Bowlers on both sides enjoyed the switch from artificial to turf as Lanna’s first match this season at the David Buck Oval was wrapped up in exactly half the allocated overs.
After six weeks of thrashing leather around Gymkhana Club at eight or ten runs an over, Chiang Mai’s batters came swiftly down to earth on Christmas Eve. Twenty wickets fell without a single outfield catch as Lanna bowled out University CC for just 36 to win by 62 runs.
The Prem pitch didn’t have too many demons but a bit of low bounce and seam movement was enough to punish the cross-bat play that had been so productive on the artificial surface at Gymkhana. The in-form Luke Stokes got a start before one snuck under his bat. Richie George, Insha and Burhan all made valuable contributions before missing straight balls as it became clear that attack was not necessarily the best option.
After Zeeshan fell early to fired-up captain Hugh Williams, and a sharp run out from Insha, Lanna firmly believed their 98 was defendable. Elliot Lodge found some outswing and began targeting middle and leg stumps with a series of full balls that the University boys could not handle. Elliot’s 5 for 8 was Lanna’s first honours board bowling performance of the season and it was well deserved.
When last week’s centurion Ali played across a fast straight one from Ismail, University was eight down inside ten overs and there was a slight panic as to whether the beer would be cold enough. Luckily captain Hugh had taken care of it in anticipation of the early finish – in his mind the result was never in doubt.