MCC have just completed a successful tour of Thailand as they visited Phuket, Bangkok and Chiang Mai and they finished with six wins in seven matches. The players thoroughly enjoyed themselves both on and off the field and there was also much to be pleased about for their Thai hosts.
Thailand gave a good account of themselves in three 40-over matches against MCC, played at TCG in Bangkok, winning the first contest and narrowly losing the other two. Elsewhere in Phuket and Chiang Mai, young Thai cricketers and their more senior team mates will have benefited from watching some top class cricket at close hand.
MCC’s first match was played in Phuket and they showed no ill effects from their long flight as their batsmen scored 193 for 5 in 20 overs and their bowlers dismissed the Phuket side for 77. MCC were victorious by 116 runs but young fast bowler Valentine Giraud could be proud of his figures of 2 for 31.
Next stop was Bangkok and a Thailand XI defeated MCC in the second match of their tour, scoring 221 for 3 in 40 overs, Naheem making an unbeaten 90, and then restricting MCC to 215 for eight to win by six runs.
Thailand took the tourists to the wire in the second contest as they reached 175 for 9 in 40 overs, Robert Raina making 66, before MCC secured a four-wicket win with only 10 balls to spare,
A Bangkok Select XI was defeated by 56 runs in a 20-over match and then came the decider in the series against Thailand. It was another tight contest as MCC posted a total of 180 for 7 in their 40 overs, opener Bradley Smith making 55 before captain William Hodson and Thomas Rash added a crucial 55 runs for the eighth wicket.
Thailand looked to be on course with their chase as Munish Sangar made 59 and Wanchana Uisuk hit 35, but MCC bowled out the Thais for 174 in the last over, Bradley Smith following his fifty with three wickets. MCC won by six runs but Thailand had proved worthy opponents in all three of the matches.
MCC then ended their tour by playing two matches in Chiang Mai. The MCC batsmen were in commanding form in both matches as Thomas Rash made a century against Chiang Mai Juniors in a total of 203 for 5 in 20 overs, and then Alun Thomas and Will Rist reached hundreds in a total of 333 for 6 in 40 overs against the senior Chiang Mai side.
MCC convincingly won both matches but young Thai cricketers made a name for themselves in both matches. Nikon Meyer made 41 in the 20-over match at the Gymkhana Club cricket ground and Sufi Basharat who had made 38 in that match followed with an innings of 61 in the 40-over match at PTIS Oval.
MCC also had an enjoyable morning of coaching at Gymkhana Club with a group of schoolboys and girls from the CMSCA cricket programme in Chiang Mai and the cricket development programme in Lamphun, being put through their paces. The techniques of batting, bowling and fielding were all demonstrated and the children had a great time as they showed off their skills to the MCC players.
MCC had completed a highly successful tour with six wins in seven matches and manager William Frewen was complimentary in his overall assessment of cricket in Thailand. He was particularly impressed by the facilities available at the high-scoring ground at PTIS and by the coaching system for developing youth cricket which has been put in place in Chiang Mai.