PCG fall to the might of Lords
PHUKET: Phuket cricket may have a new home ground in the ACG, but it was no match for the true home of cricket, the Lords-based Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), last Thursday (February 16).
Friday 24 February 2012, 03:19PM
Playing in a T20 exhibition match, Phuket Cricket Group (PCG) won the toss and elected to field.
But the touring side showed their talent early on, punishing the PCG opening bowlers to race to 0-36 off just four overs.
A diving catch by PCG wicket keeper Dean Noble provided the breakthrough off the bowling of Val Guirard, dismissing Will Rist for 11.
But the going didn’t get any easier for the Phuket lads, as MCC proved they were a class above by powering to an imposing 194-5 off their 20 overs, thanks largely to a brutal 61 off 29 balls from man of the match Alun Thomas.
Guirard and Sameer Khan each picked up two wickets.
In response, PCG managed less than half that total. Their innings looked shaky from the start, as Bill Stahmer (3) suffered a minor brain explosion, clean bowled while attempting to play a pull shot in the second over.
It triggered a major batting collapse, and by the 10th over, PCG had slumped to 43-8, and even passing the half century mark was looking unlikely.
Neil Culpan and Manish Sadarangani combined to put up some brief resistance, carrying the score to a marginally more respectable 60 before Culpan departed for nine.
Noble and Sadarangani then put their heads down, and it looked as though they might even survive the 20 overs and salvage some pride. But it wasn’t to be – Sadarangani was bowled by Alun Thomas for 16, bringing the PCG innings to a close on 77 off 19.3 overs.
But MCC captain Will Hodson said the result was less important than the experience.
“It’s important that we play our cricket and have fun, but it’s also just fantastic to meet the people who are out here playing cricket and making a go of it,” he said.
“Our job is to play cricket as best as we can, and show how we play cricket. A big part of the MCC is the way the game is played.”
And it wasn’t just the players who were benefiting. South African cricket enthusiast Keith Harvey “came all the way from SA for the game”, and “loved every minute of it”.
“I’ve been lying on a beach for the last two months, and to come to a proper cricket oval in the middle of Phuket and watch such a quality game is unbelievable. Absolutely fantastic.”