by Conor Dillon
Efforts to play a friendly against Mullingar having run aground at Phoenix Captain Ford at last had the chance to lead his troops again at Park Avenue. On the face of it Phoenix had a solid and experienced eleven and with last year’s matchwinner Tim Townend not featuring for the home side victory seemed to be a possibility. Ford won the toss and elected to bat first. The batting order was Thomas Anders, Amit Battan, David Ford, Vish Vaidyanathan, Rory Anders, Jonathan Wardell, Adam Chester, Mark Wells, Sayed Shah, Sayed Saif, Tyler Balogh.
Phoenix got off the mark with two wides in the first over but there was a setback at the beginning of the second over when Battan drove the first ball he faced back into the hands of a grateful Carroll. Battan then had to watch as Ford and Anders added 80 for the second wicket in 54 minutes which suggested that a good score would be attained. Ford was bowled by Zeeshan for 29 and Railway managed to restrict Vaidyanathan to a solitary boundary before he was caught by Ul Haq off Seby. The Anders brothers added 44 in 43 minutes and the rest of the batting order mainly got starts but did not carry on with Wardell getting 15, Chester 2, Wells 17, Shah 7, Saif 5 and Balogh undefeated on 14. The innings closed on a slightly low 203 with Thomas Anders top scoring with 47 and extras making a useful 44.
Josh Uddin and Dharam Singh got the reply off to a positive start with Phoenix on their way to conceding as many extras as the hosts. After 61 minutes Uddin was lbw to Tyler Balogh for 37 to make it 78 for 1 but this was to be Tyler’s only success on a day of toil which saw him finish with figures of 10-2-39-1. Who would Captain Ford turn to to take the other 9 wickets? Rory Anders and Adam Chester were expensive but Chester made an inroad when he bowled Singh for 27. Thomas Anders bowled his full allocation of 10 overs for 40 runs without taking a wicket and Ford gave himself a spell of 5 overs taking 1 for 18 while Sayed Saif got in on the act with the scalp of Ul Haq. However, in the end Grehan and Coburn saw the hosts home comfortably by 6 wickets with a 47 run stand.