Old heads guide PCC to victory in a nail-biting finish

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It required the experienced players of Pattaya Cricket Club at the death to ensure the club recorded its 3rd straight league victory against Indorama last Sunday and remain top of the Bangkok Cricket League.

On an unusually overcast and breezy morning at the Thai Polo Ground, PCC were asked to bat first and the new opening partnership of Dan (17) and Venky began positively.  It was Venky in particular who took advantage of the fielding restrictions against some surprisingly quick bowling as he regularly cleared the infield with a fluent 45.

At drinks after 13 overs PCC were 77 for 1 and well set for an aggressive last 12 over onslaught.  John Spiers (31) and the club captain Simon Philbrook (44) did not disappoint with another telling partnership of 79 to maintain the momentum.

Despite Salman managing to pull a groin whilst gently ambling a single, Dave Callick (13no), who thankfully had arrived at the right ground, just, and Thomas Manoj (9no) saw PCC post an impressive 182/4.  It was an excellent batting display that the increasing crowd of spectators enjoyed and they expressed their appreciation by ordering rounds of beer at a speed akin to the game’s run rate.

After a short break and an unseasonal 5 minute shower the PCC opening bowlers, in the absence of Salman who had now self-diagnosed his injury as a 3rd degree groin muscle tear, Thomas and Hamza started with an immaculate line and length spell and they reduced Indorama to 35/4 from 8 overs.

Pattaya Cricket Club’s John Spiers (right) bowls one of the tense final few overs against Indorama at the Thai Polo Club, Sunday, Feb. 16.Pattaya Cricket Club’s John Spiers (right) bowls one of the tense final few overs against Indorama at the Thai Polo Club, Sunday, Feb. 16.

It seemed an improbable position from which Indorama could challenge the target but Dhiraj (102) had other ideas.  In a beautifully timed innings he single-handedly grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and the impetus slowly but surely swung away from PCC.  With just 40 runs required from the final 5 overs and still 5 wickets in hand it seemed Indorama would pull off an unlikely victory.

The captain called on the old heads of Thomas and John Spiers who returned to the attack and bowled perhaps the game changing overs.  Thomas conceded only 1 run in the 21st over and John removed Dhiraj in the 22nd for what would normally have been a match winning century.

The game was still in the balance with 16 needed from the final over to be bowled by Andy Emery and despite 8 runs from the first three deliveries his old head remained on his shoulders as he closed the innings out (175/8) for a nail biting 7 run victory.

It was a terrific and unpredictable game of cricket that kept PCC on top of the league and well placed for a final play-off berth at the end of the season.

The bar was duly restocked for the exuberant spectators and elated players who celebrated the fraught victory well into the now sunny afternoon.

PCC travel this weekend to Chiang Mai for the annual weekend of cricket with Chiang Mai CC, Lanna CC and Phuket CC at the famous Gymkhana Cricket Ground, to be followed the next weekend with a double-header of the British Club on Saturday 1st March and Siam CC in a league game on Sunday 2nd, both at home at the Thai Polo Ground.

Indorama’s Dhiraj (right) hits out on his way to a brilliant 102.Indorama’s Dhiraj (right) hits out on his way to a brilliant 102.

PCC would like to express their gratitude to Pattaya Sports Club for their invaluable support.

For anyone interested in all matters related to PCC, please refer to the club website www.pattayacricketclub.com or visit the Facebook page for more details.  The club has an open door policy and welcomes any like minded cricket enthusiasts of any age or ability.