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Phuket Sports: Laguna reclaim top spot

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Laguna remained undefeated and reclaimed top spot in the Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Phuket cricket league by defeating The Village on Sunday, March 9 at the Alan Cooke Ground (ACG).

Things started well for Laguna when they won the toss and chose to bat first, as most teams normally prefer to do. The extremely dry and hot conditions also meant batting first should favor Laguna.

A steady start by their openers Darren Shaw (6) and Manish Sadarangani (22) was exactly what Laguna was hoping for. However, things started taking a turn for the worst when Shaw was caught at cover off the bowling of Patterson in the 6th over.

Shoeib Mushtaq (6) then fell soon after in the 8th over. Sriram Kailasam (18) and Sadarangani were both out in the 13th over, just after the drinks break, and with four wickets down for 57 runs, Laguna looked to be heading for a batting collapse.

They were looking for some much needed inspiration from two of their most experienced players, Sameer Khan and Stuart Reading. Khan (30) and Reading (63) did exactly that with the pair taking it to the Village bowlers with a 74 run partnership from just 47 balls until Khan managed to get a fine edge which was well caught by wicket-keeper Martin Foster standing up at the stumps.

Reading was involved in another 35 run partnership with Pir Sami (11). However, in the 28th over, both Sami and Reading were dismissed, followed in by Simon Samaan in the next over, and Laguna were languishing at nine 9 wickets down for 175. Luckily for Laguna, a last wicket stand of 36 runs by their tail-enders, Sami Ali (14 not out) and Waqar Bhatt (18) ensured Laguna finished with a respectable total of 211 runs.

Pick of the bowlers for The Village were Craig Patterson (4 wickets for 30) and Divan Mydeen (three wickets for 47) and well supported by some tight, economical bowling by Peter Coceni (one for 21 from seven overs).

The Village started their batting with long serving openers Martin Foster (0) and Kevin Quilty (5). The early scalp of Foster in the first over (off the bowling of Sami) rang some alarm bells and the possibility of an early collapse.

Quilty and Simon Pettigrew (19) managed to steady things and although not accumulating many runs, made sure they avoided any more early wickets until Quilty fell in the 11th over. Pettigrew and Peter Coceni (21) managed to put on a 29 run partnership, to take the score along to four wickets down for 61 runs, but a middle order batting collapse ensued with Village losing their next three batsmen for only 13 runs.

What followed was probably unexpected by everyone, including in most likelihood, The Village players themselves. Martin Platts (56) who is more renowned for his bowling, batted out an excellent, well deserved innings piling on 56 runs off just 44 balls in just 60 minutes. The innings included nine fours to some raucous applause from his teammates and all on the ground.

Together with Tom Gordon (38) they put on a 96 run partnership with some lusty hitting (including a massive six by Gordon onto the ACG clubhouse roof), frustrating the Laguna bowling attack, until Platts was finally dismissed in the 33rd over with the score on eight wickets down for 170 runs. With renewed enthusiasm, Laguna then quickly finished off the Village tail-enders and secured another win maintaining a 100 per cent record and reclaiming top spot.

Pick of the bowlers for Laguna was Mushtaq (four wickets for 13 runs) in a man of the match performance which included two catches and two run-outs to be involved in eight of the Village batsmen’s dismissals.

This Sunday March 16 sees the Village take on Patong. Play starts at 10am.


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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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