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Andaman stay top as Warriors win Patong derby

Andaman stay top as Warriors win Patong derby

CRICKET: Andaman Cricket Club (ACC) consolidated their position as leaders of the 2023 Phuket T20 cricket league with a convincing win against the Kashmiri Cricket Club (KCC) at a sweltering Alan Cooke Ground (ACG) last Sunday (Feb 19), while the Warriors came out on top against the Penguins in the Patong derby.

By Neil Quail

Friday 24 February 2023, 10:30AM

Both games saw quality performances and generally more mature conduct on show, in rather stark contrast to the previous weekend’s less than savoury atmosphere.

Introducing a disciplinary card system as an ‘incentive’ for players to be more mindful of the rules and officials, any talking points were wisely dismissed to the bar instead of interrupting either game’s momentum.

League leaders ACC, who were surprise last ball losers last week, faced off against KCC in the afternoon clash, with the latter fresh off a hard-fought victory against the Patong Penguins the previous week.

After winning the toss and electing to bat first, the highly regarded ACC opening bowling pair of Ashan Fonseka and Jagsir Brar took on the experienced opening KCC pair of Zahoor Ahmad (18) and Mohammed Arif (17).

While Fonseka bowled fast and accurately from one end, Brar struggled to control a prodigious amount of swing with the pink ball from the other until one of his hooping inswingers cleaned up Ahmad in the 5th over with the score at 30-1.

KCC struggled to increase the tempo of the innings from that point on although Captain Imtiyaz Mushtaq (42) and the left-handed Hashim Ahmad (32) offered resistance and threated to give significant impetus to the innings.

No other batsmen however reached 5 runs as KCC battled away to post an under-par total of 146/9 in the first innings. Fonseka was the stand out ACC bowler with the very economical figures of 1/17 from his 4 overs.

Chasing 147 to win, Fonseka came out with Rishi Sadarangani (1) and wasted little of the remaining afternoon sunlight as he blasted a six off the final ball of the innings to finish at 98 not out from just 46 balls, with 16 fours and 4 sixes in an innings which saw players at times having to avoid the ball as it scorched across the firm ACG outfield at unprecedented speed.

Manish Sadarangani (42) had provided ideal strike rotation with Fonseka during a 114-run partnership for the 2nd wicket before Gourav Kumar (0 not out) was denied a certain run as Fonseka surged towards what was very nearly a remarkable century.

ACC completed the 8-wicket win with 7.2 overs to spare and cemented their place at the top of the table while proving that they really are a force to be reckoned with in this tournament.

Colourful innings’

Earlier in the day it was the return fixture of the Patong derby, with Warriors hoping to overturn Penguins only win in the competition so far.

Open Kitchen Laguna

Penguins skipper, Curt Livermore opted to let Warriors set the pace after winning the toss, prompting his counterpart, Ahsan Ali and opening partner Ahmad Mughal to hammer home the advantage of several dropped catches and as many teasing opportunities that narrowly evaded Penguins fielders.

It took until the 12th over for a Penguin breakthrough, when Andrew McMillan clean bowled Mughal (63) with the score on 125.

A colorful captain’s innings from Ali (53 not out) helped Warriors stay within sight of their 10 per over run-rate, eventually posting 199 for 5 after 20 overs, while a humble 3 for 21 off 3 from Michael Flowers stood out from an otherwise mediocre Penguins bowling display.

The inning’s turnaround invited to the crease Simon Wetherell and Mike Atkinson to attack the total, and an errant opening over from Saif Muhammad seemed to have put Penguins immediately into the driving seat before Wetherell holed out to Raja Shakiel on the bowler’s 10th delivery.

Thumbing his nose to injury, Anthony Van Blerk bravely cameoed with 12 from 12, before Craig Morgan’s introduction caused frenzied fielding changes amongst the many Warriors decision makers, with Penguins total on 58.

A 60-run partnership between Atkinson and Morgan boosted Penguins to 118 in the 12th over – just a foreshadowing 7 runs adrift from Warriors total at the same inning’s juncture - when Atkinson (62) was run out by a stump-menacing throw from Mughal.

Still 7 runs shy of the Warriors by the 16th over, Penguins looked to push their wickets-in-hand advantage only to have Morgan (52) caught on the boundary by Saif off Yasir’s bowling.

A snappy 15 off 11 from Livermore ended with a caught and bowled by Saif, bringing McMillan and Flowers together, targeting 25 off 11 for victory.

Unable to punch through that ominous 7-run deficit, the Penguins pair ended their team’s innings on 192-5 to rapturous celebrations from the Warriors. Bowling honours went to Saif for his 2 for 23 off 3, while Mughal claimed the player of the match award.

The action continues at the ACG on Sunday (Feb 26) as the Warriors take on KCC at 10:30am and the Penguins face ACC at 1:30pm. For more information please visit the ACG Facebook page.

- Additional reporting by Michael Flowers

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