A must win fixture faced Pattaya Cricket Club against the Southerners from Bangkok in the Bangkok Premier League last weekend.
Fielding a near full strength side PCC travelled to the Thailand Cricket Ground in Bangkok to find a drying, greenish wicket and a damp outfield.
The Southerners won the toss and elected to bat, but it was the PCC bowlers who dominated the early proceedings. Usman and Salman shared the new ball duties to great effect as a tight off stump line proved enough to make scoring very difficult. So much so in fact that at the first drinks break and after 3 power plays the score had been restricted to 31 for 1 from 13 overs. The only wicket was a result of a smart leg side stumping by Sunny off a Salman leg stump yorker.
The pressure continued to mount as Leon ‘run out’ Bouter and Shan ‘on my way’ Younas maintained a disciplined line and length. Leon was turning the ball sharply and Shan’s left arm seamers moved around on the responsive wicket.
The Southerners remained patient in an attempt to launch a counter attack in the final third of the innings. Vaughan and Nathan had built the platform and with score on 88 for 2 after 26 overs they were in the position to so. Andy ‘boots‘ Emery and 14 year old Yogesh shared the extra bowling duties to good effect and with Sunny at the other end the Southerners struggled to mount any serious challenge at posting a competitive total.
Once Vaughan and Nathan were removed, the incoming batsmen found the conditions and bowling too difficult and the innings finally closed at 150 for 8. All the bowlers recorded impressive figures and Sunny finished with 4 wickets for 35 runs from his 7 overs.
PCC needed to start positively to assert their dominance, so Leon promptly hit one straight to cover and was run out by 10 yards without troubling the scorers. At least he was positive and lived up to his nickname. Hansie struck two sweet boundaries before he was bowled by Anderson for 14 and Adam Oyston chopped a sharply bouncing delivery from the same bowler onto his stumps and PCC were 52 for 3.
From the start of the innings Sunny had been very positive and he raced to 52 runs before top edging a catch behind. It was an important innings in the context of the match and PCC had reached 81 for 4 with 17 overs still remaining.
The Captain Simon Philbrook joined Salman to maintain the push for victory, but the Southerners had not given up hope of winning the game. The pair consolidated the innings and then upped the run rate as Simon started to drive and pull confidently on the rapidly deteriorating wicket. Eventually, the PCC victory was secured with 3 overs remaining. Simon, awarded the ‘man of the match’, finished 42 not out and Salman 21 not out.
It was a deserved 6 wicket victory and the result of a tremendous bowling and fielding effort, backed up with a quiet, assured batting display. As a consequence, the result keeps alive PCC’s ambition of finishing in the top four, with the final league game of the season on Sunday 27th March at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club.