Chanchai leads Lamphun to victory in Gymkhana Sixes

Lamphun were the winners of the Cup competition in the inaugural Gymkhana Sixes that was held at Gymkhana Club between 27th and 29th November. Lamphun just overcame Pattaya by two runs in an exciting final between two impressive teams that were so evenly matched they had tied an earlier match. The event saw 14 teams from across Thailand enjoy three days of Sixes cricket that involved 34 men’s matches as well as the ladies match and a junior match between the visiting Koh Chang kids and the Lamphun under-15s in what proved to be a thrilling festival of cricket.

The man of the match in the final and later named MVP of the tournament was Chanchai Pengkumta who is now working in Bangkok and playing for the Southerners but returned to the ground where he first made his name in grand style. Having already scored 31* from eight balls in the semi-final against Siam CC Parrots, Chanchai hit 31 retired from 13 balls as he was supported by captain Cher as Lamphun made 76 for 1 in their 5 overs.

Wes Masterton responded with 31 retired from just nine balls and Simon Weatherall hit two boundaries at the end of the fourth over to put Pattaya in the driving seat with only nine runs needed from the final over. Chanchai took the ball and was in determined mood after he had been hit for six by Luke Stokes off the final ball of the earlier tied match.

This time was different as Chanchai bowled fast and just short of a length and Stokes this time had no answer as the first two balls flew past and the third thudded into his body before he ran himself out. Bernard Lamprecht, a giant of a man, managed a single and Simon Weatherall hit a two. Six needed off the last ball and lightning couldn’t strike twice, could it?

There was drama as the sixth ball of the over was declared a no ball as it went past Weatherall’s chin and this added three runs to the total and the ball had to be rebowled. This time Chanchai was up to the task and he had bowled a wonderful final over for just six runs and Lamphun had won the Cup by two runs.

There were many consistent performers in the three-day tournament as Daniel Jacobs finished as leading run-scorer and leading wicket-taker with 124 runs and five wickets, while former first-class player Ryan Driver and Wes Masterton both hit 120 runs, but Chanchai was named MVP for his 103 runs from 34 balls and for bowling the decisive over in the Cup final.

All 14 men’s teams involved in the tournament played three group matches over the first two days before teams were divided into four competitions on the last day depending on their positions in the table and the Spoon Final was played between teams who finished in 13th and 14th places.

Our visitors from Koh Chang have lit up the tournament with the excitement and enjoyment that they showed for every minute of their stay in Chiang Mai. They had a playing squad of four adults and 14 juniors and a multitude of supporters so it was a fantastic finale to the Spoon Final that the match against Rugby School Cobras was declared a tie even though the teachers from Bangkok could have claimed victory on wickets lost. All the Koh Chang adults sat out the match and it was left to young Guy to make an unbeaten 21 to show them how to bat. Lamphun Girls beat Chiang Mai Chassies by nine runs in an eight aside ladies match in which all players had a chance to bat and bowl.

The Shield Final came next which was a competition for the teams placed 5th to 8th in the table and Bangtao from Phuket and the Rugby School Vipers had won their semi-finals to meet in the final. Manish hit 32 from 16 balls as he joined up with his former team mates but Steve Dunn retired on 31 and Ryan Driver (29*) hit a six to win the match in true Sixes style. In the third-place play-off Shrewsbury School beat Floggers & Robbers who supported the event in full force.

Players from the other teams and some excited spectators then watched on as the Cup final between Lamphun and Pattaya took place with the British Club overcoming Siam CC Parrots to finish in third place.

The last pair of matches came in the Bowl which was contested between teams which finished in 9th to 12th places. The local youngsters of CMSCA beat Lord of the Beers from Pattaya to win the third-place play-off but the local adults from Lanna were beaten in the Bowl final by the Bell Ringers as Michael Flowers and Paddy Ledeboer made sure the bells rang out in Bangtao with an unbroken partnership of 62.

The presentation was held in darkness but the smiles of the Lamphun boys could be clearly seen to bring the inaugural Gymkhana Sixes to a close in the most perfect fashion. Simon Philbrook of Pattaya CC who has watched these young cricketers develop over the course of his many trips north was extremely generous in his praise afterwards:

‘The Lamphun boys are a shining example of what is possible, They are a credit to themselves and to cricket. Heartfelt congratulations from PCC and we all look forward to meeting up again soon’.

The Gymkhana Sixes were supported by Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes, Asian Cricket Sixes Tour (ACST) and Chiang Mai Gymkhana Sports Club and teams also enjoyed the social events held under the famous tree at Gymkhana Club and at UN Irish Pub. Thank you to all who supported the event and visited the local bars who welcomed the influx of visitors from across Thailand.