4th XI Match Report (a) -v- Mulligar – Division 9

Phoenix 4 XI v Mullingar 2nd XI

Saturday, 3rd May 2014
St Finian’s College

The 4s made the trip to Mullingar on the back of an opening day win over North County. The team showed two changes with Ian Anders and Gordon Miller (making his debut for Phoenix) replacing Nathan Kearns and Matt Gregg.

Captain Anders lost the toss again and Phoenix were asked to field first. Clarke and Raza opened the bowling. Both were unlucky to make the breakthrough in the first 10 overs. But they did keep a lid on the run rate. Towards the end of the 9th over, a band of heavy misty rain blew in over the ground. Even with a strong wind, it rained there for the rest of the afternoon. Credit to the both teams and the umpires (A Mathews and D Dockrell) for braving the conditions to ensure the game was completed.

Dismore replaced Clarke and Monjur replaced Raza. Dismore produced an excellent spell of fast bowling in tricky conditions. He was rewarded with figures of 6-1-13-3. With a bit more luck and safer hands in the field, he would have had his ‘Michelle’. Monjur’s sole wicket arrived courtesy of a ball that barely got above the batsman’s toes and took the off stump out of the ground. (Unfortunately for Monjur, karma got its own back when he was dismissed by a similar ball.)

Gordon ‘Murali’ Miller replaced Dismore. This resulted in a lot of head scratching from the players who had played on the 4s in 2013. See Mr Miller bowls off-spin (considered a ‘dark art’ but some in the team). In the 2013, a grand total of ONE over was bowled by a spinner. So the sight of six being bowled in one match was a novelty. And a great novelty at that. Miller took 3 for 8 off his 6 overs. No doubts spin will play a major part on the 4s this season.

Ian Anders replaced Monjur and after a few loose deliveries, he found his radar and took 2 wickets. With Mullingar nine wickets down, it was time for a bowling change. Sensing a need to finish them off quickly, Captain ‘Golden Arm’ Anders entered the attack. Suffice to say, Mullingar’s innings finished after four balls of his over. A great effort in testing conditions saw Phoenix restrict Mullingar to 106 all out.

After tea, Gopal and Bampfield set about knocking off the runs before the rain could end the game prematurely. Bampfield was run out on 7 thanks to some iffy calling from Gopal. Gopal did go some way to rectify this with some beautiful drives through mid-wicket. Naeem faced 17 balls for his 27 while Gopal faced 26 for his 27. This combination took Phoenix to within sight of the 107 finish line. Monjur added 6 before a ball crept under his bat and remove his off stump. But Ian Anders (18*), who had come in at number 3 and Dismore (7*) saw Phoenix home.

Man of the Match – Tough choice between Dismore and Miller. So I am not going to. Both of them deserve it.

Special Mention – To Raj’s wife, Sonja, for the food.

Phoenix 4th XI – John Anders (c), Grant White (wk), Raj Gopal, Adam Bampfield, Ian Anders, Naeem Shahzad, Monjur Ahmed, Devon Dismore, Gordon Miller, Ali Raza, William Clarke

Next Game: Phoenix 4th XI v Swords 1, Sunday 18th May 2014, Newbridge Demesne, Swords (Just off the roundabout at Junction 4 on the M1!)