British Club have been visiting Chiang Mai for 33 years and as Jack Dunford regularly explains Dick Wood was so captivated by the play of the visitors from Bangkok in that first year that he provided funds for a cup to be purchased for Gymkhana Club and British Club to compete for.
The battle for the Dick Wood Cup is one of the highlights of the cricket season and the 2016 contest was one of the most high scoring with the result in doubt until the very end before Gymkhana Club held on to win the fixture for the sixth time in a row. Gymkhana's total was a formidable 230 for 4 in 30 overs but British Club gave one of their best batting displays before being finally bowled out 32 runs short.
Earlier in the day It had been decided that Gymkhana Club would bat first as Captain Pete Warner was on his way back from Bangkok, but his faith in his team was justified as Hugh Willaims and Chris Coombes set off at a healthy rate. Hugh was dismissed from 33 out of an opening stand of 72 in 11 overs but Chris reached his fifty from 44 balls with 3 sixes and 4 fours.
George Hamilton batted carefully and Tanvir reached 25 before being run out but Richard Cowles batted fluently to also reach fifty from 38 balls with 2 sixes and 6 fours. Aasif made a hard-hitting 33 from 22 balls to take the final score to 230 for 4 but British Club's bowlers were satisfied that they had contributed far fewer extras than in previous years as David Dance returned the best figures with 2 for 29.
After players, officials and a healthy number of spectators had enjoyed the lunch provided by Gymkhana Club, British Club faced up to a stiff target but the visitors had scored at 8 an over during their practice match on Saturday and they made a great effort to pull off a remarkable victory. Nick White batted beautifully and hit eight fours before being run out for 47 by a direct hit from long on from Aasif who also took two catches, but the general level of fielding was poor as a large number of catches were spilled.
Dale Lamb was the main beneficiary of Gymkhana's generosity as he blasted his way to fifty from just 20 balls as he hit four sixes and a four from one over from Tom Salusbury who had a rare unlucky day. At the halfway stage British Club were well ahead of the rate having scored 139 for 3 from 15 overs with only 92 needed from the next 15 overs.
Eddie Joyner completed his spell of 6 overs just after drinks and was replaced by leg-spinner Russell Ward who had conceded 60 runs in his four overs in his last match, but the force was with him on this occasion and he took wicket after wicket as the lower order failed to emulate the batting style of their captain Dale.
But the match was not quite over, even after Russell had claimed his sixth wicket, as Dale returned to the crease having been required to retire on reaching his fifty. He scored a further 10 runs and the target was suddenly within reach if the captain enjoyed another purple patch of hitting.
Tom waited for the call in vain as it was Richard Young who claimed the final wicket again as Haroon was caught at mid-wicket by captain Pete to end the British Club innings on 198 from 27.2 overs. Gymkhana Club had won by 32 runs in one of the most entertaining contests in recent years.
As usual the presentation, accompanied by a fines session and lots of vodka slammers, was hilarious as the British Club players all dressed up as doctors. Jack Dunford paid tribute to Dick Wood who had played his part in bringing Gymkhana Club in Chiang Mai and British Club in Bangkok together every year. The Cup was presented to Captain Pete and Dr Nick White was in as fine form off the field as he had been with the bat, as another highly enjoyable day at Gymkhana came to a close.