The new cricket season started in splendid fashion with the visit of Dubai Mammoths for a three match series against a Chiang Mai combined XI and it proved the perfect opportunity to welcome a team of veteran ex-pat cricketers based in the United Arab Emirates to Chiang Mai where they were able to enjoy the hospitality provided by some of the best cricketers in the North of Thailand.
Three matches were played but the series was shared as both teams won one match and the decider was tied in an exciting finish. The Chiang Mai XI gained a comfortable victory in the first contest played at Gymkhana as the home side reached 211 in 30 overs thanks to Kashmir CC's Ubaid and Ismail both hitting half-centuries on their return to action after their memorable triumph at the Chiang Mai Sxies although 61-year-old Pradeep impressed on his debut for the Mammoths with 5 for 20. Ubaid also impressed with his left-arm spin as he claimed four wickets to restrict Dubai Mammoths to 163 as Chiang Mai won by 48 runs.
The second match of the series was an exciting low-scoring affair played on an early season pitch at the David Buck Oval at Prem and the visitors leveled the series with a one-wicket victory as they just overcame a total of 128 with the last pair at the crease despite the best efforts of Choo. one of the three Lamphun boys in the team, who scored an unbeaten 32 and claimed five wickets to win the man of the match award.
The deciding match was also played at Prem and it was another thriller as the match ended in a tie as both sides scored 130 in 30 overs. Chanchai opened the batting for the home side and scored a very mature 49 from 63 balls to show how much he had benefited from a season training and playing with the senior Thailand squad under a professional coach.
The Dubai Mammoths did not find batting easy and the indomitable Jon Scales, having struggled with the bat, and even lost his trousers on the previous day, suddenly rediscovered his mojo to take six for 30, and after Devrajan and Pradeep had taken the visitors to the brink of victory with one needed from five balls, Shoaib became unhittable and the match and the series ended in a tie.
Dubait Mammoths premised to return in future years and the three-match series proved an enjoyable start to the season with players from all the Chiang Mai teams playing together under three different captains which bodes well for a season where we are looking to hold a six-team league and host a number of touring sides.