PHUKET: The grand final of the Island Furniture League 2011-2012 season between Laguna Cricket Club (Laguna) and Village Cricket Team (Village) was held on Sunday 13 May 2012 at the Alan Cooke Ground.
The grand final of the Island Furniture League 2011-2012 season between Laguna Cricket Club (Laguna) and Village Cricket Team (Village) was held on Sunday 13 May 2012 at the Alan Cooke Ground.
After a prolonged period of monsoon rain which resulted in the previous weeks match being shortened, both teams had been praying for dry conditions so that a full match could take place. The weather gods were apparently listening as the ACG basked in early morning sunshine. Ultimately it was Laguna who raised the trophy after an impressive display with the bat, scoring 238 from their 40 overs. Meanwhile an injury hit Village could only manage 128 runs before their innings came to an end in the 30th over.
After winning the toss, Laguna elected to bat, with intentions of wearing down their opponents with a long stint in the field as well as setting a hefty target to increase the pressure on the Village when it was their turn to bat. With a dry pitch and outfield, the conditions were perfect for a competitive match. In the first over, the Village suffered a blow, losing Harvey Nolan who damaged his shoulder with a diving attempt to stop a square cut. Laguna openers Bill Stahmer (17) and Damian Clowes (12) got off to a steady start to build a platform for the rest of the innings. However, a bowling change to the slower pace of Martin Foster paid dividends for the Village when he cleaned up Clowes attempting to hit him out of the ground just before the 10 over drinks break. Batsmen of the year, Andrew Cole (44) then joined Stahmer at the crease, moving the score along to 61 before Stahmer nicked one through to the keeper in the 13th over. Sameer Khan (12) and Michael Ayling (16) also made valuable contributions and at then end of 30 overs, Laguna were 6 wickets down for 153 runs. However, an accomplished batting performance by Val Guiraud (58 not out) supported by Lijo Hose (26) combined to put on a 64 run partnership in the last session to take Laguna’s total after 40 overs to 238 runs for the loss of 7 wickets. Pick of the bowlers for Village was Martin Foster (3 for 37), while Tom Gordon, Justin White, Divan Mydeen and Martin Platts all bagged one wicket each.
After the lunch break, the Village was looking to get off to a steady start without losing early wickets. However, they suffered an early blow when opener Chris Gordon (5) was struck on the head from an outfield throw, resulting in him having to temporarily retire hurt to receive treatment. Laguna then got an early breakthrough dismissing opener Kevin Quilty (4) followed shortly thereafter by the dismissal of Martin Foster (0). However, Justin White (28) steadied the ship along with Divan Mydeen (13) while Laguna uncharacteristically dropped some easy catches to the raucous cheers from the clubhouse. Mydeen eventually fell in the 12th over with the score on 46 while Justin White followed in the 14th over. Tom Gordon (28) then turned defense into attack with a flurry of boundaries, while Chris Gordon who had returned to the crease suffered another blow, this time to the ribs, from a wayward outfield throw. Tom Gordon was eventually dismissed in the 22nd over with 99 runs on the scoreboard. While the Village was not far behind Laguna’s run rate at the same point in the innings, the scales were tipped in Laguna’s favour, with the Village 6 wickets down and another 139 runs to get. Martin Platts (10) hung in valiantly with a Geoffrey Boycott styled innings. However, when Laguna’s pace attack was re-introduced, this proved too much for the Village lower order batsmen and they were eventually cleaned up in the 30th over. Pick of the bowlers for Laguna were Sameer Khan (4 for 38) and Sami Ullah (3 for 19) with Val Guiraud and Lijo Hose picking up a wicket each.
Man of the match was Val Guiraud.
After the match, the winning trophy was presented to Laguna, while medals were given to the teams who played in the finals including Laguna (champions), Village (runner’s up), ICC (3rd place) and Patong (4th place).
Individual medals were also presented including Pao Suttiprapha (Spirit of Cricket), Neill Culpan and Andrew Cole (joint players of the season), Andrew Cole (leading batsmen), Sameer Khan (leading bowler) and umpires and scorers.
That concludes a very competitive 2012 season of the Island Furniture League.
2012 IFL Champions, Laguna, with Runners Up, The Village (photo Neill Culpan)
Spectators watching the finals action from the ACG clubhouse
Man of the match, Val Guiraud, on his way to his half century