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Playing cricket in the right spirit

Singapore Spirits v Gymkhana Club at Gymkhana Saturday, 3 November 2012

Chiang Mai Gymkhana Club played host to the first touring match of the new season and the visitors were Singapore Spirits who were welcome guests as they certainly played cricket in the right spirit and were rewarded with victory over the home side by 57 runs.

The 30-over contest began just after noon after Singapore Spirits had won the toss and chosen to bat. The first three in the batting order all looked to be fine players and the run-rate was a healthy one from the start but the Spirits were pegged back by wickets for the two Thai boys selected for Gymkhana Club and then by a remarkable catch from 18-year-old Choo running from mid-on to mid-wicket as Walter Persaud, a good friend of the Spirits from Bangkok, was dismissed for 25 to leave the score on 60 for three.

But the Spirits’ fortunes were restored by a hard-hitting fourth-wicket stand of 76 from Charl Maingard and John Sist that was ended as Cher took his second wicket. Maingard retired after completing an impressive fifty and the runs continued to flow despite the loss of wickets to the left-arm spin of Ryan Sherman and the medium pace of Eddie Joyner.

Gymkhana’s bowlers were rewarded for their perseverance as Maingard was forced to come back to the wicket to join Rammy M to add a further 25 to the total until he was run out by Choo for 62. Gymkhana Cub could be proud of their efforts for bowling out a strong batting line up for 214 in 28.3 overs.

Gymkhana lost an early wicket as Eddie Joyner was dismissed first ball by Spirits captain Ammar Hanspal as he was completely deceived by a slow turning delivery but the home side recovered thanks to the strokeplay of captain Chris Coombes and the resolute defence of Martin Papworth.

Coombes has been in fine form, as he twice top-scored on a recent tour to Phuket, and once again he was untroubled as he reached his fifty with nine fours with the total on 86 for one. The captain was required to retire but Gymkhana kept up the chase as Ryan Sherman showed he was a quality left-hander as Papworth extended his sheet anchor role.

But the opener was also able to find the boundary with a mixture of lofted cuts and top-edged pulls and was only dismissed for 25 from 55 balls with the total on 129 for two. He had certainly done his job as he is better known as an enthusiastic opening bowler, but the innings started to decline as Sherman also fell for 25.

Choo did well in reaching 14 but there were three ducks in the lower order as Nick Kirby was brilliantly run out and Taran Persaud and Marcus Lawrence were undone by fast straight balls. Coombes returned to the crease but only faced one ball without adding to his score so he was left on 50 not out. Rammy M finished with 3 for 12 and Charl Maingard and Walter Persaud each claimed two wickets as Gymkhana were dismissed for 157 in 26.5 overs.

Singapore Spirits had won by 57 runs but had only enforced their superiority in the last 10 overs of what had been an even and very enjoyable contest. The two teams enjoyed a few beers together at the ground as the sun went down and the presentations were made and later met up for a pleasant evening of socializing in Zoom Bar on Loi Kroh Road. Plans were made for return visits in the future as the Spirit of Cricket was magnificently upheld by both sides throughout the day.

Scores:

3rd November 2012 Singapore Spirits 214 (28.3 overs) (Charl Maingard 62, Walter Persaud 25, Rammy M 29; Cher 2 for 36, Eddie Joyner 2 for 51, Ryan Sherman 2 for 31) Gymkhana Club 157 (Martin Papworth 25, Chris Coombes 50, Ryan Sherman 25; Rammy M 3 for 12, Charl Maingard 2 for 12, Walter Persaud 2 for 20). Singapore Spirits won by 57 runs

Singapore Spirits 214 (28.3 overs)
Charl Mainguard 62, Walter Persaud 25, Rammy M 29*; Cher 2 for 36, Eddie Joyner 2 for 51, Ryan Sherman 2 for 31

Gymkhana Club 157 (26.5 overs)
Martin Papworth 25, Chris Coombes 50*; Rammy M 3 for 12, Charl Mainguard 2 for 12, Walter Persaud 2 for 20

Singapore Spirits won by 57 runs