Pattaya Cricket Club triumph at Chiang Mai Big Bash

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Pattaya Cricket Club won the first major trophy in the club’s six year history with an outstanding performance at the Big Bash hosted by Lanna Cricket Club in Chiang Mai last weekend.

The five team competition, including the hosts, the favourites Chiang Mai CC, Patong CC, Not the MCC from England and PCC, was played at the Gymkhana Ground and involved all teams playing each other to decide the final rankings.

First fixture for PCC was against the tournament’s winners for the past 3 years Chiang Mai CC.  Chiang Mai batted first with their usual aggressive style and amassed a daunting 106/3 from their allotted 8 overs.  PCC made a valiant effort in the run chase but finished just 8 runs short of the target.

Against Not the MCC, PCC posted 91/2 and in reply with only 4 runs needed from the last 3 deliveries Venky bowled 3 perfect leg stump yorkers for PCC to scrape home and win by one run as the captain Simon Philbrook kept his cool to run out the batsman off the final ball.  As all the bowlers bowled a great line and length in the third pool game against Patong CC, PCC restricted the opposition to 76/4 and replied with an assured innings to win with one over to spare.

The final pool match against Lanna CC was an altogether more tense affair with PCC needing a minimum of 2 points to qualify for the Cup Final.  Batting first, LCC scored a par score of 89/3.  Tight opening overs kept LCC in charge but as the pressure mounted the PCC batsmen responded with a succession of boundaries.  Sam Nethery in particular was in fine form and with 2 needed from the last ball for a win it seemed PCC would achieve a victory.  A sweetly struck straight drive was fantastically fielded and returned to run out the non-striker attempting the second run and a tie was recorded.  In the confusion it was confirmed that PCC had secured the 2 points they needed.

The victorious Pattaya Cricket Club team members pose for a photo at the Gymkhana Ground in Chiang Mai.

PCC won an important toss in the Cup Final against a very confident and excitable Pakistani led Chiang Mai CC and elected to bat first.  Venky (15) got the innings off to a flying start after the early loss of Sam (0).  The game changing partnership of 55 runs between Simon and Manik started with some masterful strokes from both as Simon retired with a blistering 10 ball 30 runs and Manik 32no from only 21 balls.  An excellent cameo of 22no from Jason Darby enabled PCC to post a competition best of 108/3.

PCC captain Simon Philbrook (right) receives the Big Bash trophy after his team’s 23 run victory over Chiang Mai CC in the tournament final.

The crucial wicket of Adaiy was fundamental to PCC’s chances of winning and when he tried to hook his second ball from the rapid Sam and skied the ball, Simon held a tumbling catch to put PCC firmly in control.  Manik bowled beautifully at the other end as Chiang Mia were 40/1 after 4 overs.  Richard Holt, PCC’s most economical and successful tournament bowler, continued the pressure and was ably backed up by Venky at the other end.

Boundaries were not coming as the batsmen kept finding the fielders, even Shaun Jones and Bobby Young excelled, as PCC controlled the innings to win comfortably by 23 runs.  The Cup and first major trophy was on the plane back to Pattaya.

PCC welcome anyone wishing to play for the club and the next fixture is Saturday 20th February at Thai Polo Ground against a touring team from England, starting at 11am.