With the recent evening rains, the ACG was looking lush and green when both sides arrived at the ground. When ICC skipper Paresh Borkar won the toss, he decided to bowl first and take advantage of a possible slower outfield in the morning.
R Sadarangani and R Jayasuriya opened the innings for Team ACG, and both batsmen were keen to start scoring quickly and took the score past 50 in the 7th over. However, Jayasuriya (17) was brilliantly caught by ICC skipper Borkar on the boundary ending the 54 run opening partnership.
M Bilal was the next batsman in, but Sadarangani ‘s (26) attacking innings came to an end after being run out by A Kalakar in the 8th over. This brought A Mushtaq to the crease just before the drinks break, and the break proved fatal for Bilal (11) who was dismissed soon after resumption of play, clean bowled by R Naik.
Big hitting A Khan was the next batsman in and his reputation preceded him, with the ICC skipper deploying fielders all around the boundary edge. Khan did not disappoint and proceeded to launch into the ICC bowlers, eventually being dismissed in the 14th over for 34 runs off just 16 deliveries which included four 6s one 4.
Khan’s innings seemed to inspire the next batsman P Jha who only had one thing on his mind and that was boundaries, lots of them!
Off just 20 deliveries, Jha scored 52 runs which included five 6s and two 4s in a devastating display of batting.
A Mustaq (42) continued accumulating runs at the other end, but was unable to reach his half century being bowled by Borkar in the 19th over.
Next batsman S Reading was sent straight back to the pavilion being bowled first ball by Borkar. I Malik then came to the crease with one delivery left to face and with Borkar on his hat-trick. Malik (0) survived and the ICC innings came to an end with the score on 213 for six.
With a formidable target ahead of them, ICC’s run chase didn’t start well, opener S Ullah was adjudged LBW first ball to G Lane. D Mydeen was the next batsman in and joined remaining opener R Naik. Together they steadied the ICC innings after the early loss of Ullah. The pair posted a 51 run partnership when Mydeen was dismissed caught and bowled by A Mushtaq in the fifth over.
S Kandolkar (1) then came to the crease but was sent back after just two deliveries, adjudged LBW off the bowling of Malik in the sixth over.
With the score on 57 runs for three, ICC were looking to get to the break without the loss of more wickets. However, ACG sensed one more wicket would seal the game for them and introduced R Sadarangani to bowl his unorthodox spin.
The change worked straight away as S Kumar (4) was deceived by a well-flighted googly and hit his own wicket trying to defend his stumps. This was the wicket ACG wanted and ICC went to the break four wickets down.
A big effort was required in the second half if ICC were to reach the required total.
B Desai and R Naik resumed the ICC innings, however, neither batsman could force the run rate as opener Naik was dismissed soon after reaching his half century in the 13th over, caught by Jayasuriya off the bowling of Mushtaq.
Naik’s 50 came off 46 deliveries in a patient display. Unfortunately, he was not supported by his fellow batsman and ICC had left the run chase too late. Desai (25) was caught by Mushtaq off the bowling of Jayasuriya. A Kalakar (17), A Virdikar (14) were the last two batsman dismissed with V Tiwari and P Vishwanathan left not out.
The new side “Team ACG” had beaten the established ICC by 66 runs in a very entertaining and high scoring match, with some excellent individual batting performances. Both of the seasons new teams have now won their first games which leaves the T20 competition nicely poised going into the third round.
This Sunday (Feb 19) sees PCG take o ICC in the morning game (start time 10am) and Team ACG vs Patong CC in the afternoon (start time 2.30pm).
For further information about cricket on Phuket, visit the Phuket Cricket Group (PCG) web-site at www.phuketcricket.com or e-mail the PCG committee at email@example.com. New players are always welcome & would be well received by the current teams on the island.
Text by David Thomas.