Written by Michael Flowers
It was the first win for a Phuket cricket side over the skillful tourists after the PCG Members badly underestimated them in June and the Phuket Misfits failed to pick up the final few Academy wickets on Saturday (August 17).
After winning the toss and electing to bat first in the 25 Over Match, Patong struggled against the swinging new ball losing their first three wickets within just 15 balls.
The talented left-hander Morgan batting at #4 suddenly found himself out in the middle with 13-year old Patong debutant Eddie Chataway in the 3rd Over. The young pair, with a combined age considerably lower than many individuals in the team, dragged Patong out of the mire lifting them from 8-3 to 69-4. Chataway (10) was eventually run out in the 12th over, a most important contribution as Morgan began to plunder the Academy bowling at the other end as the ball slowly lost its shine.
Following Chataway’s departure, Patong’s final six batsmen managed to score just 22 runs between them. They did however successfully rotate the strike to Morgan who amassed an incredible 128 runs which included 10 fours and 8 sixes. It was Morgan’s first century on the ground but came as no surprise to local onlookers as the golden boy of Athena Siam Co. Ltd., (official sponsor of the Phuket Cricket Group) continued his outrageously dominant form at the ground.
Patong’s total of 196/9 from the 25 Overs was 40-50 runs in excess of what Patong considered a par score and proved too much for the tourists as they were always chasing the game losing wickets with frequency.
The Pakistani side showed a lot of grit in the end however with Faheem scoring a resilient, unbeaten half-century to lift the Academy to 170/9 after 25 Overs.
Despite the 26-run defeat, the tourists will no doubt leave Phuket feeling they still hold the upper-hand over Phuket’s local sides.
On the previous day, the Misfits won the toss and posted a mediocre total of 141 All Out in a T30 clash with the Academy.
Their eventual total looked an unlikely one when Misfits captain Mudasir Rehman (0) mistimed a pull-shot to square-leg to leave his team floundering at 52-7.
The experienced #4 Stuart Hamilton (69) had withstood the early onslaught and in combination with Maliq Iqbal (28) lifted the Misfits to the 141 total (which incidentally included 5 ducks) with an intelligent mix of attack and defense.
The Misfits then managed to get themselves right into the thick of the game taking regular wickets to have the Academy at 91-7. Asif Butt (39*) and Sadam (28*) however kept their composure as they guided the tourists to what was eventually a fairly comfortable 3-wicket victory with nine balls to spare.
The Pakistan Academy players all seemed to enjoy the weekend and have expressed interest in joining an upcoming Phuket league with further discussion and planning in the weeks and months to come.
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