The new cricket season got under way at Gymkhana Club on Sunday in splendid fashion as CMCC defeated Lanna by 45 runs in a 12 aside match where everybody played some part in a friendly that was played in fine spirit.
Lanna were delighted to unveil the new talent that had been uncovered during the off-season with pride of place going to former England fast bowler Alan Mullally who had met up with club officials during the beach cricket event in Koh Chang and had been invited to visit Chiang Mai by his old friend Martin Peters.
Alan played a full part in the day's activities which included a junior practice in the morning as the ground recovered quickly from Friday's deluge and he seemed to enjoy himself as he got to know his new team-mates which fortunately included Southend Pete who captained the side and would have reminded Alan of his birthplace, and JD who took the new ball and is a similar vintage to Alan and also learnt his cricket in Western Australia.
Lanna's new ball attack was about 50 miles an hour slower than Alan in his prime but JD and Hugh Williams both picked up early wickets as CMCC batted first. The stage was set for the return of the Spider and he didn't disappoint as he gradually built up his pace.
A controversial moment came when Alan ran out Aasif when he was walking back to the bowler's end completely unaware that Ismail's drive had not reached the boundary and the ball was not yet dead. The umpire's finger was raised and Aasif continued his slow walk back to the pavilion, sadder but no doubt wiser.
Alan's pace increased during his five-over spell and he took two wickets as Basharat was caught behind by Richard Cowles and Aaqib trapped lbw with an in-swinging yorker. When Ismail was caught on the leg-side boundary Lanna looked to be on top but Shaffi played an eccentric cameo and Jun, one of three Thai juniors playing for CMCC, batted sensibly and ran between the wickets as if it was a Sixes match.
CMCC's final score of 166 for 9 in 25 overs was an impressive one and Jason Bray and Chris Coombes could not repeat previous heroics against the same opposition. The platform was set for a memorable innings from Alan batting at five and he did note that he had once been promoted to number six in an ODI for England.
One nice shot off his legs was a promising start but his innings ended on 7 and wickets continued to fall. Captain Pete made sure that the hundred was reached and Locky, batting in the prized number 11 spot, took to heart Alan's advice to at least look the part when you're batting and Lanna successfully saw out the overs without being bowled out.
Shoiab and Aaqib look to be useful additions to CMCC's ranks and when Ubaid and Ismail are able to play in the same side they will have a very useful team. Champ, Jun and Chaiwut played well as guests for CMCC as they warmed up for the forthcoming tour to Sri Lanka which will be a great experience for the three Thai boys.
CMCC had won the first match of the season by 45 runs and the day at .Gymkhana was a promising start for what should be a highly enjoyable and competitive campaign.
CMCC 166 for 9 (25 overs)
Champ 20, Ismail 33, Jun 26*, Shaffi 24' Hugh Williams 2 for 33, JD 2 for 35, Alan Mullally 2 for 23
Lanna 121 for 10 (25 overs)
CMCC won by 45 runs
Prashant 24, Pete Warner 19; Ismail 3 for 5, Shaffi 2 for 10