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  Phuket T20 Cricket gets under way:  


PHUKET: The Outrigger Hotel T20 cricket league kicked off last weekend at the ACG Cricket Ground with Neill Culpan scoring 57 not out, helping current champions Laguna defeat last season’s runners-up Patong in the first game.

Patong won the toss and chose to bat first. They didn’t start well, losing opener Richie Desmond for five with only 12 runs on the board. Manesh Sadarangani scored 32 not out, Seemant Raju scored 22, Anthony Van Blerk scored 17 and Feroz Khan (16) helped the team reach 125 for five after 20 overs.

Laguna’s bowlers restricted Patong to five boundaries. Neill Culpan (1 for 11), Ian Henry (1 for 24), Sami Ullah (1 for 26), Roshan Jayasuriya (1 for 27) and Roly Cooper (0 for 28) conceded less than 30 runs from their four overs each.

Laguna, led by Neill Culpan, took 16 overs to reach 127 for four. Roshan Jayasuriya scored 20, Raj scored 11 and Sami Ullah 9 not out. Laguna found the boundary 12 times and Ullah and Culpan both hit a six, with Culpan smashing the ball clean out of the ground.

In the second match of the day, ICC easily defeated the Village. The Village’s opening batsmen were bowled for ducks. Mark Ashman (24), and Lucas Nolan (22) tried to restore some pride but after the loss of Ashman the brief Village resurgence crumbled and they were bowled out for 79 in 14 overs. The ICC bowlers were led by Paresh Borkar (2 for 18), Imtiyaz Mushtaq (2 for 18), Anand Chand (2 for 22), Pawan Kothari (2 for 12) and Nareem Ul Haq (2 for 0).

Aided by opener Imtiyaz Mushtaq scoring 39 and the Village giving away 21 extras (20 wides), ICC took no time in reaching 81 for four in 15 overs.

The ICC take on Patong at the ACG tomorrow, with first ball at 9am. The ACG has an all-weather wicket, which allows matches to be played during the monsoon season.

© ACG Phuket Cricket and Sports Club • Supported by The Courtyard, Island Furniture and Alan Cooke MBE