Lanna's highly enjoyable tour to Pattaya ended on a victorious note as against all expectations the tourists redeemed themselves by defeating the home side by five wickets in a 20-over match that was interrupted by heavy rain. Was it tactical genius from the new skipper in the absence of both openers first the first match or did the puddles on the outfield help stifle the Pattaya innings after reaching 56 for 1 in 8 overs when rain brought the players off the field.
Play started an hour later on the Sunday so there had been plenty of time for reflection on the previous day's performance and it had been decided that Lanna would bat second to try to avoid an early collapse but the home side had looked in a strong position again thanks to Venky's hard-hitting 30 but he had just retired when the heavens opened.
A long delay followed but there was still time for a full game to be played even though three of Lanna's players would need to leave early. A remarkable transformation followed as Lanna's bowlers and fielders restricted the home side to a further 41 runs in 12 overs with field placings determined by the state of the outfield and Jun seemingly able to field every ball.
Matt Bray and Russell Ward both bowled accurate spells but it was Richard Young who provided the decisive spell as took three wickets in his first four balls and Pattaya could manage a total of only 97 for 6 as Locky wisely used eight bowlers without bowling himself..
The top three in Lanna's batting was determined by their travel plans with Martin Cardno the steadying influence that would allow Sine Thomas to indulge in some effective hitting as they shared an opening partnership of 41. Both were able to go off for early showers along with Walter Persaud who came in at number three and Matt Bray, instructed to see the game out, was immediately out caught.
The Chiang Mai Sixes had generously sponsored two juniors to join the Lanna tour and the tourists were grateful to this farsighted action as the two boys, Jun and Daeng, added 26 for the fifth wicket with Jun playing some powerful shots and Daeng showing good technique.
The boys took Lanna to the verge of victory and it was left to Richard Young to score the winning runs as Lanna triumphed by fieve wickets with 2.5 overs to spare. Honours were shared over the two matches which was highly appropriate given the close friendship being built between Pattaya and Lanna.
The teams regularly lock horns in the Chiang Mai Big Bash, the Southerners Social Sixes and the Pattaya Super Eights and the Northerners trip to the marvellous Thai Polo Ground may well become an annual event.
Best wishes go to John Speirs who is off to work in China and thanks must go to Simon Philbrook and Bobby Young, who are also mainstays of the Drifters at the Chiang Mai Sixes, for their great hospitality and also to Shaun Jones, who looked after the Lanna players away from the ground.
See you again soon Pattaya CC
Pattaya 97 for 6 (20 overs)
Venky 30 retired, Andy Emery 18; Jon Danby 1 for 8, Matt Bray 1 for 11, Richard Young 4 for 6
Lanna 98 for 5 (17.1 overs)
Lanna won by 5 wickets
Martin Cardno 15, Shine Thomas 26, Jun Aryi 18; John Speirs 2 for 11