Cricket time

April 15, 2011 - Patong, Phuket, Thailand

The last morning in Patong started when my wife sent me a message to remind me that my article for Sportsbeat was due, which I had completely forgotten about. We had some breakfast in the morning, the others choosing the buffet breakfast (which we got for free, despite not being included in our room price!), while I had more sticky rice with mango. The others then went off to the markets to do a spot of shopping, while I sat down and tried to write an article about division seven football from a Thai hotel! I’d been wrestling with this stupid pre-paid internet card I bought for days, but I finally gave up on it and purchased internet from the hotel. My article wasn’t the best, but I got it in and my editor was impressed that I managed to submit it from Thailand!

 

It was then time for the beach cricket tournament on Karon Beach. We donned our bright orange uniforms and jumped on our scooters. We couldn’t find the beach cricket, so we decided we needed to turn around and head back, so we did a u-turn on our scooters, but Alana didn’t quite get it right and fell off. It was a horrible moment and she did well to fight back the tears, but she lost some skin from her knee. It could have been a lot worse, but it still rattled her a bit.

 

She jumped back on and we slowly made our way back along the beach, before we found where we were supposed to be. By this stage we’d noticed that it was incredibly hot, even by Thailand standards. We were the first ones there, so we decided to go for a walk along the beach, but the sand was far too hot to walk on. We weren’t really sure how we were going to manage to run on the sand for the cricket. The other teams started rolling in, then finally the rest of the Cockatoos turned up.

 

We grabbed some sun-beds as a team, but even under the shade of the umbrellas were doing nothing to take the edge off the heat. The humidity kicked in as well, making it one of the worst days I remember in Thailand, weather wise at least. At least the free beers started, so we knocked a few of those back in an attempt to rehydrate – we are a very sun-smart team!

 

As seems to always be the case, we were up first, and somehow I was nominated to be captain. I’m not sure if there was a toss of the coin, but I was informed that we would be bowling! We were playing a team of old men, somehow known as the St. George Juniors.

 

The side consisted of Rah-Rah (Sarah), Big Dyl (Dylan), Durian (Julian), Alby (Sonya), Jiminy (Blythe) and myself. You are supposed to bowl very full, so the batsman has a chance, as once it hits the sand there is absolutely no bounce. We bowled by the rules and kept them to just 11 runs, picking up a couple of wickets. I managed to grab two wickets with last two balls of the innings to be on a hat-trick.

 

Big Dyl and I opened up the batting, taking 5 off the first over (all overs are only 3 balls). The Asian Cricket Sixes Tour (ACST) have introduced the Powerplay concept to the beach cricket this year, with the batting side nominating one over for double runs. Dylan and I took the Powerplay for the second over, but Dylan got out to a good catch first ball, and we managed just one run off the Powerplay over, being doubled to 2, taking our score to 7 from 2 overs. I got out, then Jules come out and got caught first ball, and we started to battle. The guys tried hard, but we ended up on 11 after our 5 overs and the scores were level, however we lost as we lost more wickets.

 

It was so hot out there that we were all absolutely stuff. We even had to bat in thongs, because you simply couldn’t run on the sand due to the heat.

 

We collapsed into our sun-beds and had a few medicinal San Miguel Lights and tried to recover.

 

Once we had some energy, some of us went into the ocean for a swim. While we were out there, a jet-ski operator was trying to convince us to pay for a ride on his jet-ski. Trina was interested, and agreed a price with him, but then had changed his mind and Trina let him have a fierce spray! He refused to drop his price, but instead offered her a shorter ride for the same price.

 

Trina decided to have a go on the jet-ski, paid the guy her money and set off. She’d gone about half a kilometre out and then she wiped out. We were all still watching, and she had to swim back to the jet-ski and climb back on, but it wasn’t an easy task. By the time she managed to get on, her time was up and she had to ride it straight back in. She even managed to lose her Oakley’s when she fell off.

