After the success of the inaugural Lanna Sixes last year it was intended to play a bigger and better version in 2015. The late withdrawal of various teams did not allow this but in typical Thai style a streamlined one-day eight-aside event was arranged in its place. Four local teams took part and everybody had an enjoyable day but it was Lamphun who came out on top as Bunchuai had another outstanding day.
The format of the Lanna Eights allowed two extra players to be involved in every match and a lot more tactical skill was required from the captains as two bowlers could bowl two overs apiece in a series of 7-over aside matches.
It was a four-team round robin event with: Lanna, Lanna Thais, Lamphun and CMCC taking part so all four teams played three matches apiece and a revised wide rule and new points system were also tried out. It was a successful event with young and old alike having a busy day on the field and also enjoying a barbecue lunch provided by Tom and Prem Salusbury.
The competition got under way with Lanna Thais taking on Lamphun and Richard Young hit 27 to take his side to a useful total of 58 for 3 in 7 overs and Chanchia took two wickets in his second over. Bunchuai looked to be leading his team to a comfortable victory but his retirement on 30 and two wickets for Jun turned up the pressure and only a six from Beam decided the match in Lamphun's favour.
The senior Lanna team put up a good fight against CMCC with George Hamilton batting through the innings in a total of 63 for 2 and even though Ubaid hit three sixes CMCC were reduced to 42 for 3 before Tanveer saw CMCC home in the last over.
CMCC were highly impressive against Lanna Thais as Ubaid made 32 in a total of 81 for 1 although Ong took a good wicket when he had Burhan caught behind by Min who also did well as opening batsman as he hit 14. Lanna Thais only made 35 for 3 so CMCC won by 46 runs.
Lanna then took on Lamphun and Bunchuai continued to bat and bat as he made 33 before retiring and was well supported by Chanchai who made 30 in a total of 82 for 0. Chanchai then took two early wickets to make sure Lanna could only reach 44 for 4.
Lamphun and CMCC had both won two matches and Lanna and Lanna Thais had both lost two matches so the contest between Lanna and Lanna Thais would decide third and fourth places. Matt Bray reached 33 before retiring and Jam did well to make 13, as Lanna Thais posted a score of 69 for 2 even though chairman Tom took a wicket first ball. Richard, Jun and Matt alll claimed wickets and even 16 from the last over wasn't enough for Lanna as Lanna Thais held on to in by 13 runs.
The final league match between CMCC and Lamphun was effectively a winner takes all contest so it was decided that a final would not be required to decide the champions. Lamphun won the toss and elected to field first and the match was almost a rematch from the Shield semi-final of the Chiang Mai Sixes when Kashmir CC just beat San Miguel Thais.
Chanchai bowled a good first over and Cher had the dangerous Ubaid caught at long on by Por but Shaffi and Sami batted well as CMCC were building a useful total before Chanchai took two wickets in the last over to finish as leading wicket-taker on six. A target of 61 in 7 overs would be in reach if Lamphun could make a good sttart.
Bunchuai and Chanchai put on 31 for the first wicket before Chanchai was run out in the fourth over but Burhan soon found a way through the defences of Cher and Por and it was left to Bunchuai to try to take his side home. 10 were needed from the last over and a wide from Asif first ball made the job slightly easier, before 1 . 1 left 5 needed off 2 balls. Bunchuai was back on strike and he and Champ scampered 2 and 2 more were needed for the match to end as a tie.
This would have required the bonus points to have been hurriedly added up and a super over required to decide the winners but thankfully Bunchuai pulled the ball away for four to bring Lamphun a last ball victory. He was player of the tournament as he hit 88 runs without being dismissed as well as captaining his side and dealing with the new format without a problem. He received the trophy from chairman Tom to bring the perfect end to a good day's cricket.
Thanks to all the umpires, scorers, to Martin who made all the arrangements even when teams were pulling out, to David Buck at Prem for providing the ground with makeshift tents and a PA system for some impromptu commentary, and to Tom and Prem for their splendid lunch.