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Thai school boys given a cricketing lesson by Lanna

Lanna v CPP at Gymkhana Sunday, 2 December 2012

CPP had won both of their previous matches in the Chiang Mai Senior League but they may learn more from defeat as Chiang Mai Lanna beat them by 24 runs at Gymkhana Club

The veteran cricketers from Chiang Mai Lanna showed they could be more than a match for the best of young Thai talent as they drew level at the top of the league table with both teams now having a record of two wins in three matches.

CPP had already defeated Chiang Mai Lanna in an earlier match at Gymkhana Club after Lanna’s top-order had collapsed against some capable bowling and electric fielding. Lanna’s openers were more measured on this occasion as the obdurate Daniel Lawson took root on his return to Chiang Mai after honing his skills in Birmingham.

Opening partner Tim Woolls had made an anbeaten fifty against CPP in the first match and after only facing one ball in the first three overs he soon opened up showing off a fine range of shots through the off-side.

Lawson was dismissed for seven in an opening partnership of 33 but Woolls continued to shine as he hit four fours and two sixes from the bowling of Ka which was a notable achievement as the CPP opening bowler had just been selected for the senior Thailand squad.

The score reached fifty in the ninth over but wickets began to fall as the CPP boys again took a series of magnificent catches. Woolls completed his second fifty in successive innings from just 37 balls but with the total on 85 for four and Lanna’s impressive opener required to retire the match was in the balance.

Two further wickets fell to the spinners Tep and J who bowled with good control, each gaining turn and bounce, and CPP had taken charge with six wickets down for 104.

Eddie Joyner has just come back from Bangkok where he was involved in a coaching clinic with former Sri Lanka coach Rumesh Ratnayake. He will be taking charge of the Thailand squad in the forthcoming ACC Challenge and it was good to see him playing cricket against some of the boys he had been working with.

Joyner’s wealth of experience saw him through a difficult period as he was scoreless for 15 balls but he helped Martin Papworth, who has made runs every time he has batted this season, add a priceless 43 runs for the seventh wicket to take the final total to 148 for seven in 30 overs.

CPP had successfully chased totals of 142 and 147 in their previous matches so they were confident of victory but Lanna’s opening attack were the wily Walter Persaud and Eddie Joyner who each bowled with low pace but cunning skill.

Persaud, bowling away-swingers from right-arm round the wicket, proved deadly as he bowled opener John behind his legs in his second over and followed up with two wickets in two balls in his fifth over, Date caught at gully and Tep also bowled behind his legs as CPP’s young batsmen began to show their inexperience.

Persaud finished with figures of 3 for 9 with 2 maidens while Joyner backed him up by bowling his five overs for 12 and so after 10 overs CPP were behind the rate on 25 for three. Jon Danby then bowled his right-arm slow medium in-swingers with similar skill to pick up three wickets to leave the innings in crisis on 55 for six.

This was exactly the same position from which Gun and Tong, CPP’s two most experienced players, had rescued their team against Gymkhana Juniors, Gun blazing to a thrilling fifty. Tong will be playing for Thailand in the ACC Challenge and having already kept wicket tidily he launched a counter-attack with four boundaries in Danby’s final over as the wind picked up and dark clouds threatened.

The moment that decided the match came when Gun lofted the slow left-arm spin of Ryan Sherman high over mid-off and with the ball swirling in the wind Nick Kirby nonchalantly put up his right hand and claimed a remarkable catch. With Gun and Chai both falling soon afterwards Sherman became the third Lanna bowler to take three wickets and the match was almost over with CPP on 81 for nine.

The inviting off-spin of Tom Salusbury was introduced and numbers 10 and 11, Song and Eddy, were able to enjoy themselves and shared a partnership of 43 for the last wicket, the best of the innings, before Martin Papworth returned to end the match by bowling Eddy who could be pleased with his achievement of top-scoring at number 11.

Chiang Mai Lanna had clearly shown they had some quality cricketers in their team and the boys from CPP will benefit in the long run from having faced some testing opposition. Lanna celebrated their victory by 24 runs and joined their young opponents at the top of the Chiang Mai Senior League table.

The next cricket to be played in Chiang Mai will be the ACC Trophy Challenge tournament with teams from seven countries competing to gain promotion to the ACC Trophy Elite. The tournament runs from 7th to 13th December with matches being played at three grounds: Gymkhana, Royal Chiang Mai and Traidhos Oval. A Thailand regional competition will follow immediately afterwards so there will be plenty of interesting cricket to watch over the next two weeks.

Lanna 148 for 7 (30 overs)
Tim Woolls 50*, Martin Papworth 21*; Ped 2 for 14, Eddy 2 for 20

CPP 124 (28.2 overs)
Ka 20, Ped 20, Song 20*, Eddy 22; Walter Persaud 3 for 9, Jon Danby 3 for 27, Ryan Sherman 3 for 21

Lanna won by 24 runs