The fourth edition of the Ian McDougall Shield, arranged and sponsored by Sandy and Dean at UN Irish Pub in memory of their friend who had taken up a place in various UN Irish teams at the Sixes over the years, was won by San Miguel Thais but more importantly gave six local teams the chance to play some highly enjoyable cricket.
The arrangements had all been put in place during the week but by the time we gathered at UN Irish Pub on the Friday evening it was requested that an extra team representing UN Irish should also take part. A five team tournament thus became a six team tournament with the teams divided in to two groups and each playing two matches.
Stuffed Beavers, SM Thais and UN Irish Pub made up Group A while Lanna, Lanna International School (LIST) and Floggers & Robbers made up Group B and the competition got under way as soon as the first 12 players had arrived, with Floggers and UN Irish both requesting late starts.
The first match was of unexpectedly high quality as Stuffed Beavers made 71 for 4 with Young Tom making 33* and SM Thais won with a ball to spare as they reached 72 for 1 with Champ scoring 32. Lanna then overcame LIST by 11 runs in the second match with Principal Hugh Williams making 21 for the team representing his school.
The third match needed the UN Irish team to make an appearance to make the schedule run to plan but where were they? Sandy and Dean had both pulled out but players were juggled around with Hamish Weir a member of the Irish team which had won the Bromley Shield in 2015 an appropriate choice and two young Indians who had come to watch were also persuaded to play.
Another surprisingly competitive match saw Russell Ward score 26 and Chris Coombes (BOTY) 25 for the Beavers while Dharmesh impressed down the order for the Irish as he made 18*, leaving the Beavers the victors by 14 runs.
Floggers and Robbers had been left waiting until last but they looked good as they made 79 for 0 with newcomer Cameron Mallett hitting 32* and veteran Dave Hird 30* but LIST could make only 49 for 1 to end their participation in the competition.
Three more SM Thai players had arrived to strengthen their team and Bunchuai, Chanchai and Cher all batted well as they scored 81 for 0 against the Irish side who had laid claim to Young Tom as the Indian boys had gone home. An innings of 16* was not enough to save the Irish so SM Thais qualified for the final with two wins out of two.
The last of the league matches saw Floggers and Robbers play Lanna with the winners going through to the final to play SM Thais. Floggers had reversed their batting order to give everyone a chance and made only 42 for 3 in their 5 overs so Lanna enjoyed a comfortable victory.
The Stuffed Beavers were growing restless at the bar and requested to play an additional match against their great friends and rivals the Floggers which would serve as the third / fourth place play-off and what an entertaining match it was as Floggers made 58 for 2 with Dave Hird making 21* only for Chris Coombes (BOTY) to score 33* as his side squeezed home with one ball to spare.
The last match of the men's competition saw SM Thais take on Lanna to decide who would win the Ian McDougall Shield for 2016. SM Thais posted a score of 71 for 1 as Chanchai came in at number three to hit 25 from 8 balls. Lanna could manage only 54 for 4 so the Thais won by 17 runs.
The Ladies Cup at the Sixes will feature three teams, Chiang Mai Chassies, Beaverettes and Thai Angels and girls from the three teams played a practice match to end the day with Ellis hitting the ball very hard and Ting Tang, who had earlier played for Lanna, impressing with bat and ball.
A fantastic day of friendship and cricket was ended with the presentations with Captain Cher proudly holding up the Ian McDougall Shield which as the more observant will see looks rather more like a cup than a shield.
The day had everything required to test the scoring system with players appearing for more than one team and extra matches played at a minute's notice and the new style points system and wide regulations were thoroughly tried out.
The 29th San Miguel Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes get underway on Sunday with SM Thais, Stuffed Beavers, Floggers and Robbers and of course UN Irish Pub all in action on the first day of the competition. Sixes Cricket is alive and well in Chiang Mai.
San Miguel Thais 71 for 1 (5 overs)
Lanna 54 for 4 (5 overs)
San Miguel Thais won by 17 runs