In his second consecutive day at The Vineyard your correspondent could have been forgiven for thinking that Milverton was a Utopia or a parallel universe where there is a cricket match every day and where Clinton has already been elected President. Phoenix’s form had slipped a little in recent weeks and they probably needed two wins out of their last five league fixtures to hold their place in Division 1 for 2017. Phoenix won the toss and elected to bat. The batting order was Rheinhardt Strydom, Nicolass Pretorius, M D Masud Ahmed, Sam Anderson, Adam Chester, Matt Scott, Rory Anders, Ben White, Thomas Anders, Alessandro Morris and Andy Brawders.
Sorenson’s radar was a little off in the first few deliveries with three wides followed by a boundary for Strydom. From 7 for 0 at 1.03 Phoenix struggled to pierce a gap in Shoukat’s field at one end and three wickets fell trying to hit out against Sorenson. Anderson was bowled by Shoukat and the former Ireland international bowled six consecutive maidens before Chester got after him for two fours in his seventh. Shoukat finished on 10-7-13-1 which should have been 10-8-12-1 but for a misfield by a team mate on his last ball. Things began to improve for Phoenix as Chester and Scott came together when both were on 0 and they worked hard for over 100 minutes with Chester making 51 from 76 balls and Scott 29 from 86 balls. Rory Anders made 18 including three fours , White and Morris both made 3 and the last wicket pair of Thomas Anders and Brawders added 26 ( if memory serves that equalled the last wicket stand at Merrion in May ) with Brawders impressing umpire Block for one or two big shots in his 14 and Thomas hitting three fours in an undefeated 20.
Former Phoenix star Manu Kumar fell in the fourth over but Mcloughlin and Shah got things going for the home team and produced a stand of 56 before Anderson had McLoughlin caught by Chester who was deputising for the injured Pretorius behind the stumps. Morris got an lbw verdict to remove Van Der Merwe for just 1 but Morris was unable to contain the batsmen to his usual 3.6 to 3.8 runs an over and ended on 1-34 from just 5 overs. At 97 for 4 when Shah fell on 31 The Hills still had a job to do but Sorenson began to get after all the bowlers while Baumgart picked up singles and rotated the strike nicely. Pretorius’s over of 0-14 did not justify bringing him into the attack but the match was probably lost early in the Phoenix innings. The Hills won by 6 wickets.
Man of the match Sorenson 3-28 and 82 not out
Phoenix performer Adam Chester 51 – 1 catch and 1 stumping