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Leopards' forfeit gives spots to rivals

Leopards' forfeit gives spots to rivals

PHUKET: Phuket Leopards were forced to forfeit their match in the Island Furniture Cricket League (IFL) on Sunday (April 22) due to a lack of players, gifting Island Cricket Club (ICC) the full seven points.


By Dane Halpin

Friday 27 April 2012, 04:05PM


The Village's Martin Foster.

The Village's Martin Foster.

But more importantly, with only one game remaining in the regular IFL season, it means the spots for the finals race have all but been decided.

No matter what the result is this weekend between TNT and Laguna, it will be The Village and Laguna contending for top honours come finals week, while ICC and Patong will duke it out for third and fourth.

Laguna will go into the match as slight favourites following their comprehensive win when the two sides met earlier in the season. In that match, Laguna posted 5-202 before ripping through The Village batting lineup for just 62 runs.

On paper, the Laguna lineup looks strong with Andrew Cole, the competition’s leading batsmen, at number three. He had a good knock against The Village in their previous match, scoring an unbeaten 84, and his last innings against Liquid Lounge Lizards yielded 61.

Stuart Reading has also been in good form with the bat recently, blasting 60 off 33 in his last innings against Liquid Lounge Lizards, and will add some firepower to the Laguna middle order.

SPARTAN INTERNATIONAL

Cole is the only Laguna batsman inside the top ten though in the IFL batting rankings, and The Village look to have slightly more depth with Divan Mydeen, Martin Foster and Justin White all among the season’s top ten batsmen.

Foster will be the main man to watch for The Village - he’s number one in the bowling and number six in the batting stakes.

Laguna are well represented in the bowling stocks, with Sameer Khan and Val Guirard both in the top ten for the season, at second and seventh respectively, but The Village also boast number one bowler Martin Foster and number five Tom Gordon, which should make for an even battle.

Of course, form will mean little come finals day, and the only thing that is certain is that after an unexpectedly close season, this is expected to be a very close affair.

Patong play ICC in the 3rd/4th playoff on May 6, while the final between The Village and Laguna will be played on May 13.

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