Phoenix v Waringstown 18/04/15
Phoenix opened the season with a 40 overs each friendly against Waringstown. Captain/Coach Richie Lawrence was hoping to bat first but as it turned out the visitors batted first. There were debuts for three new arrivals in the shape of Kiwi all rounder Coach Sam Anderson, Matt Scott and the burly Alastair Taylor behind the stumps. Your correspondent was unsure as to whether Devon Dismore had appeared in the first team before. The others not yet mentioned were Coach Lunson, Thomas Anders, Ian Anders, Eoin Cleere, Adam Chester and M D Masud Ahmed.
Thomas Anders opened from the top end and Sam Anderson opened from the magazine fort end with Dawson and Hall getting off to a good start as Anderson’s first two deliveries were struck for four. It was Anders who ended the stand at 33 when he enticed Dawson into giving Lawrence a catching chance. The bespectacled scorer did not spot too many errors in the outfield but the Executive Manager who umpired the first innings reported that at one point only one wicket had fallen and five catches had been shelled. Hall retired unbeaten on 79 to give his team mates an innings whereas had he batted for 5 or 6 more overs he was on course for a century. Captain Nelson retired after making a useful 61 and there were plenty more runs down the order with Scott and Chester suffering the most but all the bowlers had their issues. Thomas Anders took 2 wickets, Ian Anders took 1 wicket, Sam Anderson took 1 wicket and Masud Ahmed took 1 wicket.
Needing 261 to win was always going to be a tall order for Phoenix and it looked ominous when after hitting a nice four Taylor was dismissed by the next delivery. Masud looked on ruefully from the non-striker’s end as Thomas Anders, Cleere and Chester all followed Taylor back to the clubhouse after scores of 0, 3 and 4 respectively. At number 6 Scott proved a more able partner for Masud and the Bangladeshi was next out after a fluent innings of 51. Anderson was next in and the two debutants put on the biggest stand of the innings (51) before Anderson was caught and finished on 35. Scott got out after a patient 30 and Captain Lawrence had a good innings of 36 with the innings closing on 202 for 8 with Ian Anders and Devon Dismore undefeated on 15 and 8 respectively. Coach Lunson was not required to bat.
Man of the match Masud Ahmed 1-42; 51 runs
Phoenix v North Kildare 19/04/15
There were several changes to the home team for the weekend’s second game. Ian Anders, Eoin Cleere, Adam Chester, Devon Dismore and Coach Lunson were able to put their feet up and into the side for some vital match practice were the veteran bowler Chris Cavanagh, Rory Anders, Vish Vaidyanathan, Ben White and Usman. Those playing on successive days were Captain/Coach Richie Lawrence, Coach Sam Anderson, M D Masud Ahmed, Alastair Taylor, Thomas Anders and Matt Scott. It was interesting that the visitors were happy to play this friendly after their bowling attack suffered last year while Peterson made a century but again they were happy to bowl first in this 45 overs per side match.
Masud and Taylor added 11 in the first over and this time Taylor batted with the patience and concentration required of someone who would be needed to complement Masud’s aggressive approach. The stand had realised 71 when Masud was caught by Ul haq to give Ali a victim. Taylor continued to slowly accumulate while Captain Lawrence batted positively at the other end and when the second wicket stand ended at 42 the skipper was out for 30. Coach Anderson was next in and he managed the double feat of outlasting the adhesive opener and beating his score with Taylor finally falling for 51 and Anderson going on to make 67 and past 100 for the weekend. Phoenix were 201 for 4 with 9 overs to go and the Anders brothers at the crease and it was a question of getting quick runs at the end of the innings. From this point the middle order and tail added 55 runs from 52 balls and if one wanted to nit pick one might say that the last two deliveries should not have been forfeited.
The Anders brothers were the new ball combination against Neavyn and Singh. Rory removed Singh and Ul Haq in the 4th over with Masud and Lawrence holding the catches. Vorster applied himself to the situation and he and Neavyn managed a stand of 52 before Masud had him caught by Rory Anders for 23. Neavyn’s innings of 85 minutes finally ended when White had him caught by Vaidyanathan. Satchwell had a good innings in the middle order and scored 43 runs from 36 deliveries and there was more resistance from Dalton who carried his bat for 35. The ex Laois man – Auret – made a useful 23 and after batting for 45 overs – 2 balls more than Phoenix – the innings closed on 205 for 7. Captain Lawrence did not bowl himself and Alastair Taylor was behind the stumps for the entire innings but all nine others were given a helping of overs ranging from 9 for Thomas Anders to 3 for Cavanagh and Usman. Rory Anders finished on 2 wickets, Thomas Anders finished on 1 wicket and so did Masud, White, Vaidyanathan and Anderson. One worrying sign might be the Phoenix over rate as despite at one point having a spinner bowling at both ends it took 3 hours and 18 minutes to bowl 45 overs.
Batting Coach Anderson 67 Alastair Taylor 51
Bowling Rory Anders 2-17