At long last the Chiang Mai Senior League returned after a gap of four years as five teams, Lanna, CMCC, UCC, Lamphun and CPP will play a round robin league with semi-finals and final to decide the 2023/24 champions of local cricket.
Lanna looked to be in charge of the match despite a solid 18 from Eddie and 16 from Sumon guesting from UCC. 62 for 3 soon became 85 for 9 as two remarkable direct hit run outs crowned Lanna’s best fielding display of the season and Burhan finished with excellent figures of 3 for 13.
But Lanna could not get the last wicket without a struggle as Asif Noor with 28 not out and Shafi 26 added 41 for the last wicket to take the total to 126 before the last wicket fell. Worse was the injury to Duan who was hit on the nose when attempting a catch to suffer a trip to hospital and a fracture. He returned to the ground but then was collected to go straight home.
Without Luke Stokes Elliot was promoted to open and was solid as a rock and Coombesy was good as new on his return from a hip operation. Nick Janes also made a welcome return and looked good for his 11 after not playing at all in Australia and Elliot and Nev shared a good partnership to take the score to 86 for 3 before two wickets fell in two balls.
Elliot was run out for 18 and Nev skied to long on to fall for 24 and Richard Cowles soon followed without scoring. It was 98 for 7 when Burhan was bowled for 6 and a low target was now looking tricky. Ton stayed long enough to add 18 with Richie George and then it was down to captain Hugh Williams with a dodgy calf to see Lanna home alongside Richie.
Just six runs were needed after the first ball of the 34th over with a number of wides being bowled and Richie able to hit boundaries when Hugh pushed the ball to mid-wicket and Richie set off for a suicidal single. The ninth wicket fell on 121 with 10 balls left unused with no number 11 to bat.
Shafi had turned the match when he batted at number 11, took a wicket and claimed the match-winning run out as CMCC won an exciting match by five runs to win the first match of the new league season. With four teams out of five reaching the semi-finals there is still plenty to play for.