Centaurs 1982 Thailand Tour - A Brief Account
By Tony Clark
Centaurs left Kai Tak on 9th December for a three match tour of Thailand.
The team flew directly to Chiangmai, where their hosts' overwhelming hospitality saw to it that no-one got to bed before 3 a.m. in an insidious attempt to ensure that the first overseas team to visit Chiangmai would forget the true purpose of their visit. The sight of the ground the next morning was enough to make the bleary of eye and sore of head forget their excesses. The grass track, set in the centre of a golf course, is reminiscent of an English ground, ringed by huge trees, and with seating and refreshments under a marquee.
Inspired, McLeish and Fletcher removed both the Chiangmai openers before the score had reached double figures. However, no other batsman failed to make ten before the innings closed at 179 for 7.
The Chiangmai pitch was not easy to bat on and Hemshall and Walsh began the reply cautiously against some tight bowling. The opening bowlers conceded only 51 runs in 16 overs, and at the halfway stage the score stood at 73 for 0. But with a change of bowlers Centaurs, accelerated. Walsh was out for 87 with the score at 147, Tootill hit a vibrant 11, and Hughes made his biggest score of the tour (3). Hemshall raced to 73 as Centaurs reached 180 for 2 with two overs to spare.
The evening flight to Bangkok allowed the team to settle into a good night's rest before the friendly against the Royal Bangkok Sports Club. Centaurs won the toss and captain-for-the-day Hughes decided that the previous day's opening bowlers should become opening batsman. MeLeish had none of this and quickly holed out. Duggan hit an aggressive 14 before misreading a straight one, and Kite creamed two incomparable singles before miscuing. Fletcher hung about for 26, Tootill fashioned a graceful 44, and the innings subsided to 164 all out.
Hemshall and Walsh opened the bowling, reducing the home side to 31 for 3 after 10 overs. But after Jorgo had taken the fourth wicket with the score at 47, a stand of 71 between Seghal and De Vries swung the game RBSC's way. Duggan (0 for 49) suffered from his teammate's unwillingness to catch anything and a spate of boundaries saw RBSC home.
And so to Sunday's `big game" over 50-overs for the Bailey-Morris Trophy. RBSC won the toss and elected to bat.
After Nissim had run out Coster early on, RBSC's batsman treated Centaurs' bowlers with too much respect on a good batting track. Only 11 runs came off the first 10 overs. Wickets fell regularly. McLeish bowled from one end almost throughout the innings of and only De Vries (25) and Gilson (33) offered any real resistance. The innings finished at 105, McLeish taking 5 for 31.
The Centaurs' batting survived a few anxious moments when Walsh, Hemshall and Hughes went relatively cheaply in the face of some hostile bowling from White and Beckett. From 23 for 3, Tootill and Griffiths shared a 57-run stand. The remaining 26 were hit off without loss, Tootill finishing on 68. The early finish allowed an extra hour's preparation for the evening's festivities, a buffet supper at which the Bailey-Morris Trophy (after Alan Bailey, co-founder and president of Centaurs, and Eric Morris, doyen of RBSC cricket) was presented to winning skipper Nissim.
Another immensely successful tour, thanks to our hosts in both Chiangmai and Bangkok.