Pattaya cricketers face the heat in Yangon

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Pattaya Cricket Club on tour in Myanmar.
Pattaya Cricket Club on tour in Myanmar.

Pattaya Cricket Club recently landed for the first time in Yangon, Myanmar and Pope Benedict, in the middle of his own tour, graciously greeted their arrival at the airport with a wave from his Pope Mobile.

Two T20 games over the weekend were scheduled with the Saturday game against the Myanmar U-19’s, including four players from the national side and Sunday’s game being against the local Yangon Stray Dogs.

Before the start of the game on Saturday morning, PCC captain Simon Philbrook passed on his batting experiences of yesteryear to the eager U 19’s, Shaun Jones gave an entertaining bowling masterclass to the fast bowlers whilst Bobby Young regaled the spin bowlers of the finer points of flight and guile.

The U-19’s batted first and started confidently before the introduction of the PCC spin king Bobby Young.  All he had preached earlier was replicated on the field as he deceived the young batsmen with his floaters, sinkers and the new delivery, the sliding sinker.  Figures of 3/20 gave PCC a chance of victory as they restricted the U-19’s to 153/8.

In reply, Andy Emery and Lanky, that latter who was conveniently in Yangon working, started confidently.  Lanky departed for a score well below his prediction but Lee Standen (26) and Simon (20no), ably support Andy (31), saw the PCC close in on their target.  However, the accuracy of the young bowlers proved decisive and PCC finished 19 runs adrift.

Despite the loss PCC had certainly given the youngsters a competitive match and had definitely added to their understanding of the finer points of the game.

After a night that didn’t seem to end, PCC, minus Andy, arrived early again on Sunday at the beautiful Star City cricket ground.  With no pre match coaching required against this opposition and suitably rehydrated, PCC elected to bat first.  Andy didn’t open the batting as he arrived late, having had to be woken up by his mum, who was now furious with him.  He was soon at the crease though as Lanky again departed for a score well below his prediction but was then immediately back in the pavilion for a Burmese golden duck, out stumped, and his mum was now visibly livid (she later confided he had dropped from 1st to 5th in the her list of family favourites – how fortunes change).

The highlight of the innings saw Lee (41) hit four consecutive sixes and Ben Charlston (24) caress a number of majestic leg side boundaries as PCC posted a sub-par 117/6.  The Stray Dogs found early runs difficult to come by, Bobby bamboozling the opener with his sliding sinker to claim another wicket on tour, but the PCC could not gain the control they badly needed.  A mid innings flurry of boundaries gave the Stray Dogs the momentum they required and they created a commanding position that they would not relinquish.  With 3 overs to spare the winning runs were hit and both teams shook hands to wrap up an entertaining morning’s cricket.

To conclude the weekend’s proceedings the fines session was acted out in typical kangaroo fashion which included the customary copious shots of alcohol after which, for those left standing, the biggest challenge of all unfolded.

The ‘PCC Chariots Of Fire Challenge’, a handicapped 100 meter race! (It seemed a good idea at the time)  When the gun went all runners limped off as quickly as they could from the start line and pre-race favourites Jez ‘fastest on the Eastern Seaboard (for his age)’ Lees and Lanky, needless to say he has extremely long legs, made significant early inroads.  But they could not catch the surprise package in the form of the XXL club skipper, Simon.  With the wind whistling through his hair and his hamstrings at full stretch he crossed the finishing line with yards to spare and left everyone in the side wondering why he does not run like that on the cricket field.

The inaugural Myanmar tour represented a new chapter in the history of the PCC, a club that offers cricket to all standards and encourages everyone to participate.

Pattaya Cricket Club would like to thank its sponsors including the PSC, Amigo Group, Macallan Insurance, Aegis International, Pattaya Printspace and The Outback Bar.