In bright and breezy conditions, a change from the recent rain, Pattaya Cricket Club hosted the annual Super 8’s tournament at the Thai Polo Ground. Eight teams from all over Thailand competed in an 8-a-side format over two days. With two groups of 4 teams the top two teams qualified for the Cup semi finals whilst the bottom two teams played in the Bowl semi finals.
Southerners, the reigning champions, were upset by a buoyant British Club who bowled and batted superbly in the opening fixture of Group A, however the latter were brought back down to earth by the host team Pattaya CC in their next game and when the Asian Stars comprehensively defeated the hosts and Southerners reasserted their authority with a victory over Asian Stars, it meant each team had won and lost a game.
The group of death had materialised with everything on the line going into the final round of group games. The Southerners subsequently beat Pattaya CC and Asian Stars defeated the now deflated British Club as the two victors qualified for the Cup semi finals.
Group B, although not as close, provided some very entertaining cricket including the tournament’s first tied game between Chiang Mai and Asia United. The Royal Bangkok Sports Club secured two opening victories to secure a Cup semi final berth while Asia United finished runners up in the group and took the second semi final slot.
The Bowl semi finals saw Navid retire 32 not out for Chiang Mai against Pattaya CC that provided the base for a comfortable run chase against the hosts and the British Club bowlers were too strong for Siam CC as they also secured their place in the final.
The highlight in the Cup semi finals was Daniel’s 36 not out against RBSC from only 9 deliveries as the Southerners amassed a huge 100 runs from their 7 overs to win easily by 38 runs. In the other Cup semi final Asian Stars produced a fine all round performance to defeat Asia United who unfortunately lost a key batsman to a badly cut hand whilst fielding and consequently they could not achieve the required run rate despite Hansie’s best efforts.
With much anticipation and the beer tent filling with supporters, the British Club batted first in the Bowl final. The Chiang Mai bowlers were exceptional and restricted the batsmen to just the occasional boundary as the British Club could manage only 58 runs. The star bowler was Choo, a 17 year old Thai lad. In reply, Chiang Mai lost the in-form Navid early but he was replaced by Champ, another young Thai whose composure belied his age and his 24 not out secured the Bowl trophy and the Man of the Final award.
The last game of the tournament was the Cup final between the Southerners and Asian Stars. Southerners elected to bat first and it was Heno who was the star performer with a masterful retirement of 32 not out backed up by Daniel and the captain Grove, as the Southerners posted an imposing 90 runs.
Asian Stars were undaunted in their chase as Dimple and Darmesh dispatched balls to all parts of the ground. Both fell just before the retirement score of 31 runs but Bilal and Sam maintained the charge. The game changing over came when Daniel conceded just 9 runs in the sixth over and the Asian Stars eventually fell 13 runs short of their target.
The Man of the Final award went to Heno whilst the Man of the Tournament award was given to the very impressive Daniel who had a fantastic weekend with both bat and ball.