Peter Warner has years of experience on his side and has scored countless runs in league cricket in his native Essex where he returns each year after hibernating in Chiang Mai for the winter. He spends time with his fayily and treats cricket purely as a social activity. 'I've scored my runs, time for everybody else to score the runs' is his motto and, as captain, he makes sure everybody else in the Lanna team gets in the game.
On Saturday, we all arrived for a Lanna friendly with three of the touring Washingtonians still able to play while their team-mates were already on the way home. Looking at the player list it worked out that the Lanna Thais regulars could take on the remaining Lanna players along with the three guests. Pete would mastermind a good game and it was decided that Lanna would bat first on a used pitch.
The young Thai bowlers were unleashed against a strong looking batting line-up with Pete looking for another afternoon without his bats on. It wasn't to be as Cher bowled Burhan second ball and then Choo claimed the vital wicket of Martin Cardno as he fended down the leg-side. Fellow New Zealander Kiwi Tony Harris had taken root but Jack and Neil found it all too difficult and Lanna were in real trouble when Richard Cowles was run out after hitting his first ball for four.
Lanna were 43 for 5 in 8.1 overs when Captain Pete walked to the crease and yes he proceeded to play the perfect Captain's Innings. He played himself in carefully as Cher and Choo finished their outstanding opening spells and then Jun was also quite a handful despite an injured thumb.
Tony was run out for 34 to leave the score on 68 for 6 but as Shoaib defended stoutly Pete started to go for his shots even though Matt Bray was gaining some sharp turn with his off-spin. The seventh wicket partnership had reached 52 when Shoaib was stumped off young Lamphun left-armer Gai and Luke and Eric from Washington did not last long as the ninth wicket fell at 130.
Martin Papworth normally bats higher than number 11 and normally plays for Lanna Thais but he batted confidently as Pete neared his fifty. The last wicket partnership posted 28 crucial runs and allowed Pete to record a well deserved half-century in the last over in a total of 158 for 9 in 30 overs.
This was a good score after such a bad start but Lanna Thais were confident of victory if they were able to bat out the overs as they had some powerful hitters in their line-up. As Champ got his head down Choo, Jon Scales and Jun all went for their shots and the run out of Jun for 16 as he dived head first to complete a third run was probably the crucial wicket.
Champ just kept on batting as Shoaib claimed three wickets for 22 and Yot helped him add 40 runs for the eighth wicket as the opener began to found the boundary on a regular basis. 53 were needed from the last 10 overs but the lower-order were unable to come to terms with the gentle off-cutters bowled by Richard Cowles who finished with the day's best figures of 3 for 9.
Lanna Thais were finally bowled out for 121 in 27.1 overs leaving Champ unbeaten on 44 having achieved the rare feat of carrying his bat throughout a completed innings. Lanna had recorde a memorable victory by 37 runs and all club members were delighted they had seen such a special innings from Captain Pete.
Lanna 158 for 9 (30 overs)
Tony Harris 34, Pete Warner 53*; Cher 2 for 26, Choo 3 for 35, Gai 2 for 18
Lanna Thais 121 (27.1 overs)
Lanna won by 37 runs
Champ 44*, Jun 16; Shoaib 3 for 22, Luke Mitchell 2 for 34, Richard Cowles 3 for 9