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Chiang Mai players come together to take on Sri Lanka Navy

Sri Lanka Navy v Chiang Mai XI at Prem Oval Saturday, 10 May 2014
Chiang Mai players come together to take on Sri Lanka Navy

Players from Chiang Mai's two main clubs, Lanna and CMCC, came together for a weekend of cricket against a strong touring team from the Sri Lanka Navy Sports Club. The Sri Lanka squad featured five players from their senior team which competes in Sri Lanka's first class competition so the local players knew they were in for a challenging battle.

The first match at Prem was a 40-over contest and Chiang Mai opted to field first with bowling their strongest suit. Samran and Paul Johnson opened up and created plenty of pressure with Samran getting the early breakthrough. The first 25 overs became quite attritional as Makki (0/38) and Walter Persaud (1/36) bowled excellent eight over spells against batsmen who were content to see them off and keep wickets in hand for later.

After Makki completed his spell, the 28th over proved decisive as Buddika changed up several gears and belted four consecutive sixes off Wani. The opening pair returned and stemmed the flow with a couple of wickets but boundaries came easily in the last five overs as the afternoon sun heated up and tired bowlers struggled with line and length.

SL Navy captain Suranga Paranavitana (brother of the Sri Lanka test opener) was particularly savage towards the end and top scored with 70 not out. Buddika finished with 69 from a 90-minute stay having given the innings the impetus it needed after shoring things up earlier.

The Chiang Mai opening batsmen provided a solid start, with Naveed playing some superb drives and Burhan finding singles very effectively. However, things started to go awry once quality Sri Lanka spinners Sajith and Suranga settled in. With six wickets between them (including two bowled with no shot offered), the Chiang Mai batsmen struggled just to survive. Bunchuai, Ismael, Walter and Samran all managed half an hour at the crease but none made it to 20.

In the end it was a comprehensive win for the visitors, but the Chiang Mai cricketers competed very well for the first third of the game and showed great unity and enjoyment. The Sri Lankans were impeccable guests and provided a great opportunity for the locals to test their skills against high quality opposition.

The Chiang Mai team would like to thank the Cricket Association of Thailand for its part in arranging the tour, along with SL tour organiser Upul Brahmanage who umpired alongside Richard Barthomolomew.

Sri Lanka Navy 300/6 (40 overs)
Suranga 70*, H Buddika 69, Danushka 38, Amith 34, Sudun 31, M Buddika 26, Samran 2/48

Chiang Mai XI 115 all out (29 overs)
Naveed 24, Sajith 3/20, Suranga 3/26, M Buddika 2/17

SL Navy won by 185 runs