Lanna Juniors gained a valuable cricketing lesson at Gymkhana as they were beaten by 45 runs by the seniors who on this occasion could almost have been renamed the Lanna Pensioners as the majority of the players were in their 50s and 60s. Most of the opposition were aged 16 or younger but the veterans seemed to delight in grinding the youngsters into the ground with their stoic batting before luring them to their doom like moths to a flame with some inviting slow bowling.
Daniel Lawson has been a fixture at the top of the innings for Lanna this year and a newly cut grass wicket gave him the chance to get his head down even further but he must be credited for seeing off the threat of Chanchai, Jun and Cher. Wani finally succeeded in running him out (I'm joking Daniel.....) for 11 from 38 balls but this only brought Adrian Ballantyne to the crease.
Adrian had bought a new bat and started playing regularly while back at home in Cornwall last summer and his discovery of the nets at Gymkhana Club has transformed his life. He can practise twice a week and play matches at weekends and his scores are just getting better and better. He hasn't got a range of attacking shots but is an effective nudger and can block the straight ball. He played within his limitations brilliantly to make 30 from 50 balls and 36 runs in extras meant that the Lanna Veterans had made 140 for 7 in their 30 overs.
Lanna had been desperately short of players in the morning so Taran had been converted from umpire to opening bowler but he was too much for Chanchai and Formot who couldn't deal with his off-spin bowled mostly wide of off-stump and both were dumbfounded by straight balls.
Worse was to follow for the juniors as Choo was run out by a direct hit from Hamish Weir and Tom Salusbury 'the Tea man' then claimed three wickets with his even slower off-spin and the chairman played a part in a remarkable run out as he gently trotted into the outfield and threw the ball to Hamish who showed his credentials as an All Black fly-half to flick the ball on to Wani who just had to take off the bails.
Remarkable stuff and only Por was able to match the dedication shown by Lanna's batsmen as he prodded forward on countless occasions before hitting six fours in his 27. He certainly waited for the bad ball but he will have to work on looking for singles.
Hamish only needed three balls with his leg-spin to take the last two wickets and the juniors had been bowled out for 95 in 25.3 overs to give the seniors victory by 45 runs. The boys were crest-fallen but may never see such a combination of stodgy batting or inviting bowling again. It just goes to show that slow batting and slow bowling can still prove a match-winning combination.
Lanna Seniors 140 for 7 (30 overs)
Basharat Wani 23, Adrian Ballantyne 30; Jun 6-1-10-1
Lanna Juniors 95 (25.3 overs)
Lanna Seniors won by 45 runs
Por 27; Taran Persaud 2 for 31, Tom Salusbury 3 for 31, Hamish Weir 2 for 1