As part of the celebrations to mark the 10th year of youth cricket development in Chiang Mai, the Grand Final of the U-16 League was played on Saturday, June 19 at Gymkhana Club for the 20/20 League Champions trophy between Chol Prathan Prataek (CPP) and Watdonchan, who finished equal first last season. Chris Dodd looks back at a memorable match from the junior cricket archives

It was a marvellous spectacle showcasing the young talent from the developing cricketers in Chiang Mai, and was attended by many of the school children from the Chiang Mai School’s Cricket Alliance program. The final was the culmination of a year in which 15 matches were played by 6 young teams from Chiang Mai. The CMSCA U-16 League is the only junior league in Thailand and many of the players on show were Thai internationals and National champions from the recent National Youth Games in Phetchabun in March.

It was a game deserving of a Grand Final, exciting and nail biting, with the result in doubt until the last wicket fell. Wat Don Chan won the toss and elected to field. Watdonchan Pong (Kawapong Hanprab) and Jun (Jun Aryi) made early inroads, removing CPP’s top order with some outstanding swing bowling, reducing the batting side to 29 runs for 6 wickets and an easy victory looked in sight.

Ga (Kitanoo Serger) batting at number 5 then steadied the innings with 12 runs, and an invaluable 16 from Jai (Pongsakorn Mayer) batting at number 8 gave CPP some crucial extra runs. Jun returning with 4 wickets for 14 runs was the pick of the bowlers, and CPP could only reach 70 before finally being bowled out.

After such a great bowling performance, Wat Don Chan started their innings in steady, sensible fashion at first, eking out runs from the consistent bowling attack, but 3 wickets fell in quick succession leaving them reeling on 20 for 3. Jun, the league’s leading batsman was run out for a duck which turned the tide in CPP’s favour.

Thai u-16 international bowler Yon (Kitikun Tacheenam) removed most of the top order, but Watdonchan’s captain Mike (Arser Jailergoo), top scoring with 25, remained defiant and pushed the side onto 44-3 at the 10 overs drinks break, giving them a great chance to win. When play resumed though, the captain soon fell to an unfortunate run out, and then a series of indiscriminate shots caused a flurry of wickets to fall, from the accurate bowling of Ga and Seegame (Surasak Wanarit).

It became a real tussle as the batsmen edged the score up and it seemed they might pull off a sensational victory. However, Watdonchan lost their last 7 wickets for only 15 runs, and the final scenes saw the ecstatic CPP players celebrating the win by 11 runs.

Watching the game you had to be impressed with the ability and application of all the players on the day and it showed that cricket in Chiang Mai is strong and on the right path. The enthusiasm and energy in the field was evident from both sides, and the bowling proved to be too good on the day for batsman still short on experience.