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Lanna's first tour match in Phuket ends in a tie

Patong CC v Lanna at ACG, Phuket Saturday, 13 October 2012

Chiang Mai Lanna's first ever tour was made to play Patong CC at the new ground in Phuket and the tour was as successful as it was enjoyable even though most of the players were playing cricket for fun as well as supporting junior cricket.

The team, boasting an average age of almost 50 despite giving places to two of Chiang Mai’s most promising youngsters, Bunchuaai and Choo, played two highly competitive matches against their kindred spirits at Patong Cricket Club, and came away victorious by a narrow margin as the first match was tied and the second won in thrilling fashion by three wickets.

Both matches were played in excellent spirit with players from both sides joining together to mop up the outfield during the first match when the Alan Cooke Ground was flooded by a heavy storm that had seemed to make any further play impossible but players and umpires deserve great credit in making sure that the show went on despite the wet conditions.

Patong had made a successful visit to Gymkhana Club earlier in the year, so Chiang Mai had immediately agreed to a return visit, and the two sides had already met up for an enjoyable Friday evening with everybody looking forward to the two matches and no one came home disappointed after a wonderful weekend of social cricket.

Saturday’s match was scheduled for 35 overs aside which was set to be quite a test of stamina. Patong were asked to bat first and Imtiyaz Mushtaq and Dave Thomas provided an excellent start with the scoreboard reading 72 for one after 12 overs. The sky was darkening and with rain on the way three quick wickets were lost and the score stood at 80 for four when the heavens finally opened.

The rain came down in torrents for an hour and although skies cleared prospects for any further play looked bleak as large parts of the outfield were completely flooded but both teams had come to play cricket and the players gradually cleared away a lot of the standing water using buckets, dustbins and whatever else they could find.

It wasn’t a scientific process but proved effective as the two umpires Richard Folds from Patong and David Walker from Chiang Mai were finally able to inspect the damage and despite the wet conditions decided that play could restart.

The professionalism of the officials was emphasised by the fact the match was being scored on a new computerised system and the Duckworth Lewis method was available so there would now be a reduction in overs and a revised target.

Patong’s innings was to be reduced to 22 overs so their batsmen had only a further 7.1 overs to add to their total but Neil Culpan hit an unbeaten 44 from 26 balls with 4 fours and 2 sixes so the home side reached a final score of 142 for 4.

Messrs Duckworth and Lewis were consulted on the computer and Patong’s total was revised to 145 largely on the basis that they had lost four wickets for 80 before the interruption. Chiang Mai now required 146 in 22 overs for what seemed an unlikely victory.

But nobody had told the visitors’ captain Chris Coombes that victory seemed unlikely as he went for his shots from the start during an opening stand of 36 inside 3 overs. Walter Persaud and David Holt lent him valiant support but the skipper was playing the archetypal captain’s innings as he reached his fifty from just 42 balls and continued until he was dismissed for 67 with 4 fours and 4 sixes to leave the score at 121 for four.

24 runs were need from the last four overs and the match was in the balance but Chiang Mai still had an experienced man at the crease in Eddie Joyner and he used the old adage of ‘get them in singles’ to good effect, although he also managed a two in his unbeaten 14. Patong were also generous with the extras and it was eventually a wide (with a run out) and a leg bye that brought the scores level in a chaotic finish.

With darkness falling both teams gathered around the computer as the final scores were scrutinized and the result was declared a tie by the Duckworth / Lewis method and everybody left the ground happy if a little confused.

The two sides joined together for a barbecue back in Patong and again enjoyed the delights of Bangla Road making the most of a Saturday night socializing together and discussing the events of the day as well as looking forward to the second match the next day.

Patong CC 142 for 4 (22 overs)
Imtiyaz Mushtaq 30, Dave Thomas 24, Neil Culpan 44*

Lanna 145 for 7 (22 overs)
Chris Coombes 67; Burger Marx 2 for 10

Match tied (D/L method)