THE Bahrain Apsara Camels dominated the Sixth Phuket International Cricket Sixes and were crowned Cup Champions for the first time after defeating a strong CBB Postels outfit in the final.
Debutantes at the Phuket Sixes took two of the other available titles with Hong Kong's Long Dong Wongs winning the Plate title and the Custom Cockatoos from Australia lifting the Spoon.
There was silverware also for CBB SCs who became Bowl champions.
It was an all action Finals day played mostly in bright, sunny and hot conditions at Karon Stadium with teams having entered the knock out phase of the tournament.
The Corner Tigers' strong challenge for the Cup came to an end at semi final stage when their bowling was taken apart by the determined Bahrain Camels who posted a challenging score of 89/2 and then restricted the Tigers to just 31/4.
Sanjay took two wickets for just one run in the first over to put the Tigers immediately on the back foot and they never recovered.
The Camels then took on the strong unit of the CBB Postels, featuring Kenny Jackson, an a rain affected Cup Final.
The Camels really turned on the style as they swatted the CBB bowling to all parts of the ground and kept the umpire's arms busy.
Srikanth (33*) was the pick of the batsmen as the Camels registered a challenging 83 runs.
Superb bowling and faultless fielding from the Bahrain boys then made runs very difficult to come by and the CBB Postels struggled to reach 61 with Bahrain triumphing by 22 runs.
In the Plate, Toorak Prahan from Australia reached the final with impressive victories over Lamma CC and Baulham Hills CC.
But they faced strong competition for the Plate title from the Hong Kong Long Dong Wongs, who number some young but experienced Hong Kong internationals in their side.
The Dongers had seen off a good challenge from Galah CC to reach the final which they manage to win in a tense match with just three balls to spare.
Toorak had put on 84 runs with good play from Jeremy Skiba and Kristian Fahey.
But the Hong Kong boys had strength in depth with skipper Manoj hitting 33 in just 8 balls and Roy Lamsam also retiring on 33 as they reached their target just in time.
Bowl action saw the City Police from UK take on the CBB SCs in a match which saw Steve 'Crunch' Christie excel with bat and ball.
The Police put on a challenging 79 runs in their innings, but the CBBs knocked them off with three balls to spare, helped by 32 not out from Christie.
Earlier, the City Police had defeated the Perth Postels despite a gritty 30 not out from Robert 'Chops' Bernard.
The Spoon Final saw a popular win for the Custom Cockatoos, distinctive in their bright orange uniforms, over the Bounty Spirits.
The Cockatoos put on a combative 87 runs with both Cohen and Jason retiring. In reply both Jean and Amar retired but with decent bowling resulting in too many dot balls the Spirits fell well short of the required runs eventually scoring 60.
''It was a superb week of 'fun in the sun' cricket for 26 teams, fans and officials, highly entertaining and full of enjoyment on and off the field, and in one of the best holiday locations around,'' said Tournament Director Brad Tarr.
PHUKET cricket fans were treated to some high quality run chasing at Karon Stadium when the Trevor Chappell XI defeated the Kenny Jackson XI by 34 runs to win the Phuket International Cricket Sixes annual Twenty20 fundraiser.
The floodlit spectacle is always an entertaining affair as it features two teams of the best players drawn from the 26 teams in the Phuket Sixes.
Over 30,000 baht has so far been raised at the ground to go towards the Phuket Cricket Union's (PCU) junior cricket development program and it is hoped that 200,000 baht will be raised in total by the end of the event.
The Chappell XI went into bat first bathed in bright floodlights and struggled to get going as they were continually pegged back by some miserly and effective bowling from the Jackson XI who took wickets at regular intervals.
That was until Ben Hannan got to the middle and smashed a breezy 54 not out in a useful stand of 81 with Stefan Vucens who reached 43 before being clean bowled by Sourav Chatterjee. Chappell's team posted a gettable total of 169 from their twenty overs.
The Jackson XI were heading towards their target comfortably following a useful partnership of 50 between Martin Foster (29) and Darren Richards (25).
But some inspired bowling from Chappell's side, particularly Andy Burke who took a wicket maiden, and exceptional fielding really put the pressure on the Jackson side and 169 started to look a long way away.
Chappell, leading from the front and showing his class, took an amazing reaction catch at mid wicket to dismiss Daniel Morris who had been looking dangerous.
In the end the Jackson XI couldn't hold their wickets and simply ran out of batsmen when they were all out for 135, leaving Chatterjee stranded not out on 29, and giving the Trevor Chappell XI a deserved win.
