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Thalang stumps ICC in cricket face-off

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Thalang stumps ICC in cricket face-off | Thaiger

PHUKET: The Thalang Cricket Team defeated Island Cricket Club in baking 35บC conditions at the Alan Cooke Ground in Thalang last weekend.

Thalang entered the match without their captain Bill Stahmer and key run scorer Justin Thomatos, while the ICC were without medium pace bowler Pir Sami.

TCT’s stand-in captain Andrew McMillan won the toss and chose to field first.

In the 2nd over of the day, Deepak Mehra became the second ICC player this season to top-edge a ball onto their own head, and he went off to the casualty ward with a nasty gash above his eye.

In the 4th over, ICC’s main run scorer Junaid Mohammad (9 runs) picked out Thai cricketer Pao in the deep and was caught.

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Runs were difficult to come by and ICC could only manage 38/1 at the 10-over break. The second session was all TCT’s, as ICC lost regular wickets to be 76/5 after 20 overs.

Neill Culpan was back to his destructive best with the ball, picking up two wickets from his first four overs. On both occasions the ICC batsman stood their ground out in the middle, and left the decision up to ACC level 1 umpire John King.

Darshan Vaigankar and Balesh Desai (33) led a recovery for ICC in the next 10 overs as they worked the ball around off the Thalang medium pace bowlers and spinners to reach 135/6 from 30 overs.

In the last session, Vaiganker became another victim of Culpan’s speed, out leg-before wicket for 64 runs, as TCT tied down and dismissed the ICC playmakers.

Even with the return to the crease of Mehra, ICC were all out for 174 runs in the 40th and final over. Best with the ball for TCT was Culpan (3/18) and Craig Murphy (2/19).

After a hearty lunch break meal at the boundary bar, Thalang began their innings in terrible fashion. Simon Wetherell was caught at slip, Pao was adjudged LBW and then Jean Matthee was caught at slip. All three wickets were off the bowling of Arun Virdikar in the 4th over.

TCT were 11/3, but ICC were playing with a fielder short after Mehra’s decision not to wear a helmet earlier in the day.

The gaps in the field were quickly exposed by Culpan and McMillan as they hit a 48-run partnership from the next five overs.

The 10th over of the innings saw Virdikar strike again with Culpan (25) caught by Ventrapatt at slip and Paan caught behind.

At drinks Arun Virdikar had the tremendous figures of 5/28 and had bowled ICC into a very strong position in the match.

Carl Baxter joined McMillan at the crease, but neither found the middle of the bat and both were soon caught behind by ICC keeper Shah Ullah off the bowling of Yedu Ventrapatt.

TCT were 7/102 in the 18th over when Craig Murphy joined Garry Lane. The two experienced Thalang all-rounders took TCT through to the 25th over before Lane (28 runs) had his stumps knocked over by Ravi Naik.

TCT’s season was then well and truly on the line with 46 runs required to win with just two wickets in hand. On a day when the bowlers were reigning supreme, Runhaar and Murphy showed that cricket is still a game for batsmen as they worked the ball into the gaps for 10 overs before Murphy sent the last ball of the 35th to the fence to seal a victory for the Thalang team.

Runhaar retired injured soon after as TCT’s top run scorer at 43 not out and Martin Hill (0) from two balls showed just how close the game was.

Virdikar was the star of the ICC bowling attack with 5/42 while Yedu finished with three catches for 3/39. Murphy (36 runs), McMillan (35 runs) and Lane (28 runs) had done just enough to keep last year’s premiership team Thalang in the finals hunt.

This weekend the ACG will play host to the Phuket Sixes Cricket tournament on Saturday and Sunday and then the last three rounds of the Phuket Cricket League will be played with all things pointing towards Phuket Cricket League final’s places being decided in the very last match of the season, when ICC may need to beat the highly fancied Laguna eleven.

— Andrew McMillan

 

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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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