By Conor Dillon
While on our way to the automated teller machine at Ballyfermot Captain Ford requested that our pre-match conversation be between ourselves. So be it. It was a day to bat first and after calling correctly at the toss Captain Ford chose to do just that. Thomas and Rory Anders returned to the side in place of Duminsany Magala and Kaleem Shaikh. The batting order was David Ford, Amit Battan, Thomas Anders, Vish Vaidyanathan, Rory Anders, Eoin Cleere, Adam Chester, Tyler Balogh, Branem Adams, Ben White, Mark Gibson-McKenna.
Ford settled in steadily with some early scoring shots but this was not to be Battan’s day as he was bowled by I Haider for 6. Thomas Anders got himself in but then got out for 24 to Mahmood. Vaidyanathan also made double figures but fell lbw to O’Neill for 13. Ford had reached 45 at this point and was looking on for a big score if someone could hold the other end up. Positive play from Rory Anders meant that there were runs coming from both ends at the Mullingar bowlers and fielders as they struggled for a breakthrough. The stand added 159 and lasted from 2.08 to 3.46 (less a 6 minutes drinks break) and during this stand the crowd applauded when Ford raised his bat as he had reached a century.
Ford’s dismissal for 118 opened an end up for Mullingar as the lower middle order and tail enders had to go for quick runs while bearing in mind that Anders could still get a century. It was not to be for the big man as he unfortunately fell on 92 but with 13 from Cleere, 1 from Balogh, 1 from White, 5 not out for Adams, 7 not out from two balls for Gibson-McKenna and with 24 extras the final total was 304 for 9.
Tyler Balogh made the first breakthrough for Phoenix when he had I Haider caught by Ben White for 16. Ejaz made a useful 36 before he was stumped by Battan bowled White and in the meantime Ford had caught O’Neill to give Balogh a second victim. A good throw by Adams to Battan saw R Naughiyal run out for 9 and Ryan was bowled by Thomas Anders for 1. Suddenly the Mullingar reply was struggling and now Captain Ford unleashed the guile of Adams on the rest of the order. With two lbw decisions, one clean bowled and catches by Rory Anders and Vish Vaidyanathan Adams ended with figures of 2.4-0-6-5 to wrap up the match.
Man of the Match: David Ford 118 runs