Beijing Ducks fly south to Chiang Mai.
With expert planning and precision the Ducks flew south to Thailand to take part in the 31st Chiang Mai International sixes.
Cheese and Squeaky flew from Beijing via Kunming and arrived in Chiang Mai to find Cinders awaiting them at the Hotel. Sticky had landed with the family a few hours later and all that remained was to get the last few Ducks in the city ready for the first game.
As the news flooded in that The Butcher wasnt arriving until Sunday evening the Ducks were already a man down, further news followed that Ginge and Ginger(en route from the UK) wouldnt arrive until Monday evening around 4 pm. The Ducks were missing part of the flock.
So with heads held high we went to the welcome party which was conveniently held at our hotel, The Pornping Tower. The free bar didnt deter us for our early game the next day and the three ducks who had made it to the party indulged.
We met our local Thai guide, Tae a 19 tr old student and local Driver at 7.30am and headed to the ground. What awaited was a spectacular location on the Gymkhana golf clubs grounds. a perfect cricket oval surrounded by multiple team tents, an awesome food court and bar plus massage spots and a few shops.
Our game was scheduled for 8.45am and we set about procuring two young Thai boys to take the field with us so that we could field a team of 6.
First Game was up against the Darwin Dilettantes, an Aussie outfit who were appearing for their 28th time at the comp.
We won the toss and put them into bat and with some tight bowling from Squeaky and Cheese we restricted them to 55 off of their 5 overs. Cheese picked up a wicket with Sticky taking a sharp catch behind the stumps and Sticky further ran out the other batsmen.
Squeaky and Cinders opened the batting and looked like they were going to cruise to the total but with some tight bowling the Darwin boys somehow restricted the Ducks to 52 for 0 leaving us 3 short of the total required.
The Butcher arrived!
Game 2: Awali Taverners bat first and post 59 for 0 wicket. Squeaky and Cheese again kept their overs tight and with The Butcher proving a little expensive the Bahrain side posted a competitive total. Cheese even managed to stop the last ball for going for six as the impressive Ishti drilled a ball back at him and Cheese attempting the catch managed only to parry the ball for four, Cheese had split his little finger across the last joint and headed to the medical tent.
Squeaky and The Butcher opened up for the Ducks and set off with good pace. Squeaky looked impressive as he quickly reached 32 and had to retire. The Butcher continued his innings but lost partners Cinders and Sticky in consecutive balls and with the last over starting the Ducks needed 9 to win. The Butcher showed his class as a batsman and stroked the first ball for 6 over the bowlers head. The next ball crashed to the boundary for four and the Ducks picked up their first win. Cheese somehow managed to get a pair of gloves on and had to bat with a very blackened and swollen bleeding finger. A trip to the hospital followed and three stitches were needed.
Game 3: The Ginge and Ginger arrive! Ducks are at full strength.
The Young Thai Thevada team bat first and again with some tight bowling from all we kept them to only 46 runs.
The Butcher took an amazing catch behind the stumps to give Cheese another victim.
Squeaky and the The Butcher opened up again and started quickly until Squeaky nicked a slower ball behind to the keeper. Ginge and Cinders only added 2 each to the total before Ginger and The Butcher saw us home with 1 ball to spare.
Ducks finish 7th out of 20 in the Gentlemans section and are put into the Vase competition.
Ducks v the Summer Saints.
Saints bat first. and Surprisingly Squeaky goes for 18 off of his over and the Sanits are off to a flyer. with some mediocre bowling from Cinders, Ginge and Ginger the saints had amassed 80 from 4 overs. Cheese showed his mettle and kept them to only 86 from 5 overs as he once again kept it tighter than a Ducks rear end.
Cheese was fired up and decided to open the batting with Squeaky and the two large men put on 37 for the first wicket before Cheese was caught on the boundary. Squeaky again showed his class and retired again on 30 and unfortunately the remaining Ducks couldnt add enough runs and finished on 68, 18 runs short.
Gymkhana Cavaliers batted first and after a very tight over from the injured Cheese found themselves on 9 after the first over. Cinders bowled well for 15 runs and picked up a wicket as Cheese stepped up to take a sharp boundary catch to dismiss the hard hitting left hander Leslie. This only brought the in form Ian Fagen to the crease. The Butcher appeared from behind the stumps and bowled what turned out to be the most expensive over in the 2018 Chiang Mai sixes. he was hit for 34 from his 6 balls. and this over really made the difference.
The local boys finished on an Impressive 86 and the Ducks had to fire again.
Cheese once again stepped forward and Squeaky and himself led the charge.
31 from the first two overs looked good but the Ducks couldnt accelerate enough Squeaky again retired with 30 Cheese finished on 26 not out and the new hit man Ginger hit an impressive 7 from 3 before being stumped. The Ducks couldnt quite get hold of the last few balls and finished on 73 just 13 runs short. The 2018 campaign was over.