The home side ultimately emerged victorious by a 2-1 margin after securing a series victory over the first two games before the visitors hit back with a convincing win on the final day.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, BHC captain Tim Underwood had high hopes his side could put up a decent total in Friday’s (Nov 4) 25-over clash. It would be the bowling side however who would come out well on top after claiming the first 8 wickets for just 58 runs with only one BHC batter having made double figures by the 15th over drinks break.
Post-drinks Tom Fisher (23*) produced a handy counter-attack which included a pair of sixes before the PCG XI wrapped up the innings in the 17th over.
Any illusions on behalf of the home side that requiring just 80 runs to win was an easy task were quickly quashed with an excellent bowling display that saw just 11 runs on the board after 5 overs.
A 39 run partnership between Michael Rhys-Thomas (13) and captain Curt Livermore (31*) steadied the ship somewhat over the next 10 overs before the former was removed in the over immediately following the drinks break.
This then sparked a middle order collapse as a further 3 wickets fell for just 18 runs over before Oliver Fitch (9*) hit the winning runs with 2 overs to spare, securing a nervy 4-wicket victory for his side.
With certain players feeling a little worse for wear the following morning, PCG XI vice-skipper Anthony Van Blerk stepped up and won the toss, electing to bat first in another 25-over encounter.
This time PCG had a much improved start as Manish (16) and Simon Wetherell (32) put together a solid opening stand of 61 before the latter was bowled in the 9th over. This sparked yet another collapse as a further 4 wickets fell for the addition of a mere 20 runs over the next 8 overs.
With the score reading 81-5 after 16 overs, Fitch (44*) picked up where he left off the previous day combing with Abu Bakar Siddique (26*) as the pair put on an impressive 70-run partnership to post 151-5 within their allotted 25 overs.
Chasing 152 to win, Fisher proved destructive once again early with a briskly made 37 before he and fellow opener Ric Corbett (11) were both run out by the completion of the 9th over with the score reading 60-2.
As the PCG XI upped the ante they managed to turn the game in their favour as they continued to pick up wickets readily, reducing the batting side to 97-8 in the 18th over. However, a defiant knock from Freddie Travers (42) ensured a tight finish as the game looked to be heading into the final over. Unfortunately the visitors would fall just 13 runs short as Travers, looking to go big, was bowled in the penultimate over, Raja Shakeel picking up the match clinching wicket.
Looking to avoid a whitewash
After succumbing to a series defeat, the BHC were looking to finish strongly in Sunday’s T20, whilst the home side looked to complete a series whitewash.
BHC skipper Underwood won’t have been too disappointed in losing the toss and fielding first having bowed exceptionally well all weekend. That form would continue in the final match as an excellent bowling performance had the home side skittled out for just 57 inside 13 overs, Mayur Deuskar (13) the only batter to reach double figures in an otherwise shambolic batting display.
The PCG XI then took to the field for the final time knowing a minor miracle was required to claim a 3-0 series win.
Jagsir Brar soon brought his dejected side back to life, however, picking up 2 wickets in a hostile opening over, conceding just 2 runs. A run out ensued before Brar picked up his 3rd wicket to leave the BHC in serious trouble on 8-4 after 3 overs. With the home side now believing they could snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, solid knocks from Corbett (19) and Hobbs (16) respectively soon killed the fielding sides momentum. The 12th over first saw a comical hit wicket moment much to everyone’s delight, before the visitors finished on a high with a 3-wicket win.
The post match presentations followed where the PCG XI awarded Adrian Ashman their bowler of the series for returns of 4-12 from 7 overs over the 3 games whilst Freddie Travers was selected best batter after a near match winning 42 from 36 in the second game. Other performances of note included Patrick Eastwood’s returns of 4-20 from 8 overs as well as Tim Underwoods 4-51 from 13 overs.
Tom Fisher picked up the Mamma Mia restaurant Man of the series award, kindly presented by owner Seemant Raju for his combined efforts of 60 runs and 3 wickets over the course of the weekend.
Curt Livermore, Simon Wetherell and Jagsir Brar were the grateful recipients of a bottle of champagne each for their respective man of the match efforts from the BHC.
Phuket cricket would like to thank the British High Commission for a memorable visit over the weekend and hope to welcome them back to the ACG in the near future.
Live coverage of the T20 World Cup final between England and Pakistan can be enjoyed alongside some excellent food at Mamma Mia restaurant in Bangtao tomorrow (Nov 13). The action starts at 1:30pm.
The touring season continues today and tomorrow (Nov 12 and 13) with the Singapore Cricket Club taking on the PCG XI in a two match series. If you would like to get involved in cricket on the island feel free to get in touch with Phuket Cricket or the ACG via their respective Facebook pages.