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ICC claim a fortunate place in the T20 final

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PHUKET: The semi final playoff between ICC and Thalang was shortened due to a lengthy rain delay and ended with calculators out on the ground and ICC being awarded entry into the Outrigger Twenty20 cup final.

After the morning’s friendly match was shortened with waves of bad weather blowing across the Island, Thalang’s captain won the toss and elected to field with any rain delay likely to favor the team batting second.

Junaid Mohammad got the ICC off to a fast start hitting 5 boundaries in the first 5 overs while his team lost Shah Ullah to the pace of Barrie Buck and Anand Chand to a Simon Wetherell run out. The 7th over was Barrie Buck’s final over and it was a terrific wicket maiden which included the wicket of Mohammad out caught behind for 31 of his teams 49 runs.

Arun Virdikar and Darshan Vaigankar saw ICC safely to drinks and a Virdikar 6 off the last ball before the break made his water taste a little better with ICC on 67/3.

A wet outfield and good bowling from Thai youngster ‘Paan’ and Craig Murphy made boundaries hard to come by after the break. ICC had to take more risks with their running and paid the price with wicket keeper Andrew McMillan effecting 2 run outs at the bowlers end to keep Thalang in the match. Vaigankar (25 runs) made the decision to retire with a couple of overs left and that was all the encouragement that Thai youngster ‘Karn’ needed as he took 2 successive wickets in the 19th over. An 8 run final over brought ICC to the total of 121/7.

Thalang started their innings slowly to be 16 runs off 5 overs at which point it was time to make a move. Andrew McMillan clobbered an Arun Virdikar ball for 4 only to see his off stump clobbered back with the next ball. Thalang batsman Simon Wetherell played out 10 dot balls to start his inning and after 8 overs Thalang were 27/1 still needing 95 runs for victory. The introduction of ICC’s Abdul Saleam and Prashant Shetgaonker worked like petrol on a fire and Thalang were 53/1 at drinks.

With dark clouds looming and winds picking up Wetherell and Craig Murphy worked toward getting Thalang’s nose in front of ICC’s run rate. Darshan Vaigankar bowled Murphy (26 runs) in the 13th over and just prior to rain stopping play in the 14th over there were 2 consecutive run outs leaving Thalang 84/4 dangling fractionally below ICC’s run rate of 6.050 per over.

After the rain had moved away the umpires looked at their watches and the decision was made that only 19 overs could be bowled in the time left and that it would be a reduced match which is then decided on run rate.

4 balls after re-commencing and Vaigankar and Ravi Naik had taken two more wickets bringing youngster Paan to the crease with the not out Wetherell. On track for victory in the 18th over Wetherell (42 runs) was adjudged LBW off the bowling of Abdul Saleam and the match had taken yet another twist with Thalang now 111/7 and only Thai youth players to come. Saleam bowled Karn with the next ball and 16 year old David joined Paan in the middle. He defended 2 balls and then a run off the last ball of the over gave the inexperienced David the strike for the 19th and final over.

ICC’s Anand Chand was given the task of bowling the last over and started with 2 balls beating the swinging blade of David. As the third ball came down the pitch so did Paan and he managed to scamper through for a bye. After missing Chand’s 4th ball Paan flicked the 5th ball off his legs and completed 2 runs bringing the score to 115 runs.

A boisterous ACG crowd believed that Thalang were still behind ICC’s run rate and that another run would be necessary off the last ball to see the JLL league champions advance to the final. Chand’s last ball beat the bat of Paan and no more runs were added stranding Thalang on 115/8 as ICC celebrated victory out in the middle.

There was some confusion between the players moments after the finish and then some run rate numbers were given to the umpires indicating that ICC had the best run rate on the day and they were awarded the win. Later on it was revealed that a miscalculation had been made and in fact Thalang had a superior run rate from their overs.

For the sake of Phuket cricket Thalang are unlikely to protest the result and ICC will play off for the Outrigger Twenty20 cup this Sunday afternoon against the Patong BBB’s.

The next fixture is on Sunday21st September with Thalang playing Laguna in the morning for 3rd place, and Bondi Bar Bashers playing ICC in the afternoon for the final. Start times are 10am and 2pm respectively.

If you are interested in getting involved with cricket in Phuket, email the Phuket Cricket Group Chairman at chairman@phuketcricketgroup.com , or visit phuketcricketgroup.com and acgphuket.com for more information.

Kids Junior cricket is also taking place at the ACG on Saturday mornings. If you would like your children, both girls and boys, to get involved, contact chairman@phuketcricketgroup.com.

 

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