Naveed and Zia-ul-Haq flew in from Bangkok for the weekend, so a full strength All Stars team was far too much for the competition as Burhan's new team won all its matches, and beat CMCC in the final, despite the best efforts of Abaid who tried to ignore his elbow problems when scoring a maximum 35* which brought back memories of his amazing Sixes campaign for Kashmir in April.
The format of the Big Bash was the same as the previous two years with five teams of eight players facing each other in matches of eight-overs per side. The league stages was followed by a third place play-off and a final. Patong and Pattaya were again welcome visitors and joined local teams, All Stars, CMCC and Lanna Thais.
Probably the match of the weekend was the Colonel's Cup played at Prem on the Saturday where Southerners beat Siam CC by seven wickets thanks to a wonderful innings of 131* from Henno Jordaan. The course of the Big Bash was affected by this contest as a number of players and officials were unavailable on the first day.
Pattaya had just narrowly lost their league final, Lanna Thais had won the Chiang Mai Senior League, Patong had won the Sevens competition in Phuket and most of the Kashmir CC side who had won the Chiang Mai Sixes were also on display for All Stars or CMCC. With various recruits from Bangkok it was a star-studded line-up.
As it was Patong and Pattaya were content to enjoy themselves, with Henno sitting out for most of the day on Sunday, while Lanna Thais were severely weakened and even the return of Cowles and Scales didn't make much difference. The boys all had a chance to play in several matches and had there been a Spirit of Cricket award Lanna Thais would have won it for their support for junior cricket, with Richard and Elliot happy to give up their places in the second match on Sunday.
The two matches between All Stars and CMCC were the most competitive contests with Ismail putting in a match winning performance in the league match with 33* and 1 for 10 as All Stars won by 35 runs. The final was closer, even after All Stars made 105 for 3 in 8 overs. Abaid made 35* from 11 balls and Tanveer hit 21* but All Stars won by 24 runs to win the trophy. Pattaya beat Patong in the third place play-off.
The All Stars flexed their muscles throughout the weekend with Naveed and Zia leading the way in every match, Ismail had a fine all-round tournament with 91 runs and six wickets to be named player of the tournament ahead of Abaid's 131 runs and eight dismissals behind the stumps, and Zia's 126 runs and four wickets. Venky made 120 runs for Pattaya and it was good to see so many of Patong's (and Southerners') South African contingent take the field at Gymkhana.
Many thanks to the visiting teams (and of course to Awn) for helping the bar to make a profit of more than 10 000 B over the weekend which will be used to promote junior cricket and support the coaching programs carried out by CMSCA.
The computer scoring system also had a good run out over the weekend as a new digital scoreboard was given its debut. All bodes well for the Sixes and the rest of the season, and many thanks to the boys who helped with the electronic scoreboard. Cricket is not just about what happens on the field and it was wonderful to see the aptitude for following the game through scoring is being passed on.
See www,chiangmai.cricket for more information