 

It was then time for our second game, I won the toss and decided that we’d have a bat. Sonya was replaced by Treena (Trina) in the starting line up. Dylan and Jules opened up, and Dylan was in no mood to lose another game. Jules chipped in with a few, but Dylan went nuts, making 30 (remember the whole innings is only 15 balls long!) and making the fielding team chase a lot of tennis ball. We finished with 42, the highest score of the day. The real highlight was the partnership between Dylan and Blythe, that ended with Blythe retiring so she could throw up – a mixture of the half a beer she’d drunk and some exhaustion. Another highlight was Dylan making Trina run, despite Trina’s protests!

 

Our bowling was tight, and the game was never really in doubt. We picked up a few wickets, and I even managed to get one with my first ball to complete my hat-trick. Our win was comprehensive, and gave us a chance of progressing to the semi finals, but we’d have to wait and see how the other results panned out.

 

So, it was back onto the sun-beds and rehydrating with some amber fluid for the team. While we were relaxing we drafted Sol into the team, as Blythe decided she was out and Trina and Sonya preferred to relax.

 

Karen had a few drinks too many, and kicked sand in Nic’s face, which gave us another laugh, though Nic was understandably quite annoyed.

 

The other matches were completed and we had qualified for the semi-finals, our opponents were the St. George Juniors, the team that we’d tied with but lost on wickets against in the first round.

 

I won the toss and decided that we’d have a bat, knowing that we could keep them to a low score. Our semi-final innings was almost identical to our first match, no one really making any runs and we only ended up with 12 runs. Still, if we bowled very well we knew we were a chance.

 

Our bowling was superb, and when they took the Powerplay, Sarah bowled a fantastic over – a wicket maiden. We ended up keeping them to just 9 runs and we were through to the grand final for the third year in a row.

 

 

 

In the grand final we were pitted against St. George Seniors. We batted first and worked hard to get the score along to 32, with Sol and Dylan putting on a good opening stand.

 

Sadly, it wasn’t nearly enough, they took the Powerplay against Sarah and she couldn’t repeat her semi final heroics and it was the third year in a row that we’d finished runners up of the beach cricket.

 

We were exhausted, wet and covered in sand, so it was time to get back on our scooters and carefully head home to the hotel, with Dylan and I taking extra care as we’d had a couple of beers.

 

We were just heading out of Karon beach on the scooters when the inevitable happened – police road block! Luckily, all the wanted to see were our International Drivers Licences, which we all had on us, so we quickly on our way again. It was incredibly scary though, a few beers (though I would say under the legal limit) in you and in a foreign country, answering to a policeman! The fine for not having that licence on you is over $300 Australian!

 

As we got close to Patong, we hit a traffic jam. Having scooters enabled us cut down the inside of all the cars, and we then found out that there was a Songkran parade. We had no choice but to ride along as part of it, getting rather wet in the process. It was quite an experience though.

 

We finally made it back to our hotels, got showered and changed, grabbed a tuk tuk and headed back to Karon for Mark’s 50th birthday dinner at the Green Chilli.

 

The food wasn’t bad, and we’d given Sol a bottle of Jaegermeister for organising the IPL tickets, so he ordered red bulls and we all did Jaeger bombs. It was then off to O’Tools Irish Pub for more drinks, where we all got quite happy. The end result was that 7 of the 13 Cockatoos vomited – not a bad strike rate, though I’m happy to report that my group of 4 were definitely amongst the most sensible and nowhere near vomiting stage.

 

We caught taxis back to our hotel (better than a tuk tuk, as you can’t get wet in them!), and crashed into bed for some well deserved shut eye.

 

The next morning Dylan went off to breakfast without any of us, because we were all asleep he said. When I asked him how he knew this, he said he just assume! My mission on this trip now is to teach Dylan that assumption is the mother of all evils.

 

Jules and Alana also went off to breakfast without me, they had a good excuse though, as they’d left O’Tools earlier and assumed we’d have had a big night and need lots of sleep. So, for the third morning in a row, I ate leftover sticky rice with mango!

