Bashundhara Cricketeers won their fourth Cup title in succession as the Bangladesh side’s domination of the San Miguel Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes is now complete as they have won the main competition in six of the last seven years.
Bashundhara were simply too good for the remaining teams in the tournament as they won every match by substantial margins. In a one-sided final the Bangladeshis restricted Chiang Mai Warriors to 38 for 3 in 5 overs before reaching their target in just two overs without losing a wicket
Even the return of Redland Tigers, a strong team from Brisbane, who are the only side to depose Bashundhara as Cup champions, and the arrival of the Wolfpack, imposing newcomers from Perth, could not prevent another Bangladeshi triumph as these two strong Australian teams had to be content with places in the Cup semi-finals.
Chiang Mai Warriors had been losing finalists in 2014 and Wani had put together a stronger team for 2015 with players from India and Pakistan returning to the Sixes, but they were still no match for Bashundhara.
Local Chiang Mai sides dominated the Shield competition as UN Irish Pub recovered from a slow start to the week to win the second strongest competition as they defeated Kashmir CC by six wickets in the final. The Irish had one of their strongest teams in recent years with Mohammad Javed, a formidable first-class player in his time joining forces with the Lorimer brothers, and the Bromley Shield was some consolation for missing out on the Cup.
The San Miguel Thais had been promoted to the Players’ section of the competition on the basis of their fine performances last year and they won their first two matches to put them within in touching distance of a prized place in the Cup. It was a step too far for the young team as the boys (and girls) missed out on a place in the top six by just two balls but Wheel and Nai both enjoyed their chance to take the field.
Although the SM Thais lost to UN Irish, they beat Clifton Hill to reach the semi-finals and their match against Kashmir CC was one of the best of the tournament, as they were electric in the field as four catches were taken as the Kashmiris continued to hit the ball in the air. Choo took three wickets in an over but a total of 68 for 4 was still a formidable one but after a slow start Bunchuai found his range and hit the last four balls of the innings for four.
It was not enough as San Miguel Thais lost by three runs but Jun and Choo both won Player of the Day Awards and the team hit 26 fours and four sixes which brought a donation of 17,000 baht from Floggers & Robbers, always great supporters of the Sixes and of Chiang Mai junior cricket.
Floggers & Robbers had a great week on the field as well as off, as they reached the final of the Plate before being beaten by Hit n Miss, a new team from Australia that revolved around the Barrington family and Trent Barrington won Player of the Finals as he and his brother Tyson saw the side through to victory after Floggers had made 61 for 2.
Standards were high throughout the competition in 2015 as Lord’s Taverners beat Darjeeling in the Bowl Final and Armadillos defeated Tokyo Dingbats in the Spoon Final. The Chiang Mai Chassies and the Dixie Belles competed in a highly enjoyable women's competition with the teams winning one match apiece.
Sanjay Rathod of Awali Taverners was named man of the tournament for a string of outstanding performances that made him the highest scorer in the FantaSixes competition that helped raise money for the Hill Tribe Fund and for junior cricket.
Bashundhara were clearly the dominant force but many other teams gave good accounts of themselves and so it was a notable achievement that four local teams finished in the top ten places in the 32-team tournament. Chiang Mai Warriors finished second, UN Irish Pub seventh, Kashmir eighth and SM Thais ninth.
With the introduction of several more top teams from overseas expected in 2016, the San Miguel Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes should continue to be a world class event for many years to come.