Apologies for the delay in posting the report
by Conor Dillon
Without a win in their three previous fixtures Phoenix were without Captain David Ford for this cup match due to his daughter’s communion the previous day. Jonty Wardell stepped into the breach. Also out of the side since the Tillain Cup defeat were Mohammed Tayyib, Graham Morris and Mark Gibson-McKenna. Eoin Cleere, Matt Lunson, Tyler Balogh and Ben White came back into the side. North County won the toss and chose to bat first. The eleven who took the field for Phoenix were: Captain and wicket keeper Jonathan Wardell, Coach Matt Lunson, Vish Vaidyanathan, Tyler Balogh, Adam Chester, Phillip Keane, Amit Battan, Eoin Cleere, Mark Wells, Sayed Shah, Ben White.
Balogh bowled a tidy opening spell of 5 overs and Shah bowled the first four at the other end reasonably as Andrews and McGovern took the home team to 28 for 0. The scoring rate jumped a gear when Battan and Chester came into the attack. Chester and Lunson improved their economy rates as the overs progressed whereas White was quite tidy early on but may feel that he bowled one over too many after his last over went for 18 runs. Phoenix did begin picking up wickets as Chester ended with two thanks to catches from Vaidyanathan and Balogh, White taking two catches off the bowling of Balogh, Coach Lunson clean bowling three victims and having one caught by Battan while the Indian himself took the other wicket to fall. Phoenix had the home team all out with 8 balls to spare as the number 11 was so dissatisfied with his place in the batting order that he went home. For North County McGovern might feel unlucky that he finished on 88 and John Andrews and Terry Richardson both made 45 to help set Phoenix a target of 243.
Phillip Keane and Amit Battan were quickly separated by a run out and after one boundary the burly Kiwi was caught behind. Vaidyanathan was in good nick and Wardell played steadily with him for a while until he was caught behind off McGovern. Chester’s 9 beat Cleere’s 7 but Phoenix were struggling when Vaidyanathan was out for 62 and Lunson and Wells came together. Their stand of 88 brought Phoenix back into the contest and Shah and Balogh rotated the strike well to leave Phoenix needing 15 to win off the last over. After 4 runs from the first two balls the pair were dismissed thanks to catches from consecutive deliveries by McGovern as the home team completed victory by 10 runs.
Man of the match: N McGovern 88 runs, 3-23
Phoenix batting: V Vaidyanathan 62
Phoenix bowling: M Lunson 4-51