 

It was then time to check out, we settled our accounts, and contacted the other Cockatoos about going go karting. They were keen, but wouldn’t leave until 2pm, so we spent some time in the pool with Mr Tee, before trying to find somewhere very close for lunch so we wouldn’t get soaked in the Songkran madness.

 

There was a Bavarian Cafe next door that had what sounded like very authentic German food, so I was pretty keen, but of course it was closed. Everything was closed near us! We did find one Danish restaurant, so we gave that a go. Dylan and I had Wiener Schnitzel while Jules and Alana had hot dogs, but we all enjoyed it!

 

Rah Rah rang us from Karon and told us that the go kart tracks were closed for Songkran, so that was that idea gone. We had moved our transfer back until 7:30pm, and it was only one o’clock, so we had a lot of time to kill. I rang the company that organised the transfers and asked to bring it forward, but the best they could do was move it to 4. As it was Songkran, shopping was out, so we just hit the pool for a few hours.

 

Four o’clock rolled around and we sat out the front of our hotel and waited for our transfer. It was half an hour late, but finally we were in a mini bus bound for Karon. The Songkran madness was well and truly pumping, and we could barely get above walking pace, but it was good fun watching the Thai’s and the foreigners go nuts with water guns, buckets, hoses and anything they could get their hands on to throw water. It took almost an hour to make it to Karon, a very slow journey indeed.

 

We checked into our hotel, headed to our rooms and Dylan and I found that they’d left us flowers everywhere, and elephants and cows made out of towels on our bed, yet for some reason Julian and Alana didn’t get that! We were also told at reception that there was a special deal for us, we could bring ‘guests’ into our room for just 800 baht, instead of the usual 2000 baht.

 

We relaxed for a while in our room, then we joined up with the group to head to Karon Sea Sands for the captains meeting. We were given free beer and a little bit of food at the meeting, so although the content of the meeting was all about rules and the like, we still had a pretty good time.

 

After the captains meeting we headed back to the hotel, and we had a few drinks in the Thamm’s room, including some of the coffee vodka we’d bought in Malaysia. Then it was time to call it a night.

 

We were up bright and early the next morning, as it was the first day of the cricket and we were scheduled for the opening match for the third year in a row.

 

This year the two teams each got a different name, we are playing as the Cockatoos and the other side as the Custom. Rolts lost the toss and the opposition sent us into the field. We didn’t bowl as well as we could, my over costing 19 runs and a few others going for a few, and our opponents, the Singapore Slingers, posted a total of 79, quite a large score indeed.

 

Our run chase wasn’t any better than our bowling, our top order posted scores of 0, 1, 0 and 1! The ducks went to Rah Rah and Rolts, while Trina and myself both got 1. Mark and Rachel put on a decent partnership but we were bowled out for 30. Quite an embarrassing start really.

 

Next it was time for the Custom to take the field. Sonya opened the bowling, and took 2 for 9 off her first over, what a way to start your Sixes career! Wickets continued to tumble, and the Custom had the CBB Postels in trouble at 4 for 20, but they responded strongly and posted a tricky total of 65. They even complained to the umpires that Dylan was bowling too many bouncers...dry your eyes mate!

 

Jules and Tammy opened up, and got off to a reasonable start, but both fell in quick succession. Sonya and Dylan put on a few runs, but they ran out of time and the Custom were only on 50.

 

The Custom had another game in the afternoon, so we all went back to the hotel for a quick dip before the next game. It was nice in the pool, but before we knew it, it was time to head back to the cricket.

 

The Custom were taking on the Falcon C.C., and after losing the toss they were sent into the field. After 3 overs, Falcon C.C had moved along to 32, but managed to take 33 off the next 2 overs, which were bowled by Dylan and Karen, though most runs came through edges. They finished with 65, which would be a tricky score to chase.

 

Blythe and Nic opened up and batted really well. They ended up batting for the whole 5 overs, scoring a respectable 54 runs, but unfortunately falling short.

 

 


Pictures

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