Pattaya Cricket Club (PCC)’s latest Bangkok Premier League game against Bangkok Stars at the AIT ground last Sunday saw a match where the bowlers always held the upper hand as the batsmen struggled to score on an unpredictable wicket.
Winning the toss PCC opted to bat in extremely hot and humid conditions and it soon became apparent runs would be hard to come by as the variable bounce and lack of pace in the wicket made timing the ball nearly impossible. However, Leon Bouter, making his first appearance as opener, stuck to the task and began to grind out an innings that would yield 66 valuable runs.
After the loss of Giles Mongare, Simon Philbrook and Sunny early, Dave Booton joined Leon and the pair knuckled down to put on 46 runs before another ball kept low to trap Dave LBW. From that point PCC’s batsmen resembled the comings and goings of clientele visiting a local establishment of ill repute as they strolled out to the wicket full of bravado only to return looking red faced and sheepish with alarming regularity.
They lost their last 6 wickets for a paultry15 runs to end up with a total of 142. It must be commented upon that the speed of the umpiring decision making would not have been out of place at the OK Corral and greatly contributed to the rate at which the batsmen returned to the pavilion. The spinners were the dominant bowlers throughout the innings with Gautam finishing with 4 for 20.
PCC needed to bowl well and they were not let down by their openers of Usman and Samy. As the wicket deteriorated even further under the baking sun and starting to resemble Goose Green, the Bangkok Stars batsman soon realized they had a difficult time ahead if they were to overhaul the target. Usman had the ball lifting off a length and removed Saad and Gautam caught at short leg.
Samy clean bowled the league’s leading run scorer Tauseef with one that kept low and the score was 28 for 3. A brief fight back saw several boundaries before Usman struck again bowling Samad and having Yasir caught at mid on. Shan maintained the pressure by removing Malinga to reduce BSCC to 61 for 6.
PCC could sense an improbable victory but Dushi had other ideas. Batting with assured confidence as the PCC bowlers tired, he gradually turned the innings around. Ably supported by Azad (19) and his captain, who inexplicably refused PCC a substitute fielder for 7 overs whilst a player was treated for heat exhaustion, Dushi compiled 67 runs that were enough to secure the victory and the deserved man of the match award. Usman finished with impressive figures of 4 for 28 from his energy sapping 8 overs.
PCC’s next league game is on Saturday Feb. 26 against AIT at the Thai Cricket Ground and practice for all is at Horseshoe Point every Friday from 4 p.m. More details are available on the club website www.pattayacricketclub.com.