By Conor Dillion
Captain Ford felt his team’s season was gaining momentum after victories against Clontarf 3rds and Mullingar 1sts and another victory would put the team back into the running for promotion and Division 4 honours. Your correspondent missed the victory at Mullingar due to transport logistics and so cannot say what changes there were in the team since that match. Civil Service won the toss and inserted the visitors. The batting order was David Ford, Amit Battan, Dumisany Magala, Vish Vaidyanathan, Eoin Cleere, Mark Wells, Rory Anders, Adam Chester, Ben White, Tyler Balogh, Bramen Adams.
Ford has tried to lead this season by steadying the ship at the top of the batting order. This was to be a day when this tactic backfired as he was bowled for 1 by opposing skipper Darren Webster. It was Battan who knuckled down and tried with relative success to anchor the innings. He and Magala were like ships passing in the night as the South African made a brief 4. A more solid alliance developed with Vaidyanathan who fell lbw to Siddique for 10 to make it 34 for 3. Soon after this a long weather interruption caused the game to be reduced to 40 overs per side. Cleere played a good supporting role to the Indian with 22 from 31 balls and the stand had added 90 when the Dubliner was bowled by N Khan. There were Khans coming from both directions at the batsmen as M Khan bowled from the Chesterfield Avenue end. Battan’s vigil came to an end when he also fell to N Khan for 78 from 86 balls. Wells made a breezy 9 but Anders brought some potency to the batting scene and struck five boundaries in making 31 from 23 balls. Chester gave good support to Anders and had two boundaries of his own to celebrate but when he was run out for 12 there was a real danger that Phoenix would not bat the overs. White and Balogh were both bowled by Seghan for 4 to leave Adams stranded on 13 and a forfeiture of 14 balls. The total was 208 all out.
After a nice tea Keith Webster and M Safin set out towards a Duckworth Lewis target of 203. Duminsany Magala and Ben White were chosen to lead the attack and the Irishman made the first inroad for Phoenix in the fourth over when he had Safin lbw for 11. Magala soon bowled Mistry for 1 and at 29 for 2 Phoenix were making a fight of it. Webster played some very nice shots and his stand with Siddique began to sway the game back towards the home team. Webster eventually fell caught Ford bowled Adams for 36 and Seghan came in at 84 for 3. Seghan and Siddique held their nerve against Adams, Balogh and Anders and after a good spell Anders finished as the most economical of the Phoenix bowlers but was also the only bowler who failed to take a wicket. Siddique was caught in the deep by Magala off Ford to finish on 60 but Seghan carried his bat for 63 and he and Captain Webster saw the home team through to 209 for 6 to remove any doubt about the accuracy of the Duckworth Lewis target.
Man of the Match G Seghan 63 not out, 2 wickets
Phoenix performer A Battan 78 runs