It was an excellent evening for the spectators and players alike, and all for a worthy cause.
Before the T20 exhibition match, two teams of Thai children from the PCU Cricket Development Program gave an excellent display of their cricket skills which was rapturously welcomed by fans in the stands.
Tournament Director Brad Tarr said, ''it's been a great night, with some fantastic cricket, excellent entertainment and has really demonstrated the value of the fund raising efforts for junior cricket development at the Phuket Sixes.''
Trevor Chappell XI
Cohen Themu 11
Andy Burke 9
Wayne Fontana 8
Duncan Cooper 1
Aaron Etchell 5
Dylan Spicer 1
Ben Hannan 54*
Stefan Vucens 43
Charuka Abey 16
Jason Morgan 2*
Chade Steenholdt (dnb)
Trevor Chappell (dnb)
Kenny Jackson XI
Kurram Kaleem 8
Martin Foster 29
Shendra Singh 0
Darren Richards 25
Walter Pasaud 4
James Billington 7
Sourav Chatterjee 29*
Daniel Morris 8
Kenny Jackson 4
Will Badger 1
Charan Shetty 0
Trevor Burke 0
Total 135 all out
Result: Chappell XI win by 34 runs
SEEDING and elimination was the order of the day on Day Three of the Phuket International Cricket Sixes being played at Karon Stadium.
Twenty-sixes teams entered the tournament and the morning saw the completion of the first round with teams seeded into Cup, Plate, Bowl and Spoon Divisions.
Former Champions the Corner Tigers from Pakistan led the field ranked in first place by lunchtime after their win over the Village Cricketers from Phuket.
Batting first the Villagers put a respectable 67 on the board. But the Tigers made easy work of the total reaching their target with 10 balls to spare.
After lunch, under scorching weather, elimination from the tournament stalked teams at the Quarter Final stage of the tournament.
In the Bowl, CSS SCs saw off the challenge of Frinton CC of England by just 5 runs. Steve Christie had batted well for the CBBs who posted a reasonable total of 64. In reply, Frinton managed to reach 60 before their overs ran out.
Plate Quarter final action saw locals the Karon Seasanders fall to Baulkham Hills CC from Australia.
The Seasanders were restricted to 57 runs with Raju Seemant leading the way with 22 runs. Baulkam overtook their score with 11 balls remaining.
Toorak Prahan from Melbourne downed Lamma CC of Hong Kong, featuring Trevor Chappell in other Plate action.
Kristian Fahey of Toorak batted superbly and retired on 36 as his team reached 72/5. Lamma fell well short with 58 ending their run in the tournament.
The Hong Kong Long Wong Dongs continued their good form with a good win over the Entertainers from New Zealand.
The Kiwis had put on 68, Andy Burt retiring on 32. A breezy 33 from Sean Brierly helped the Dongers to a comfortable victory with 9 balls to spare that saw them through to the semi finals of the Plate.
Bahrain Camels ended any Kiwi hopes of silverware when they defeated Weraroa CC in a high scoring match.
The Camels put on a healthy 86/2 with Sandeep retiring on 33*. In reply Weraroa made a decent fist of the chase and made 76/1 with Ben Hannah retiring on 31.
The Corner Tigers made reasonably easy meat of the Wildmen From Borneo 1 challenge in the Cup, overpowering the shot box specialists total of 65 with 6 balls to spare.
Stirlo of the Borneo boys had put up decent resistance with 19 runs, but the Tigers proved too strong.
Finals day starts at 9am at Karon Stadium. All spectators are welcome and food ad drinks are available at the ground.
The Sixes Gala Awards Dinner featuring Bob 'the Cat' Bevan will be held at the Movenpick Resort from 7.30pm on Sunday evening.
ANOTHER full day of cricket action, entertainment and brilliant sunshine was seen at Karon Stadium on the second day of the Phuket International Cricket Sixes.
The first match of the day was an all India affair between Mumbai Indians and the beach cricket champions of Royal Maratha.
The Royals triumphed with a fine all round display as they defended their score of 69/3 winning the fixture by 17 runs.
Their run of good form continued as they later defeated Frinton CC from UK, overhauling the English sides score of 72 with 5 balls to spare.
Royals skipper Charan Shetty retired on 33 not out in the chase; Russ Everson had retired on 33 not out for Frinton.
An all Australia clash between the Galahs and the Darwin Stubbies resulted in a massive score of 104 for the Galahs, both Aaron Etchell (32 not out) and Ross Beasley (34 not out) retired.
