Gymkhana Cricket Club tours Pattaya

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Chiang Mai’s Gymkhana Cricket Club recently made a short tour to Pattaya, which proved to be an enjoyable prelude to the new season and showed once again the valuable contribution that is being made to senior cricket by young Thai players.

Two matches were played against Pattaya Cricket Club at the cricket ground that has been recently developed at the Thai Polo Club complex.  Gymkhana were delighted to make their first visit to the new ground after Pattaya had played in a triangular tournament in Chiang Mai in February.

Gymkhana Club’s side was a healthy mixture of young and old, with a collection of veteran cricketers very grateful for the support of three talented young Thais.

Gymkhana Club and Pattaya CC players pose for a group photo at the Thai Polo Club in Pattaya.Gymkhana Club and Pattaya CC players pose for a group photo at the Thai Polo Club in Pattaya.

Cher is a member of the Hill Tribe Program and arrived last Saturday morning on the bus from Lamphun, while Bank learnt his cricket at school in Chiang Mai and has taken up the game once more on his return from the US.  Nithi played cricket while he was living in Australia and is delighted to have another chance to play now he is back in Thailand.

Saturday’s match was a 30-over aside encounter and Cher impressed from the start by bowling 5 overs for just 7 runs and claiming the wicket of John Guiffrada.  Jon Danby and Martin Papworth bowled tightly but John Speirs made 50 before retiring.

Bank then ripped through the middle-order of the Pattaya team with figures of 3 for 24 as he hit the stumps three times and three more wickets fell in three balls, two wickets to Eddie Joyner and a run out, to bring a hectic end to the innings.

Pattaya finished on 142 for 7 in their 30 overs and Nithi launched Gymkhana’s reply with an array of shots mostly in the air which brought him 37 runs at better than a run a ball.  Bank retired hurt with cramp but soon returned to make a composed 30.

71 for 2 quickly became 75 for 5 but the reliable Papworth added 30 for the sixth wicket with Bank, and then it was left to Cher to hit some lusty blows to bring Gymkhana to the brink of victory.

A boundary was needed off the last ball but Gymkhana finished just short on 140 for 8 and Pattaya had won by 2 runs, Speirs taking 2 for 12 in 4 overs to go alongside his half-century.  Speirs was awarded man of the match for Pattaya, while 16-year-old Cher was deservedly given man of the match for Gymkhana.

Celebrations went on long into the night and Sunday’s match was a much more one-sided encounter with Pattaya winning by 81 runs as a total of 149 for 6 in 20 overs proved far too many.  Cher, Bank and Nithi each claimed a wicket, but Bank was the only batsman who reached double figures as Gymkhana were bowled out for 68.

Pattaya were the stronger side on this occasion and plans are already being made for their next visit to Chiang Mai early next year.  The club are also hoping for a pavilion and practice nets to be built in the next year which will mean Thai Polo Club will quickly establish itself as a top class venue for cricket in Thailand.

The Gymkhana Club players returned to Chiang Mai ready to practice hard for the new season and already looking ahead to next year’s visit to Pattaya as the two clubs look to build a close friendship on and off the field.