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Lamphun girls impress on their debut

Saturday, 27 October 2012
Lamphun girls impress on their debut

The Sports Authority of Thailand Northern Qualifiers were held at Gymkhana Club in Chiang Mai on the weekend of 27th and 28th October 2012. This was a qualifying tournament for next year’s under-19 National Games which saw one match played by the boys and three matches played by the girls.

An entertaining weekend’s cricket began with the boys from Phetchabun and Uttaradit meeting to decide the final qualifying place for the boys’ tournament with Chiang Mai already qualifying as defending champions. Uttaradit posted a useful total of 96 for 7 in their 15 overs, Nattarat Masiri making an unbeaten 21 and Supachai Promnam (3 for 16) impressing with the ball, but Phetchabun chased down the target to win by four wickets thanks to Montri Youngrueng’s innings of 27 not out in which he hit five fours.

Three teams competed in the girls competition with Lamphun making their debut in an official tournament and facing teams from Petchabun and Chiang Mai to gain the final place in the National Games with Uttaradit having already qualified as defending champions.

Lamphun faced Phetchabun in the first match and there was great interest in seeing how the new province would fare in their first competitive match. Their girls have been practising hard at the nets recently constructed at Muangkwak School and all this training paid immediate dividends as they won by eight wickets.

The young star of their victory was HTF, Hilltribe cricket programme, sponsored cricketer Gongwan Chairsong (Nok) who took two wickets for just two runs in her three overs, then took over the wicket-keeping duties as Phetchabun were restricted to a total of 76 for 6 in 15 overs, opener Supaporn Khungthong batting through the innings for 22.

Nok’s work was not yet finished as she marched out to open the batting for her team and she played a captain’s innings by scoring 26 from 26 balls and she was out only when just seven runs were needed. Her team-mates only contributed eight runs between them but Jinapat Chairton hit the winning boundary.

The tournament continued on Sunday with Chiang Mai playing Phetchabun and the home side proved too strong for their opponents, restricting them to a total of 44 for 5 and then needing only 6.1 overs to record a nine-wicket victory.

The last match saw the two teams with one win apiece, Chiang Mai and Lamphun, playing off for a place in the SAT National Games, and it was the more experienced side which triumphed as they won by eight wickets.

But Lamphun are clearly a team to watch out for in the future and particularly their captain Gongwan Chairsong who this time batted through the innings after Lamphun were asked to bat for an unbeaten 16. Her team-mates found batting much harder scoring only three runs between them in a total of 48 for 4 as Prantip Suwanchontee took two wickets without conceding a run in her 3 overs. Chiang Mai were never under pressure as they needed only seven overs to record victory, although Nok still had the energy left to return figures of 3-0-14-1 to stake her claim to be player of the weekend.

An enjoyable weekend of cricket saw Petchabun boys and Chiang Mai girls book their places in next year’s SAT Under-19 National Games but the highlight for most at Gymkhana Club was to see the emergence of a new cricketing province, Lamphun. Many of their players have only been playing hard ball cricket for four months but they have already made considerable progress and Gongwan Chairsong is clearly a name to watch out for.