Bangkok Cricket League
A clinical performance by Pattaya Cricket Club saw the side thump Amphawa Punjab in a one-sided affair marked by disciplined bowling, fielding and top-order batting.
Losing his first toss of the season, Pattaya Captain Simon Philbrook was asked to bowl in hot and humid conditions at the Harrow International School ground. Father and son duo Salman and Hamza Khan opened the bowling only to discover APCC’s intention of smacking the leather off every ball. H Kahn (2-29 off 5) broke through first; undeterred by APCC’s aggressive intentions. He persevered with a nice line and length to have both openers dismissed in the first few overs.
First change and noted ‘star’ bowler Andy Emery (3-33 off 4) bowled what can only be described as a pile of trash, yet he came away with three wickets to his name, due mainly to some excellent out-fielding by both Venkatesh Rajagopalan and Alex McInnes on the boundary. Meanwhile, at the other end, Sam Nethery (0-29 off 5) bowled a lovely spell for absolutely no reward. Cricket can be a cruel mistress at times.
With the heart ripped out of APCC’s innings it was left up to Javid (30 off 24) Sharwan (40 off 28) and Raof (27 off 20) to collect the runs. Khan senior (2 for 47 off 5) mopped up the tail with help from the wily John Speirs (2 for 13 off 3.4), which left PCC needing to chase 153 after APCC failed to bat out their 25 overs.
PCC’s batsman picked up where their bowlers left off, starting with a measured approach before Venkatesh began to flay the bowling to all parts. Not even a 15 minute rain delay could stop Venky (59 off 50) from wreaking havoc on the bowling side, as infighting set in and players lost their nerve. Venky was finally dismissed off the last ball before the drinks break – trying to smack another ball over square-leg.
So it was left to the other half of the opening partnership, Dan Nicholson (51 not out off 55) who had been content to take the singles and noodle the ball around, to now finish off the game. He duly obliged despite losing both John Speirs (9 off 9) and Colin Clark (4 off 6) in the space of a couple of overs. Carrying his bat through the innings, he was a worthy man of the match winner and displayed a pleasing return to form. It was a welcome change for the sometimes frustrating (and frustrated) left-hander.
PCC play their final league game of the season at the Thai Polo Cricket Ground this Friday, May 1. With the finals looming and the ladder awfully congested, the team has everything to play for.