In reply the Stubbies could muster just 52 runs after a tidy bowling effort from the Galahs.
The Wildmen from Borneo 2 mixed and consumed some superb jungle juice but it didn't help their cause against the CBB Postels who delivered the highest total of the tournament so far when they posted 110 against the Wildmen.
In reply the Borneo boys somehow scored 52 and a shot box session went into full swing.
Saturday sees the end of Round One of the tournament when the teams will be streamed into Cup, Plate, Bowl and Spoon Divisions depending on their performances. Play gets underway at 8.30am.
Spectators are welcome to attend and entry is free. Food and drinks are available at the ground.
THE SUN god was smiling on the first day of the Phuket International Cricket Sixes being played at Karon Stadium, Phuket, Thailand today as glorious weather blessed the tournament.
Action got underway at 8.30am with the fancied Long Dong Wongs of Hong Kong taking on fellow debutantes to the Sixes, the Custom Cockatoos of Australia.
The Cockatoos, sporting the most colourful uniforms in the tournament, posted a total of 49/3 from their overs which the Hong Kong team raced to beat off just 15 balls, making their intentions for the tournament clear.
The Long Dong Wongs feature a number of current and former Hong Kong internationals in their side including skipper Manoj who also captained the Hong Kong national team at the Hong Kong International Sixes.
Later in the day the Long Dong Wongs made similar work of the Perth Postels, reaching their target of 51 in just 17 balls.
Bahrain Camels posted the highest total of the day when they made 87/0 in a comfortable win over the Cockatoos, with Ashwini retiring on 30 not out and captain Sanjay making 27.
Lamma CC of Hong Kong, always present at the Phuket Sixes and boasting former Australian Test star Trevor Chappell in their line up, suffered two defeats, which sees them looking at the possibility of a safe berth in the Spoon.
Toorak Prahan CC of Melbourne downed the Hong Kongers in the morning, and the afternoon saw Worcestershire Police just pipping the Lamma boys off the last ball of the match in a very tight finish.
Top performer of the tournament so far with the bat is Dyan Spicer of Weraroa CC from New Zealand who was the only batsman to retire in his first two matches.
Former champions the Corner Tigers from Pakistan had a good start to their 2009 Sixes campaign with a fine win over Baulkham Hills CC from Australia. The Baulkham batsmen made 56/2 which the Tigers polished off using 19 balls.
Other teams to watch out for, having won both matches are locals the Karon Sea Sanders, the CBB Postels and the crowd favourites the Wildmen From Borneo 1.
Teams will enjoy the Sixes Welcome Party in the gardens of the Green Man this evening and Day Two play of the Sixes will commence at 8.30am Friday with an all India clash between the Mumbai Islanders and this year's beach cricket champions, Royal Maratha.
''It has been a fantastic day at Karon Stadium, loads of action, plenty of entertainment and superb weather,'' said Tournament Director Brad Tarr.
On Friday evening the charity fundraising Sixes Twenty20 match will be played, featuring all the best players in the tournament in an entertaining evening under floodlights at Karon Stadium.
The match starts at 6.30pm. Entry is free and food and drinks are available at venue.
ROYAL Maratha of India stormed to victory over the Custom Cockatoos of Australia in the entertaining final of the Kenny Jackson Beach Cricket Championships, the fun warm up event for the Phuket International Cricket Sixes, which was held on Karon beach on Wednesday.
Custom Cockatoos batted first notching up 31 runs from their allotted overs. The Royal Marathas managed to overhaul the total with just two balls to spare.
Both finalists are debutantes at this year's Phuket International Cricket Sixes, which features 10 new sides in the field of 26 teams.
It was a sun drenched, action packed afternoon of beach cricket enjoyed by the 150 players and spectators, with some innovative rules providing additional entertainment.
''To count as legitimate, all catches had to be taken with a San Miguel beer held in one hand, otherwise it didn't count. It made for some hilarious moments as players tried to avoid spilling their drinks,'' explained Tournament Referee Ian 'Reds' Liddell.
Mark Phamm of the Cockatoos was named Player of the Final by the umpires.
Ten teams competed in Wednesday's championships, the highest number since the beach cricket was introduced to the schedule in 2006.
Players cooled off after their matches, and sometimes during them, with a dip in the Andaman Sea.
The first match of the Sixth Phuket International Cricket Sixes starts at 8.45am Thursday.
Twenty sixes teams are competing for silverware and fun in four competitions in the tournament.
From 6.30pm On Friday evening a Twenty20 match featuring the best players in the tournament, including ex Aussie Test star Trevor Chappell, will be played under floodlights at Karon stadium, to raise funds for charity.
