(by Peter Goodchap)
Well another Chiang Mai sixes has been and gone, with Southerners making an impact on and off the field, but the main facet of this tournament is to have fun and drink plenty of alcohol.
The touring group this year consisted of Peter Goodchap, David Metcalfe, Toby Metcalfe, James Mathews, Rod Stenburg, Saurabh Dhanuka, Swapnil Kaushik and guest player Justin Karcher.
The tournament started with a good win against sixes first timers SA PC, a mixed group with links from Vietnam. In this match with James Mathews bowling we provided some entertainment to the spectators by fielding with 4 slips, luckily the ball was a wide so nobody had to chase. We had an easy victory over them, and then came up against Gloucestershire Gypsies who absolutely smashed us. That put us into the Shield group, the 2nd level, so we were content with that. In the Shield we lost our first game, then we came up against the Shanghai Dragons. This match was close and hard fought, and we put 90 runs of the board. Shanghai made a good effort of the chase, and in the last over they required 12 runs to win. Due to some uncertainty by the umpires they checked with the scorers to see if the runs were correct, all confirmed. I bowled two shit balls, got hit for 2 fours, then they took a single and required 3 runs of 3 balls. The next 3 balls were all dot balls and we were celebrating wildly.
One hour after the match we were informed that the scorers had actually made a mistake and had not counted 2 wides bowled in an earlier over, and therefore Shanghai Dragons won the match. Needless to say we were not happy, but hey, that’s cricket for you. We then won our last match, and then sat on the sidelines while we watched Shanghai Dragons take out the Shield final.
All in all it was a very enjoyable tournament, with much congratulations going to the organizing committee for getting the field ready for play, after the two floods had completely ruined the grass and the complete golf course was in ruins.
Off the field was where more success was tasted, in the way of plenty of Guiness and Heinekens. The team all got stuck into the local brews and made fools of themselves at every opportunity. This showed clearly in the fact that most of the team showed up about 5 minutes prior to the start of the matches for almost every match, good work boys.
We must thank Justin Karcher for playing with us, as he was only up there for 3 days to discuss business opportunites and beckoned our call to play when we were short on the first day. He handled himself admirably and showed great Southerners spirit when it came to evening activities.
Dave, Tobes, James and Rod all put in great performances, with the old boy Tobes showing once again that experience is the key in this game….. Saurabh played great, ending with 1 wicket, 78 runs, 2 x 6’s and 1 retirement. Swapnil hit 42 runs in 2 innings, with 4 x 6’s and 1 retirement, while I had fun taking 2 wickets, hit 8 x 6’s in 109 runs and retired 3 times.
Next year is the 20th Anniversary of the Chiang Mai Sixes, and it looks to be the biggest and best yet, so please book in April 1st to 8th next year and be a part of this fantastic tournament.