Brunei: National team wins Borneo Cup; domestic comp. suffers setbacks

At the start of the 2000 season we had six teams. Cavaliers, a team comprising mainly Sri Lankans, were unfortunately forced to fold during the first round of the League. The remaining teams played each other twice to determine the winners of this first competition.

The Panaga Club, which now hosts all official cricket played in Brunei at their ground in Kuala Belait, managed to win the league although not without a few reversals of form. Panaga annihilated Manggis in the first round by dismissing them for only 7 runs but Manggis narrowly won the second encounter. Royal Brunei Yacht Club continued to be a nemesis for Panaga with the first match tied and the second easily won by Yachts. Panaga defeated both Menglait and BSRC twice and overall lost fewer games and so were the League victors.

To add to the flavour of the season we have had two 6-a-side tournaments, both won by RBYC and we are presently involved in a Super-8 competition.

The annual triangular Borneo Cup between Sarawak, Sabah and Brunei was played in Kota Kinabalu from 18 to 20 July. The hosts Sabah, the reigning champs, played Brunei in the first of the three 50 over matches. Brunei batting crumbled to 39 for 5 before Peter Manning (26) and Daniel Wilson (30) compiled 54 for the 6th wicket. Then Sanjiv Sabharwal smote 40 in forthright fashion to steer Brunei to 166. Sabah stalwarts Haerul (4 for 27), Roslan 2 for 37) and Hatta (1 for 21) were the pick of the attack.

Daniel Wilson (2 for 11) and Sidik (2 for 20) bowled with too much purpose and venom for the Sabah team. Peter Manning (2 for 10) and Manzur Ahmed (2 for 4) mopped up the remainder of the wickets. Only Haerul (31) offered any significant resistance in their total of 74.

The following day saw Brunei play Sarawak. Brunei were odds on to win this encounter but early signs of weariness and a general lack of focus threatened to dampen the Bruneian spirit somewhat. Malcolm (22) and Gordon Chung (17) looked ominous but some timely wickets and a welcome drinks break saw the favourites back in the saddle. Peter Manning, Renato and Sidik all bowled well to have Sarawak dismissed for 128. In reply Justin (29), Renato (21*) and Mahmud (42) quickly sealed the win and the return of the Borneo Cup to Brunei.

Discussions at this years tournament centred on the possibility of establishing a similar tournmanet at the secondary school level.

Until recently we had access to two grounds for cricket in Brunei. Both are in Kuala Belait district to the west of the country necessitating a 100 km journey from the main town Bandar Seri Begawan for most of the cricketing fraternity. During a recent match one of our members managed to drive a lofted on-drive through a pavilion window (only the second time in the last seven years that this has been recorded). Unfortunately this has led to our banishment form the said ground so we are now restricted to only one venue.