Spectators are very welcome to the cricket action. Entry is free and food and drinks are available at venue.
The Asian Cricket Sixes Tour rolls to Phuket from April 15-19 for the annual ICC award winning Phuket International Cricket Sixes, despite concern about the quality of the playing surface.
Twenty-six teams from around the world will compete for honors in Cup, Plate, Bowl and Spoon competitions at Karon Stadium, beside Karon beach on Phuket.
It is shaping up to be a northern hemisphere vs southern hemisphere clash with 13 teams from each half of the globe represented, including 10 teams new to the Phuket Sixes.
''Twenty-six teams is a fantastic size of field to have at the Phuket Sixes,'' said Michael Maher, Chairman of the Asian Cricket Sixes Tour.
''Despite the world economic difficulties we have 22 teams flying into Thailand for this tournament, which I think is a great testament to the attraction of Phuket, the Phuket Sixes tournament and Asian Cricket Sixes Tour,'' Mr Maher added.
''And to have 13 teams from each hemisphere should provoke some healthy rivalry and banter, especially in an Ashes year.''
Of the 26 teams taking part, 10 teams will be new to the Phuket Sixes.
''We're looking forward to welcoming back old friends and especially the teams competing in the Sixes for the first time,'' said Tournament Director Brad Tarr.
''The Sixes is not just about winning it's also about friendship through cricket and we hope all the teams will go home with fond memories of their tour to Phuket,'' Mr Tarr said.
Teams new to the Phuket Sixes in 2009 from the northern hemisphere include three teams from Britain: two teams from the Worcestershire Police force, and Frinton CC which features legendary after dinner speaker Bob 'the Cat' Bevan MBE among its team members.
Other new teams include Royal Maratha from India and the Longdongwongs which number some current and former Hong Kong internationals in their line up.
New teams from the southern hemisphere include several from around Australia, including the Darwin Stubbies, the Custom Cockatoos, Galah CC and Baulkham Hills CC.
Returning teams challenging for silverware and enjoying the special 'Fun in the Sun' camaraderie of the Phuket Sixes include the ever popular Wild Men From Borneo, the CBBs fresh from the tournament victory recently in the Philippines Sixes, former Phuket champions the Corner Tigers from Pakistan, the always competitive Leeming Spartans of Perth, and ever present Lamma CC of Hong Kong.
India are represented by the Mumbai Islanders and Royal Maratha teams.
Thailand will be represented by local Phuket favorites the Karon Seasanders and The Village Cricket Team.
Organisers also announced that the former Australian Test player Trevor Chappell will be returning to the Phuket Sixes this year.
''Trevor is a great supporter of the Phuket Sixes and we're delighted that he'll be showing his talent and class at the tournament,'' Mr Maher. said
Action gets underway on Wednesday April 15 on Karon Beach with the Kenny Jackson Beach Cricket Championship.
The Phuket Sixes tournament takes place daily at Karon Stadium, from 9am to 5pm from April 16-19.
Entry for spectators is free and food and drinks are available at the ground.
The warm up event for the Sixes is Kenny Jackson's Beach Cricket Championship from 2.30pm at Karon Beach (in front of Karon Sea Sands Resort). This will provide a good opportunity for pre-event comments from players and officials and an excellent photo opportunity in a fun atmosphere with tropical beach surroundings.
The Sixes Welcome Reception is attended by all the teams, officials and tournament sponsors and takes place in the gardens of The Green Man from 7.30pm. This picturesque function provides a good opportunity for social photos, post first day comments and the chance to speak with Bob 'the Cat' Bevan MBE the only person to receive the MBE award from the Queen of England for after dinner speaking.
The Sixes Gala Awards Dinner, with guest speaker Bob 'the Cat' Bevan MBE. Attended by all teams, officials and sponsors, including star players Trevor Chappell (ex Australia) and Kenny Jackson (South Africa) this is the biggest social function of the Phuket Sixes and taking place for the first time at the luxurious Movenpick Karon Resort Ballroom. Bob 'the Cat' Bevan MBE will be the main speaker. Entry is by invitation only for guests, media please contact Mark Burns in advance to arrange attendance.
The tournament matches commence on April 16 at Karon Stadium and take place daily from 9am to 5pm, including Finals day on Sunday April 19. Action is fast and furious and all media are welcome to capture the excitement. There are four competitions: Cup, Plate, Bowl, Spoon.
