PCC travelled to Chiang Mai to defend their 6’s title in a fairly confident mood as most of the previous team were still available, but it was always going to a tough contest where batting and bowling needed to be top notch.
The 2023 Chiang Mai 6’s was held on 25th and 26th Nov 2023. There were 10 teams divided into two divisions, The Players (PCC, Lamphun CC, Lanna CC, Zen Spirit and The Lao Elephants CC) and The Gentlemen (Darjeeling Juniors, Shrewsbury Sloggers, Koh Chiang, Black Swans and Gymkhana CC). All players would bowl one over except the wicketkeeper. Batmen scoring 31 would retire not out. Last-man-standing rules apply. Wides and No Balls would count as 3 runs but would not be re-bowled and a wide followed by a boundary would be limited to a score of 5. 4 points would be awarded for a win and there were bonus points for 4 wickets taken and 70 or more runs scored. Each team would play 4 divisional matches and the top 2 teams from each division would play in their final. A par score was 60-65 runs.
This report will cover day 1 of PCC’s tournament with 2 of their pool matches and another report will cover day 2.
PCC’s first day would be against the least dangerous of the group, the first being Lanna. PCC lost the toss and were asked to bat. Wezley Masterton and Luke Stokes opened against Ritchie. Wez bashed balls around the boundaries for 18 runs and was lucky to survive when a catch on the mid-wicket boundary was dropped over the line for a 6 by Greg Chambers. Greg started his bowling with a no ball that was whacked for 6, so a 9. More boundaries followed and PCC were 35 for 0 after 2 of their 5 overs. Wez faced the next over and gave Hasish the same treatment forcing his own retirement on 35 N.O. Luke decided to give John Scales another headache and he too retired on 35 with the score on 84 for 0. Habby Singh and Trevor Moolman now occupied the creases and Ian Harling bowled the last over. Some singles and a flukey 4 for Habby got the score to 90 when Habby was run out on the last ball due to a mis-communication with Trevor. 91 for 1 and a bonus batting point.
Hamsa Khan, a Chiang Mai debutant, with his unusual style of bowling off the back foot, opened the bowling for PCC and took his first senior wicket when Greg Chambers was caught by Wez. 10 off the first over. Andy Emery bowled next and his first ball had Neville caught and bowled – a good scalp as Neville is a good batsman. John Scales, still suffering from the night’s excesses, got a boundary and some iffy fielding from Habby gave away some overthrows. 17 for 2 off 2 overs. Wez bowled next and soon dismissed John by scattering the bails and things were looking sad for Lanna. Luke’s 4th over also produced results as Trevor ran out Hasish, after Andy dropped a sitter at Long-off and George survived. Habby’s final over yielded 8 runs and Lanna concluded their innings on 42 for 4 and PCC earn a bowling bonus point.
PCC’s afternoon challenge was The Laos Elephants. They were a new addition to the Tournament and thus an unknown quantity. Again, Wez lost the toss and was asked to bat. As usual, Wez and Luke took the field and Sida received some unpleasant treatment as Wez scored 28. Luke, not wanting to be left out, did the same to Prasanatha in the second over. 47 for 0. Rick Monaghan gave Wez a 4 and he retired on 32 to be replaced by Habby who thought it would be fun to hit more boundaries. Sebastian bowled and had Habby dropped in the next over by Simmo on the Long-off boundary – a mistake as Habby hit a 6 off next ball. 76 for 0 with one to go. 16 off the last over bowled by Simmo gave 92 for 0 with the not out batsmen being Luke on 24 and Habby on 23 and another batting bonus point.
The Laos would have to be very good to chase 93. Rick and Simmo had a slow start against Hamza who had Rick caught by Luke on the Long-off boundary. Jake Walsh, another Chiang Mai debutant, bowled the 2nd over which yielded 10 runs. 17 for 1 after 2 overs. Wez had an LBW appeal turned down followed by some wides and a flukey 4 to Simmo took the Laos Elephants to 28 off 3 and a long way behind. Luke’s leg spin produced 13 runs and kept the match in control. Habby took the final over and Prasantha lost his wicket on the last ball for 19 as the Elephants reached 57 for 5. A creditable effort and another bonus point to PCC
That concluded PCC’s first day with first place in The Players Table and points ahead of Zen Spirit. It was clear that the three leading teams were PCC, Zen Spirit and Lamphun, at least one of whom would need to be defeated in order to get to the final. Tomorrow was going to be a far more difficult day for PCC.
PCC would like to thank their sponsors for the assistance provided from the Outback Sports Bar, the Ahern Bar, Magic Bar and the Pattaya Sports Group.