Phoenix went into the the third of three consecutive away games in a positive frame of mind after accounting for the hosts in Carrickfergus in the Irish Senior Cup (although the reward for this was another trip up north to North Down) in the first and in the second ending a recent losing run at Sydney Parade.  Phoenix have also had a difficult time at Milverton in recent years with the most frustrating result being a defeat on the last ball in 2013 and when that season ended The Hills were champions and Phoenix were relegated. Adam Chester returned to the side with Richie Lawrence making way. Phoenix won the toss and inserted the hosts. The team who took the field for Phoenix was Captain and wicket keeper Nicolaas Pretorius, Reinhardt Strydom, Ari Karvelas, Graham Morris, Thomas Anders, Adam Chester, Rory Anders, Ben White,  Ian Anders, Gordon Millar, Andy Brawders.

The weather meant that play did not start until 3.48 with the match reduced at that  point to 37 overs each. Phoenix rotated Karvelas, Thomas Anders and Morris quite a lot early on but it was the South African who took the first wicket for the visitors – Mcloughlin Gavin caught by Pretorius for 5. Donegan and Van der Merwe got the score up to 48 for 1 but once again the umpires felt the rain was too heavy to keep playing and the teams were off the field from 4.28 to 6.10. The match was reduced again – this time to 24 overs each. The second wicket stand had reached 81 when Strydom had Van der Merwe caught by Karvelas for 35. Donegan got to 50 before he also fell to Strydom with the hosts thinking they needed get on with things and try to set a difficult target for Phoenix. Sorenson hit four boundaries in an innings of nine balls with Rooney Murphy’s 26 the best of the rest. With Phoenix conceding 21 extras the innings closed on 167 for 9. Strydom fared best of the bowlers but White and Millar also took 2 wickets  and the Phoenix outfielders also effected 2 run outs.

The Duckworth Lewis calculation set Phoenix a target of 177 from their 24 overs. Strydom faced the first ball with Ian Anders at the other end. Strydom hit a boundary and a single from Cartwright’s first over and retained the strike for Van der Merwe’s first over from which he struck three boundaries in the first four balls. When he got to face at last Anders batted at a good tempo and the stand had reached 78 when the teenager was caught and bowled by Ali to exit on 25 from 25 balls. Pretorius brought himself to the crease next and he was soon hitting some scoring shots while Strydom kept attacking at the other end. After a stand of 41 Strydom was bowled by Van der Merwe for 65. Rory Anders hit a breezy 13 including two sixes but Pretorius batted on and was unlucky not to reach 50. Karvelas and Thomas Anders were undefeated as Phoenix reached 177 with eight balls to spare.

Man of the Match Reinhardt Strydom   5-0-20-2;  65 runs

Conor Dillon