Chiang Mai Lanna Cricket Club was formed with the aspiration to provide social cricket for the adults and to support junior cricket development, but the club also has a number of experienced and highly talented players, so it was perhaps fitting that the last match in the Chiang Mai Senior League saw Lanna A defeat Lanna Juniors to win the league for 2014/15.
The league season was a triumph for the three teams representing Lanna, as Lanna A, Lanna B and Lanna Juniors finished level on 10 points with all three teams winning two and losing one of their matches and Lanna A were awarded the trophy on Net Run Rate (or was it just on alphabetical order?). United CC were the fourth team in the league and lost all three of their matches early in the season before finding their best form in Sixes cricket.
Lanna Juniors had been leading the league table until the day of the last match as they had won both of their matches while Lanna A had been beaten by Lanna B in an entertaining contest after evenly matched sides had been selected. For the match against the boys the strongest available adult side had been selected but Lanna A would need a convincing victory to overtake the Juniors in the table.
Richard Cowles won the toss and elected to field first. Bunchuai had been in fine form throughout the league season, making a century against Lanna B, so his wicket was always likely to be crucial and he was dismissed for just six as he was bowled by Adam Green. Chanchai soon followed for 20 and the Juniors were in trouble at 29 for two.
This gave Champ and Jun a chance to come to the wicket early in the innings and they added 34 for the third wicket with Jun hitting three fours and a six in his innings of 23 but after 20 overs the Juniors were still struggling with only 86 on the board with four wickets down.
Cher played the innings of the day as he made 54 from 46 balls with six fours and two sixes with 69 runs coming in the last ten overs as he was well supported by Choo. A total of 155 for 5 in 30 overs after the early loss of Bunchuai was a good effort although captain Cowles made use of no fewer than nine bowlers for Lanna A, five of whom took a wicket.
Chairman Tom had graciously stepped down from the playing eleven to put all his efforts into another splendid tea and the question was asked, 'who would win the title if three teams were level on points?' The technical committee was immediately consulted and it transpired that Lanna A needed to score the runs inside 22 overs to win the league, while Lanna Juniors would win the title if they won the match or if Lanna needed more than 22 overs to score the runs.
Lanna A's batting line-up looked very strong with Ubaid opening the batting with Chris Coombes. Ubaid had been in imperious form during the Sixes and Coombsy had narrowly missed out on a century earlier in the season. They shared an opening stand of 79 inside 12 overs but both were dismissed by Choo after each had moved into the 40s at better than a run a ball.
It was Martin Cardno who finally decided the match and the league title as he hit five sixes and two fours in 49 from just 24 balls as he was out as he attempted the winning runs by trying to hit his fourth consecutive six. Luckily for Lanna A, Daniel Lawson is just the man for a crisis and he hit the next ball for four to win the match.
Lanna A had scored 156 for 4 in just 17.5 overs so they topped the table by virtue of a superior net run-rate. The boys had done well to recover from losing Bunchuai so early but then had come up against a very strong top three and all had made rapid runs.
It had shown that the best juniors do not need to travel to Bangkok each week to play competitive cricket as there are some very capable players here in Chiang Mai. Tom Salusbury proudly handed over the trophy to stand-in captain Richard Cowles and Lanna A were crowned worthy champions of the Chiang Mai Senior League for 2014-15.
Lanna Juniors 155 for 5 (30 overs)
Chanchai 20, Jun 23, Cher 54
Lanna A 156 for 4 (17.5 overs)
Lanna A won by 6 wickets
Ubaid 41, Chris Coombes 46, Martin Cardno 49; Choo 3 for 53