A thoroughly devastating 122 not out from Man-of-the-Match, Matthew Kohler batting with fellow opener, Sameer Khan (44 not out) put Patong Blues in the ascendancy before rain interrupted play and Patong subsequently deciding to declare on 194 without loss in the 16th over.
Kohler’s dramatic innings included 10 sixes and seven fours, with one monstrous strike that sailed out of the ground and crashed through a local resident’s roof, unfortunately just before the rains began. Thankfully, Modern Zen Architecture were on hand and soon had the damage repaired.
Khan’s innings was considerably more sedate, and realising his partner was in form, opted to keep Kohler on strike with clever, but less adventurous scoring shots to a very open outfield and a Panther’s fielding plan preferring to sacrifice single runs in the hope that one of Kohler’s boundary-bound efforts would fall short of its distant mark.
While this tactic has merit, bowlers must rely on the ability of fielders to take catching opportunities, and with Kohler dropped on the very first ball he faced and again later in the sixth over just before reaching his half-century, Panthers will look back in dismay at what should have been a more competitive showing in their first game. Pick of the bowlers for the Panthers was Sarvesh Kandolkar restricting the score off his spell to 19 from three overs.
Indeed, whether it was the demoralising boundary pounding performance from Kohler, or Patong Blues’ solid bowling response to the Panther’s need for an urgent start to their batting innings – it was soon evident that Patong’s total would not be challenged.
Having their total overs reduced to 17 due to the rain delay certainly didn’t help the Goan’s chase, and after only four overs and an upper order collapse, the Panthers had clawed their way to a score of 25, but were staring down the barrel of defeat following four early dismissals. Best of Patong’s bowling were Ryan Kohler, Saju Abraham and Andrew McMillan each with a brace of wickets, while McMillan as wicket-keeper also added two caught behind to his fielding statistics.
A brief but all too late wag from the Panther’s tail pushed their total to 75 before their last wicket fell, giving Patong Blues an emphatic 119-run victory in this first match of a new and exciting playing format.
Next Sunday (May 6), the ACG again hosts the Goa Panthers who will be hoping to recover points when they clash with bitter Patong Blues’ rivals and recent Thalang International 7s Cup runners up, Patong Whites – this game scheduled to start at 10am.
The ACG management openly invite all with an interest to watch live cricket or to enjoy comprehensive TV sports programming, to visit and experience the Clubhouse atmosphere, with plenty of safe and secure space for youngsters.
The Thalang Tigers Youth Cricket Academy continues every Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 4.30pm to 6.30pm – all are welcome.
Places are still available for individual players in the C&C Marine ‘8 by 20’ league. If interested, please contact us via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Text by Neil Quail