The ACC Men's T20 Eastern Region 2018 competition got underway today at Terdthai Cricket Ground in Bangkok. Thailand, Bhutan, China and Myanmar are competing in this brand new tournament as Asian Cricket Council is returning to what it does best by providing countries across Asia with the opportunity to play cricket.

The first day of this new competition was marked by comprehensive victories by Bhutan who beat China by nine wickets in the morning match and by hosts Thailand who beat Myanmar by 130 runs in the afternoon when a fine team performance was capped by the all-round effort of 20-year-old Chanchai Pengkumta.

Bhutan faced China in the first match of the tournament and there was a quiet start to the China innings after they had chosen to bat first as Bhutan employed spin at both ends, Jigme Singye bowling his leg-breaks and Kumar Subba his off-spin. Subba took the first wicket when he had Tian Suqing caught and bowled for 6.

China lost their second wicket with the score on 26 when Zhang Yufei was caught behind off the bowling of the impressive Thinley Jamtsho. Bhutan looked to be in the ascendancy as the third wicket fell to leave China on 39 for 3 at the halfway stage of their innings.

Li Jian was fourth out as he slapped a cut to cover off the bowling of Sanjeevan Gurung and the next man Zhang Yong soon followed run out as both batsmen found themselves at the same end. Htan Junjui was then lbw to Tandin Wangchuk as the sixth wicket fell on 51.

Even though China’s opener Lu Cangcang was able to carry his bat for an unbeaten 35 from 59 balls China were bowled out for 73 after four balls of the 20th over as Thinley Jamtsho bowled the last two batsmen with consecutive balls to finish with figures of 3 for 14. China will be disappointed with their overall batting performance but their opener Lu Cangcang could be very proud of his achievement.

China responded well as they took a wicket with the second ball of Bhutan's innings as Tandin Wangchuk was brilliantly caught at backward point by Zhang Yong off the bowling of Zhang Yufei. Bhutan's captain Jigme Singye is a fine player and a regular visitor to Thailand and he and Suprit Pradhan were soon in control. Bhutan were 45 for 1 at the end of the powerplay and an early finish was looking on the cards.

Bhutan became the first winners in the ACC Men's T20 Eastern Region 2018 competition when they defeated China by nine wickets as they reached the target of 74 in just 10.1 overs as captain Jigme Singye and Suprit Pradhan quickly made up for the loss of a wicket second ball. Jigme finished on 31 from 25 balls and Suprit made 32 from 33 balls, as the pair shared nine boundaries between them. It was fast bowler Thinley Jamtsho who was named man of the match for bowling impressively to return figures of 3 for 14.

Man of the Match: Bhutan's Thinley Jamtsho

Thailand faced Myanmar in their first match in the competition when they won the toss and elected to bat first with captain Daniel Jacobs and Payuputh opening the batting in the absence of Wanchana Uisuk. Thailand started well as ten runs came off each of the first two overs and Jacobs then clubbed the first six of the tournament over mid-wicket as Thailand reached 33 for no wicket in 3 overs with Payuputh managing to match his captain stroke for stroke in the early stages.

Payuputh was out for 17 from 13 balls when he was bowled off the by Wei Min off the last ball of the fourth over with the score on 35. Kiatiwut Suttisan was run out as Thailand lost their second wicket but this has allowed a third young batsman, Chanchai Pengkumta, to join his captain as Thailand were employing a nice blend of youth and experience at the top of their order. The home side were 46 for 2 after six overs.

Chanchai played out some dot balls but soon emulated his captain by hitting a six over long on to bring up Thailand's fifty. Myanmar's captain Htet Lin Aung had converted from medium pace to off-spin but Thailand were maintaining a rate close to eight per over. Chanchai was showing off his rich potential as he hit his second six to overtake captain Jacobs as Thailand reached 79 for 2 after 10 overs.

Chanchai hit his third six but was caught at wide long-on when attempting his fourth but had given more than a glimpse of his talent in an innings of 34 from 22 balls. Thailand were 90 for 3 after 11 overs as the dangerous Robert Raina came to the crease.

Daniel Jacobs made a fast start to his innings but now was content to push the singles while his partners were doing most of the hitting. Raina hit a pair of sixes to show that the home side were adapting well to the demands of T20 cricket but Myanmar were suffering from dropping a number of catches. Thailand were 129 for 3 from 15 overs and still heading for an above par score.

Raina and Jacobs added 60 for the fourth wicket before both were out in the 18th over bowled by Khin Aye, Jacobs for 41 from 43 balls and Raina for 39 from 22. Sittipong Hongsi and Sarbjot Singh both hit out strongly in the last two overs and Thailand will be pleased with their total of 177 for 5 in 20 overs.

Chanchai Pengkumta had been impressive with the bat and was given the new ball and began equally as well as he bowled both Myanmar openers as they failed to get in line and play him with a straight bat. Myanmar were already deep in trouble after the first over with the score on one for two.

Thailand remained in full control as Payuputh became the second Thai bowler to claim two wickets in the same over as he had Thu Ya Aung caught at mid-on and then bowled Khin Aye to reduce Myanmar to 17 for 4.

Mahsid Faheem last played for Thailand in an ACC tournament in 2010 and so, after spells out with injury when he helped with umpiring and scoring, it was good to see him back in action and he celebrated his return by taking a wicket in his first over as Min Wai was caught at slip. Payuputh took his third wicket as Ye Naing Thun holed out to deep mid-wicket after he had at least reached 15. After eight overs Myanmar were 26 for 6 and heading for a heavy defeat.

Payuputh Sungnard finished his four over spell with figures of 3 for 12 but there was no respite for Myanmar as they were tied in knots by Thailand's two left-arm spinners, Vichanath Singh and Nopphon Senamontree who bowled eight overs in tandem. Myanmar somehow survived the ordeal by spin as Vichanath returned figures of 4-2-3-1 and Nopphon 4-1-6-2 with Sarbjot Singh claiming two stumpings. Myanmar were 39 for 9 from 16 overs and the end was nigh.

Ryan Raina was given an over of off-spin but it was left to Chanchai Pengkumta to take the final wicket as he bowled the number 11 to claim his third wicket. Myanmar were dismissed for 47 in 18 overs to give Thailand victory by the convincing margin of 130 runs.

Man of the Match: Thailand's Chanchai Pengkumta

Chanchai Pengkumta was named man of the match for his innings of 34 and 3 wickets, but it was a great team performance by Thailand as Payuputh Sungnard also took 3 wickets and captain Daniel Jacobs made 41. The second round of matches will be held on Thursday with China playing Myanmar in the morning and Thailand facing Bhutan in the afternoon.

Wed 21 Feb: Day 1

Bhutan v China at TCG
China won the toss and chose to bat
China: 73 all out off 19.4 overs (G.Lu 35*; T.Jamtsho 3-14)
Bhutan: 74 for 1 off 10.1 overs (J.Singye 31*, S.Pradhan 32*)
Man of the Match: Thinley Jamtsho (Bhutan)

Thailand v Myanmar at TCG
Thailand won the toss and chose to bat
Thailand: 177 for 5 off 20 overs (D.Jacobs 41, C.Pengkumta 34, R.Raina 39)
Myanmar: 47 all out off 18 overs (P.Sungnard 3-12, C.Pengkumta 3-15)
Man of the Match: Chanchai Pengkumta (Thailand)

Written by Richard Lockwood

Tournament page

Filed February 21st, 2018