Phuket headed into the first game looking to continue their impressive recent form and would do just that with a solid 3-wicket victory before SCC, buoyed by strong reinforcements hit back with a 34-run win to deny the home side another series win.
After winning the toss on a scorching Saturday morning (Nov 12), outgoing SCC skipper Rohit elected to make use of the conditions in batting first.
The heat would instead be felt by the batting side, however, as Jagsir Brar, who has quickly cemented himself as Phuket’s premium quick bowler produced another devastating spell of 3-14 in his 6 overs whilst Oliver Fitch backed up nicely with 2 wickets which included a ball England’s Jimmy Anderson would be proud of.
The visitors would have been in serious trouble if not for a brilliantly measured knock from Adjitya (53) who was one of only two batters to make double figures as SCC posted a respectable 140/9 from their allotted 30 overs.
A shocking 49 extras (which included a mammoth 42 wides) somewhat stained an otherwise excellent bowling effort from the PCG, much to the disgust of captain and stand-in wicket-keeper Curt Livermore. Nevertheless, the home side will have been happy enough at the half way stage confident in chasing down the 141-run target.
Following the lunch break, openers Joe Ninan (19) and Rishi (17) combined for a 25-run opening stand before the former was adjudged LBW.
Livermore’s (2) only contribution was to barbecue the unfortunate Rishi who was looking in good touch before he too was given out LBW the very next ball.
The visitors will have felt well in the game before the reliable Manish (51) stepped up with a perfectly measured half-century to all but lock up the game before the PCG lower order finished the job to take a 1-0 lead after the opening day.
The following morning saw the same tactics employed by SCC after winning toss, electing to bat first on another brutally hot day. Much like the previous morning, the first innings followed an almost identical pattern as Brar continued his ruthless streak, this time claiming 4 wickets from his 6 overs.
Lenny Leerdam proved tricky to deal with as the left-arm operator claimed figures of 3-32 on an excellent PCG debut as the visitors posted a slightly improved 149 all-out from 29 overs. Once again, ill-discipline with the bowling added an unnecessary 35 extras to the total although the PCG will have still felt confident in wrapping up the series 2-0 as the players headed in for lunch.
Following the break opener Simon Wetherell (52) wasted little time in getting on with things crashing a straight 6 in just the second over. A well-executed maiden over from SCC opening bowler Vikas kept Livermore (3) quiet at the other end before cleaning up the PCG captain in the 5th over. As wickets began to fall around him, Wetherell maintained his early tempo and by the 15th over had brought up his half-century.
Post drinks break saw Phuket quickly lose Hamilton (6) and Rhys-Thomas (0) before Wetherell, who struggled to see much of the strike, was caught in the 20th over leaving the PCG behind in the game at 84/5.
Unfortunately for the hosts, their chances of another victory quickly slipped away as Anthony Van Blerk (19) would be the only remaining batter to provide a significant contribution as an excellent spell from Duncan ripped through the PCG tail as his side claimed a 34-run win inside 29 overs.
Post-match presentations saw Duncan pick up a well-deserved man of the match award for his spell of 2-12 from 5 overs (no wides) as well as his 30 runs with the bat.
Wetherell received the man of the match award from the visitors for his run-a-ball 52 in a losing cause before both sides sat down to enjoy the T20 world cup final.
Aditya received man of the match for his efforts of 3-39 and 53 runs scored in the first game. For Phuket Brar impressed all weekend with figures of 7-49 over both games whilst Manish’s match clinching half century on the opening day was the other performance of note.
Phuket Cricket would like to thank Singapore Cricket Club for a memorable weekend and hope to welcome them back to the ACG in the near future.
Another quick turnaround follows before regulars and good friends British Club Bangkok arrive this weekend (Nov 19-20) for their annual double-header against domestic sides Patong Penguins and The Village Cricket Club.