It was an unusually hot and sticky Sunday morning at the Thai Polo Ground, the home of Pattaya CC, when the two captains strode out to the wicket for the toss. Kerala CC won it and elected to bat first in the cup semi final with the winners facing the Southerners in the final.
The PCC opening bowlers, Andy Emery and Lee Standen, started superbly as the new ball offered assistance through the air and off the wicket. Lee made the breakthrough when Simon Philbrook held a sharp chance at a deep gully and Wezley Masterton held an even better catch at cover point. When Venky snaffled a catch at mid off, Kerala CC were 20 for 3 and behind a par scoring rate.
Peter Gangur’s (2/19) wily spin and Basu’s (1/16) inswing maintained the pressure on the opposition batsmen. Wezley (1/25) bowled with his usual aggression that at times was too quick for the lower order batsmen and Damith Tilakaratna (0/12) continued PCC’s dominance. A few lapses in concentration from Paul Hack behind the stumps gave KCC some respite but Lee returned at the death to mop up the tail and finish with a very tidy 4 for 22, as KCC were all out in the last over for 111. A special mention should go to Shaun Jones who was outstanding in the field.
In reply PCC made the worst possible start when Venky was beaten for pace and lost his off stump first ball. Wezley’s (14) cameo allowed Andy to stake a claim for a regular top order spot but he soon found the pace too hot and was cleaned up also without troubling the scorers. At the other end Manik was seemly untroubled and when he was joined by Lee the pair calmly added 44 runs to take the PCC score to 76 before Lee (16) was caught behind.
The PCC captain Simon ensued there were no late order travails with a composed 13no. But it was Manik who was the star of the innings with a beautiful 54no, finishing with a glorious straight six to ensure PCC’s 6 wicket victory, the man of the match award and a place in the Grand Final on Sunday 28th January in Bangkok.
PCC would like to invite any supporters to come along for a great finals day out, the details of the fixture will be advertised on the club Facebook page and website.