Second placed Pattaya Cricket Club played the team immediately below them in the standings, Kerala Strikers, at the Harrow School last Sunday in what promised to be an intriguing contest between two teams jockeying for position on the Division C table.
A seventh consecutive winning toss for Captain Simon Philbrook was a good omen to an otherwise disappointing day for the PCC as the top order, barring a hard fought innings from Dan Nicholson (19), folded like a deck of cards. The usually reliable Colin Clark (13), John Speirs (0) and captain Philbrook (10) were all out cheaply leaving the lower-middle order with a salvage job, not usually bestowed upon them in recent times.
Enter Paul Hack (51 not out). With equal measures of watchfulness and belligerence, the Aussie battler shepherded his team through some shaky moments with a much needed fifty, calming the already fraying nerves of his team mates. In the end a competitive 150/7 was posted, requiring the Kerala Strikers to score at least at a run a ball.
Plaudits must go to the Strikers bowling contingent who kept tight lines, bowling full and straight for a large portion of the innings. The bounce in the pitch was low and the Bangkok-based outfit used this to their advantage, hitting the pads often and appealing their hearts out at every opportunity.
Disappointed somewhat at their batting effort, PCC came out scrapping from the very first cherry. The new ball pairing of Hamza Khan (2 for 26) and Thomas Manoj (2 for 36) made early inroads, with the Strikers at one stage 24 for 4.
That is about where the good news ended for PCC. An excellent middle order resurgence by Shinoj (36) and Srijit (41) completely blew the wind out of Pattaya’s sails and along with a bit of niggle, woeful catching and ordinary death bowling, the Strikers wrested control of the match away from PCC.
Despite losing a further two wickets the Strikers made the target easily with 4 wickets and 21 balls to spare. Completely gutted, a better performance is all but assured by PCC in their next fixture, a friendly against the British Club Bangkok on Sunday 8th March at Thai Polo ground.
The club would like to thank the support of the Pattaya Sports Club and encourage anyone wishing play or support to visit the club website at www.pattayacricketclub.com or the club Facebook page.