1st XI v Railway Union – 17/4/2017

After a washout in Belfast on Easter Sunday Phoenix had another chance to prepare for the Division 1 2017 season with a home friendly against Railway Union. The match was to be 40 overs each with Phoenix batting first. Your correspondent did not see a team list for the Belfast game and so could not be sure if there were any changes between the two games.  Coach Strydom rested himself and current skipper Nicolaas Pretorius and former skipper Richie Lawrence put themselves at 10 and 11 so that the younger members of the team would have a chance to bat. The batting order was Adam Chester, Rory Anders, Ari Kervelas, Thomas Anders, Matt Scott , Ben White, Ian Anders, Andy Brawders,  Mike Godwin, Riichie Lawrence, Nicolaas Pretorius.

Chester was adhesive early on while Rory Anders found his fluency a little more quickly but as Chester got his eye in the runs began to come at both ends with Chester the first man out for 34 after an opening stand of 68 in 41 minutes. Kervelas struck a boundary from his first ball and managed  5 runs from his next eleven balls. The sequence of scoring shots that followed was 6, 4, 4, 4, 6, 1, 6, 4, 6, 6. Kervelas then retired on 56. It was an innings that brought back memories of Peterson clubbing the North Kildare attack all over the ground in 2014 or going further back to Torissi’s 58 not out from 22 balls against Limavady in 2003. Thomas Anders batted well and may have considered himself unlucky not to reach 50. Matt Scott was industrious and it seemed that 17 was an unusual score to retire on. White made 6. Ian Anders would probably have reached 50 within one or two more overs while Brawders could be happy with an undefeated 19. The innings closed on 270.

Kervelas took the new ball from the Pasley end with Rory Anders coming from the magazine fort end. Having been run out at the Maws on Saturday Godwin will have taken some quiet satisfaction from running out the opener Kenny before he had scored. Hunt was removed for 5 when Rory Anders had him caught with Godwin the fielder responsible again.No. 5 Divney was bowled by White for 0 and no. 6 Duffy also fell to White for 7. Your correspondent was unable to identify the fielders who ran out Hafiz for 14 and caught Maan to give Brawders a wicket. No. 9 Grehan tried hard for the visitors and finished as their top scorer with 29. It was sad to see the no. 10 working so hard to keep the no. 11 off the strike and Rory Anders first delivery to Van Dyk ended the match. Phoenix won by 155 runs.

A good team effort by Phoenix but against opponents who were overmatched.