Dear cricket fans, welcome back to the new season. The closed season saw many changes with a new practice net being constructed at the Outback, tournaments postponed and a change of faces at PCC – departures included Matt Harkness, Luke Stokes and Dan Allen, whilst new arrivals saw Colin Clarke (a previous PCC member), Tom Fogden and Pete Reeh join the club.
PCC’s first Bangkok Cricket League (BCL) 25-over match of the 2021/22 season was at our home ground of Pattana Sports Resort on 14 Nov against last season’s champions, the Asian Stars CC. This turned out to be a more entertaining match than the final and showed that PCC can actually hold catches after all. PCC batted well but pickings were slim in the 15th to 20th overs, whilst ASCC kept up the pace through the tremendous efforts of Dermesh’s 105.
ASCC won the toss and chose to bowl. PCC opened with Wez, still not fully recovered from knee surgery, and Colin Clarke against Bharat Singh. Wez did his normal thing of peppering the boundary and Colin kept things ticking over until he was bowled through the gate for 14 by Imran Chenab. Ryan Driver made a quick 10 before he chipped a ball to Waseem Raja (Sam Ali) at mid-wicket and gave Pushpinder Singh the first of his 3 wickets.
Next up was Simon whose singles enabled Wez, having been dropped off Imran Chenab, to get the run-rate to 8/over. PCC were 102/2 by the 13th over. Wez was finally caught at cow-corner by Bharat Singh off Deepar Rawat for 87 from 55 balls (four 4’s and eight 6’s) and then wickets started to fall a little more regularly. Jainish Parikh, caught for 2 off Deepak Rawat, Simon bowled for 14 and Gary Porter, LBW for 2 all followed in quick succession. Whilst resistance was shown by Trevor Moolman who made a sharp 17 off 11 balls before being caught off Pushpinder Singh.
This brought debutant Tom Fogden and Chris Lindop to the crease. Tom showed he was handy with the willow by scoring 27 not out from 16 balls whilst Chris scored 4 not out. PCC’s innings concluded with a very creditable score of 192 for 7 off 25 overs.
ASCC opened their innings with Deepak Rawat and Dermesh Mer facing Ryan Driver. Ryan struck on his 4th ball when Simon took an amazing catch at short extra cover which required a dive and a second bite at the cherry. Deepak out for 2, was replaced by Waseem Raja (Sam Ali), who scored a brisk 14 off 11 balls before being caught by another superb one-handed catch by Simon. This time off Tom Fogden, his first of 3 wickets for 28. The Skipper was leading by example and ASCC were reeling at 23 for 2 off 4 overs.
It didn’t last as Dermesh set about the PCC bowlers on his was way to 105 from 61 balls including six 4’s and nine 6’s. Although PCC continued to take wickets with Jainish removing Pushpinder Singh (caught by Ryan) and Imran Chenab (bowled) for 1 run each, it was not enough. Mazhar Mughal, 19 and Shaan Ajim, 14 not out, supported Dermesh as he blazed away. Understandably, PCC’s heads dropped a little under the onslaught.
Tom lifted their spirits when he was finally caught and bowled Dermesh with a brilliant one-handed catch above his head and then bowled Laxman Singh next ball for a golden duck, but Bharat Singh’s 12 not out gave victory to ASCC by 3 wickets from 24 overs. A solid fightback from the champions, but it showed that PCC are a force to be reckoned with and that they can catch.
Darmesh Mer was man of the match. Notable bowlers were Tom Fogden with 3-28 and Pushpinder Singh 3-35.