By Apinya Saksri and Alan Morison
PHUKET'S attempt to attract more sports tourists is likely to suffer a severe setback during the Phuket International Cricket Sixes tournament from April 15-19.
The event, bringing teams from Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, India, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Korea, Borneo, Bahrain, Australia and Britain, is scheduled to be played at Karon Sports Stadium.
Promoters promise lively competition with ''approximately 26 cricket teams compete for honors on the grass at Karon.''
The only problem: grass? What grass?
Tthe surface at the stadium is mostly solid grey earth. Hardly any grass can be seen. The only blades are likely to be the cricket bats that players wield.
At the stadium this week, with local footballers kicking a ball about, the needle on the Phuketwan cricket ground measuring machine fluctuated between ''cow paddock'' and ''dust bowl'' before eventually settling beyond the machine's capacity to record a listing.
We feel sorry for the Governor or the Vice Governor, or whichever public official proves brave enough to welcome the teams or become involved in the presentation of prizes.
The ground is in a shameful state that brings nothing but discredit on the island's ability to cater to international sporting events.
Patong Rotary at one stage donated funding to the local municipality to resow and maintain the grass at the stadium
But Rotary has now discreetly removed a sign promoting its endorsement.
Cricket is a fun international sport and the founders of the tournament rightly figured Phuket would be ideal for the game's future development in Thailand.
However, if the current effort to provide a proper arena for the sport is not vastly improved before next year's tournament, it is difficult to imagine many cricketers bothering to come back.
Sadly, many players and their families, arriving at a time when Phuket needs every tourist, will find the island does not live up to its promises.
Here's what the media handout has to say:
''Cricket is not exactly a sport that we would associate with Phuket, but a mini-version, fast and furious, is now a fixture on the resort island's annual calendar.
''Phuket Cricket Sixes 2009 will see approximately 26 cricket teams compete for honours on the grass at Karon beach's stadium, April 15-19.
''Three days of cricket will eliminate club teams for a final battle at the stumps to claim a charity trophy.
''Launched in 2004, the tournament attracts club teams from Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, India, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Korea, Borneo, Bahrain, Australia and the UK.
''Calcutta Cricket and Football Club, from India, won the trophy last year.''
Versions of the game can last as long as five days in international competition, but according to the event's website (www.phuketsixes.com) the six-a-side version takes just 45 minutes to complete each match.
The annual event has gained endorsement from the Asia Cricket Council and local sponsorship from Phuket's business community, including the Hilton Arcadia and the Green Man Pub, venues for two of the official parties during the four-day event.
On the side, there are charity events, such as a beach cricket tournament, to raise funds for Child Watch, an organisation that assists children from broken homes or with abusive parents.
''Tourism Authority of Thailand backs the event, believing it will draw cricketers and their families to Phuket for a holiday, while emphasising the island's role as sports tourism venue.''
2009 Tournament Schedule
3pm-6pm Kenny Jackson's Beach Cricket Championship, opposite Karon Sea Sands Hotel
6.30pm-8.30pm Officials & Captains Meeting
April 16 Day One of Competition
7.30pm Sixes Welcome Party at The Green Man
April 17 Day Two of Competition
6.30pm Twenty20 Floodlit Charity Match
April 18 Day Three of Competition
April 19 Finals Day
7.30pm Awards Dinner at the Movenpick Resort Ballroom
(subject to change by the organising committee)
Best Friend Restaurant, Karon Beach
Photo Album People watching usually does not make the menu but some restaurants provide it for free. Topless tourists often bring their own generous helping of fun.
Best Friend Restaurant, Karon Beach
Patong, Karon and Kata: High Season, What's New
November marks the high season on Phuket. And usually the first increase in accommodation rates. So what else is new? We went hunting and . . . well, please read on. Latest plus Photo Album:
Patong, Karon and Kata: High Season, What's New
Mali Waterfront, Karon Beach
Tourists step off the plane at Phuket airport into an enchanted world of sun, sea . . .and spicy. For them, a bad experience with Thai food first up can be a total turnoff. Hot or not? That's what the wait staff need to ask.
Mali Waterfront, Karon Beach
Tony, Karon Beach
The Sopranos this is not. The only thing being murdered around here is the seafood, and perhaps the occasional spaghetti bolognese. Extortion? Heck no. The prices are reasonable.
Tony, Karon Beach
Ruam Thep Inn, Karon beachfront
Great views, no road noise, good food, easy to find. That's a pretty good start for any restaurant on Phuket, and with Karon beach front and centre, this is a real discovery.
Ruam Thep Inn, Karon beachfront