The staging of the annual Manilla Sixes and the annual 'Test' match between Bahrain's Gulf Air and Manilla's Nomads Rugby Club, made March a big month for Filipino cricket. Philippines Cricket Association President, Chris Hartley reports:
A fantastic smorgasbord of cricket was held at Nomad Sport Club last month by the Philippines Cricket Association.
The 2000 Manila Sixes held on Saturday, 11 March was an enjoyable yet exhausting tournament.
The day kicked off with the first game at 9am under hazy skies.
Fortunately, the rain held off but the humidity in the 80's slowly sapped the energy as the games progressed.
The six teams were divided into two leagues: 'Bradman' group comprising India, Rest-of-the-World & Gulf Falcons;
'Sobers' group comprising ANZACS, Gulf Air from Bahrain & Nomads Rugby.
After the morning's round robin format (each team playing two games), the standings were: 'Bradman' group - India 4, Gulf Falcons 2, ROW 0
'Sobers' group - Nomads 4, Gulf Air (Bahrain) 2, ANZACS 0
The first semi-final saw India beat Gulf Air by 34 runs, while in the second, Nomad Rugby were convincing against Gulf Falcons by 54 runs.
The 'wooden spoon' decider saw a closely fought match between ANZACS & ROW. ROW batted first & got a competitive 34 runs from their five overs while losing just one wicket. ANZACS struggled against tight ROW bowling for four overs, eventually requiring 21 runs for victory off the last over.
Courageous ANZAC opener Adam Jones took matters into his own hands dispatching ROW captain Bill Bailey over the boundary three times in three balls to set up a memorable win for the ANZACS.
Gallant ROW captain Bailey took no pleasure in receiving the coveted 'wooden spoon'.
The 3rd/4th place playoff between the Gulf teams was decided off the field final as time was pressing.
The final saw Rugby put up a impressive batting performance scoring 48 off their five overs. However, India were too strong in the end to win the 2000 Manila Sixes Trophy by five wickets. Statistics for the day -
Top team total: 79 (India Vs Gulf Air) (Semi-Final 1)
Top individual total: 50 not out (Michael Jones) (Rugby vs. Gulf 2 in Semi-Final 2)
Top aggregate runs by individual : 95 by Faisal (India).
Sunday 12 March - The Crown Worldwide annual test match between Nomads & Gulf Air was won by Nomads in a nail biting finish.
Nomads had the first dig and scored a modest 179 from their 35 overs. Gulf Air started well seeing off the Nomad opening bowlers without loss.
However, the depth of the Nomads attack soon took its toll on the visitors with four quick wickets. Despite the setback Gulf fought back well and were on target to victory with 56 runs required off the last 10 overs & four wickets in hand. Alas, it was not to be for the Gulfies.
Inspired bowling from Nomads, especially from Frank 'FOFA' Sharpley (4-32) scuttled the visitors for 168, 12 runs short of victory.