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Lanna Thais pull off an unlikely victory

Lanna v Lanna Thais at Gymkhana Sunday, 21 February 2016

For most of another eventful Sunday afternoon at Gymkhana Club there seemed to be only one possible result as the senior Lanna team seemed to be asserting their superiority over the Lanna Thais. Shine Thomas made 21 from 12 balls out of an opening partnership of 34 and when he was caught at deep mid-wicket by Matt Bray returning to the fray after cutting his hand when attempting a similar catch a month earlier, it brought only a brief respite for the fielding side as the next three batsmen all retired not out.

Jun bowled a testing spell of five overs and Eddie Joyner was steady as he conceded only two boundaries and although the score was a moderate 97 for 1 after 15 overs, Adam Green and Chris Coombes had done an excellent job in laying a foundation for the innings to explode.

Three Thai boys, Chat, Jam and Ong, bowled seven overs between them for 98 runs which will have been quite an experience for them. Adam Green made 52 from 51 balls, Chris Coombes 50 from 48, Richard Cowles 40 from 16 as the pace of the innings increased to a crescendo. Sam Mehta and Hugh Williams were unbeaten at the end with Lanna's total on an almost impregnable 221 for 1 from 25 overs: 124 runs had come from the last 10 overs of mayhem.

Worse was to follow for Lanna Thais as the two potential young Thai openers disappeared during the tea interval as their new jobs just couldn't wait for them to get a bat. The sudden change of plan worked rather well as Richard Young and Jun made a fine combination as they shared an opening partnership of 97 but surely the run-rate would soon drop.

Matt Bray was clearly refreshed after his break and he matched Richard Young shot for shot as the score reached 158 when Richard of Cambridge was run out for 83 from 49 balls as he attempted a second run on his dodgy knees and Chairman Tom provided a deadly return. Surely that would prove the crucial turning point as the batting to come was now looking rather thin.

Daniel Lawson has been a considerable cricketer in the past but had intended only to watch the game. Having been persuaded to don the pads to try to save the day, he hit one memorable boundary off Tom but was dismissed next ball for 7 after sharing a partnership of 24.

38 were still needed from the last five overs as Eddie Joyner walked to the crease determined he would bring back his glory days from 50 years before. He started steadily with four singles from seven balls but Matt was in great form by now and was able to hit the boundaries to keep the scoreboard moving. \ 15 had come from the 21st over but only 10 from the next two as Adam Green and Hugh Williams bowled tightly. even though Eddie proved he could indeed run a two. The match finally turned in Lanna Thai's favour in the 24th over which brought 16 runs and with it victory.

The over started with a boundary and a single to Matt, and Eddie was beginning to find the gaps and turning the strike over more easily. Suddenly he set off for a short single and the ball was booted to the boundary by bowler Hugh as he tried for a run out but Eddie scored five and Matt hit the next ball to the boundary to finish on an 70 from 43 balls.

Lanna Thais had won an unlikely victory by seven wickets with 1.1 overs to spare as the Thai boys watched on in amazement as a 70-year-old Farang showed immense determination to prove he could win the match for his side. Richard Young and Matt Bray have helped to provide some quality in the Lanna Thais middle-order during a season of development and both made the most of their promotions to play outstanding innings.

It was certainly a day for the batsmen as 445 runs were scored in 48.5 overs with only four wickets falling but an n exciting finish and no fewer than four fifties had made for another memorable day in the short history of Chiang Mai Lanna CC.

Lanna 221 for 1 (25 overs)
Adam 52 retired, Chris Coombes 50 retired, Richard Cowles 40 retired

Lanna Thais 225 for 1 (23.5 overs)
Jun 39, Richard Young 83, Matt Bray 70*

Lanna Thais won by 7 wickets