PCC’s season ended disappointingly with a nail-biting 2-run defeat to Champions of Bangkok in the semi-final of the Bangkok Cricket League on Sunday, May 19.
A torrential downpour an hour before the start of the 25-over game ensured the outfield at the Thai Polo Club in Pattaya would be very wet, despite the best efforts of ground staff and players using buckets, plastic bags and tissues (when a helicopter was really needed) to mop up the ‘swimming pool’ that covered the ground.
When play eventually got underway, PCC inserted the opposition and Salman and Henry exerted early pressure but without taking any wickets and the openers Girish and Jiten gradually gained in confidence. Thomas made the breakthrough bowling Jiten for 28 and Mithu continued the good work with his tight off spin.
14 year-old Hamza then removed both Rajesh and Swapnil in quick succession as the Champions seemed to be struggling to post a competitive total. Finally Girish was caught behind for a well crafted 45 and Chetan hit a breezy 26 not out to push the Champions to 142 for 8.
Sadly, PCC’s nemesis struck again as 3 catches were spilled in the outfield and had they been held it would surely have meant a much lower total would have been required.
John Spiers and Dan opened the innings for Pattaya but both struggled to dominate the bowling. Dan succumbed to Jenti for 9 but skipper Simon Philbrook soon increased the run rate as he used his feet to hit consistently straight down the ground.
PCC lost John (11), Salman (1), John G (1) and Mithu (0) in the space of 13 deliveries to put Champions in charge but Holty (16) showed some application to support Simon who was trying to carry the innings. Thomas continued the rearguard action but Simon finally succumbed to increasing pressure and fatigue as he was caught on the mid wicket boundary for 53.
Pattaya Cricket Club’s Simon Philbrook (center) hits out against the Champions bowling attack during the Bangkok Cricket League semi-final at Thai Polo Club in Pattaya, Sunday, May 19.
With Thomas and Andy still batting well (and making the top order feel very uncomfortable) the target was achievable. Unfortunately, Thomas (18) was bowled by Jenti and with 3 runs needed from the final 3 deliveries Andy was run out by a direct hit and PCC were 140 all out.
It was a thrilling finale to a game that was PCC’s last league game of the season but will surely galvanise the team to go one better next term.
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