This emphatic win takes PCC to fourth in the Bangkok Cricket League on 8 points from 4 wins and 1 loss but still with 4 games in hand over the current leaders, Bangkok CC on 14 points.
The match was played on a Saturday a Horseshoe Point, as opposed to the normal Sunday, which may explain why El Dutchie was AWOL. However, it did give an opportunity for The Old Dependables, Animal Slater and Reds Liddel an opportunity to run around a grassy field for an afternoon. PCC had 4 first team players unavailable and a debutant bowler was introduced to the side, Rabpreet Singh. Excellent bowling from PCC severely restricted Kerala to 4 runs per over before drinks and although they made a recovery in the last 10 overs their score of 128 all out was indefensible.
PCC polished off the required runs with an assured and dominant 80 not out from Luke Stokes. The Captains, Luke Stokes and Shanas Shajahan, conducted the toss before umpire Dr Mark Farrington, which PCC won and decided to bowl first. Asif Thacholi and Shanas opened the batting whilst Ryan Driver and Rabpreet opened the bowling. Ryan bowled a very good line and length and his figures of 5 overs 1 for 9 included 2 maidens. Rabpreet had several wides but he removed Asif’s off stump with the 3rd ball of his first over.
An excellent start which continued when in the next over Ryan removed 2 of Naveen Vargesse’s stumps for a duck. 8 for 2 in 3 overs. Jidesh Aravind took the crease and provided some much-needed stiffness to the Kerala batting with boundaries from Rapreet. Habby Singh took over from Rabpreet and bowled at pace and an improved line, whilst Andy Emery took over from Ryan. Andy struck in his first over when Shanaz didn’t reach the long-on boundary and was caught by Ryan for 12. 30 for 2 in the 11th over.
This brought Aju John to the crease and he provided excellent support to Jidesh, but he had some luck when he was dropped by Trevor Moolman and Chris Lindop off Andy’s bowling before drinks – he went on to make a respectable 35. Drinks were taken after the 15th over with the score on 57 for 3 and Kerala were well behind the curve. Rehydration enabled Jidesh and Aju to continue at a higher pace, taking Amit Sain for 29 runs in 2 overs, forcing his removal. By the 20th over it looked like Kerala could score 150-160 but things fell apart when Aju was run out for 35 and Amal Devraj only lasted 2 balls before he was bowled by Habby Sing for 1.
The 22nd over saw a devastating over from Habby with 3 wickets bowled in 5 balls with Sreyas Vargesee going for 12, Suvresh Surendran for 1 and Biswajeet Panigrahi for a golden duck. At 120 for 8 and only 3 overs to go, it was not looking good. Roopesh was the next to make a short visit to the crease when he was bowled for a golden duck by Andy. To add insult to injury a mix-up between Jidesh and Navaneeth saw the No 11 batsman run out for 1 on the penultimate ball of the last over, leaving Jidesh on 48 not out and Kerala all out for 128 from 24.5 overs.
If Kerala were going to win this match something spectacularly good or spectacularly bad needed to happen. Luke Stokes and Ryan Driver took the crease to face Jeet and Asif. 6 to Luke off the first over from Jeet. Ryan’s first contact with a lifting ball was a leg glance and it went straight to Aju at 2nd leg slip and he was out for a duck. A great start for Kerala and perhaps a PCC disaster in the offing? Trevor Moolman entered the fray and provide solid support to Luke who was batting extremely well and with much more focus than of late.
Notwithstanding, Luke had some luck when he was dropped by Navaneeth at leg gully with the score on 50 off Sreyas and by the keeper on 90 off Navaneeth. Asif and Jeet kept things reasonably tight for the first 5 overs with 26 scored but then Luke and Trevor let loose and scored at 10 per over, passing 100 in the 13th. Shanas managed to contain the batting for a while but all the others, Sreyas, Naveen, Navaneeth and Aju were battered at some stage.
It was Shanas that made the breakthrough on 111 when an in-swinger found the gap between Trevor’s bat and pad and he lost his leg stump, bowled for 28 in the 15th over. It was decided to forgo drinks but Kerala did not give up. Jainish relieved Trevor and he decided it was a good idea to hit the remaining 18 runs off one ball. The ball went several times higher than it did far and game down with snow on it and straight into Navaneeth’s hands. Out to an outrageous shot for a duck.
Andy Emery went out to see the match conclude and after 2 wides and 1 run off Sreyas, Luke had the strike. 4, 6, 4 and that was it. A win by 7 wickets from 15.4 overs and Luke was Man of the match with a superb 80 not out.
PCC’s next match is an away at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club at 0930 on Sunday 12th and the next home match at Horseshoe Point is on Saturday 18th at 1030 versus AIT.