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Laguna return to form in Phuket cricket league



PHUKET: As Phuket’s Jones Lang LaSalle cricket league nears completion of its round robin matches, teams are still fighting for a finals spot.

Laguna returned to the Alan Cooke Ground (ACG) after suffering a comprehensive defeat against league leaders Patong the previous week, hoping to get back on track against the Village, who were also defeated by Patong in their last outing.

The Village once again posted a solid score of 179-9 batting first from their 35 overs, however Laguna managed to chase down the total posting 185-4 with eight overs to spare.

After winning the toss, the Village chose to bat, which is the favored option during sweltering temperatures in the lead up to Songkran.

The Village got off to a shaky start, losing captain Kevin Quilty (1) in only the 2nd over. Mark Whetton (11) then combined with Martin Foster (72) to steady the innings, taking the Village through to the first drinks break without further loss.

Shortly after the break, Whetton fell ‘lbw’ ending their 41 run partnership. The Village also lost in-form Danny Taylor (5) cheaply, but Craig Murphy (30) and Foster then combined for a 58 run partnership, taking the score along to 114 runs before Murphy was bowled by Matthew Stahmer in the 27th over.

Mark Ashman (4) failed to make a significant impression when he too fell victim to Stahmer in the same over. Craig Patterson (19 not out) and Foster rallied for a 39 run partnership before Foster’s innings finally came to an end with the score on 157 in the 32nd over.

Patterson and George McCreedy (5 not out) wagged the tail a little more to take the innings total to 179-9 at the end of 35 overs.

Pick of the bowlers for Laguna were Matthew Stahmer (5 for 44) and Shoeib Mushtaq (2 for 21).

After the lunch break, Laguna set out to chase down the Village total, hoping to do so in less than the allotted overs in order to pick up some valuable bonus points.

Openers Matthew Stahmer (64) and Darren Shaw (18) were in a hurry to reach the target until Shaw fell with the score on 51 runs in the 7th over. Stahmer then combined with Andrew Cole (38), who finally found some form with the bat, for a match winning 89 run partnership, until Stahmer fell in the 19th over with the score on 140.

Shoeib Mushtaq (11) then pushed the score along to 161 before he fell lbw to Craig Murphy, who was on a hatrick after bowling Val Guiraud for a golden duck.

Sameer Khan (17 from 6 balls) survived Murphy’s onslaught and valiantly tried to reach the target by 26.1 overs in order to pick up a bonus point, but just missed out hitting the winning runs just two balls later.

Pick of the bowlers for the Village, Craig Murphy (4 for 38).

With the win, Laguna moved into 2nd place on 25 points. It looks like it will be a three horse race between Laguna, Jabudays and TNT for a finals berth with league leaders Patong.

This Sunday (April 7) sees the Village take on Jabudays.


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