On Saturday 22nd June 2014, the Phoenix 4th XI made the trip to Ringcommons for the sixth away game (includes a Monday evening trip to Ringcommons for a Whelan Cup match) in a row. There is rumour of a home cup game on Sunday 29th June 2014. A homecoming of sorts!
Anyway, back to Ringcommons. The 4s saw a number of changes in the line-up with the top three in the batting order either playing on the 2s or away on jolidays. Into the team came Junaid Ashfaq, Ronan Harris and James Maginnis.
Having won the toss, Captain Anders opted to bat first and try post a challenging total. Clarke (yes him) and Junaid opened the batting. Clarke was first out with an impressive strike rate of 133.33. (He scored 4 off 3 balls!) Big Grant White joined Junaid set about building a solid partnership. White hit some impressive boundaries on his way to 49. Junaid contributed a well-made 32 as well.
Monjur (18), Ronan (14) and Ali Raza (12) helped the score tick over. In the end, Phoenix were bowled out for 156 in just under 40 overs.
After a very pleasant tea, Phoenix took to the field with gusto. A poor opening spell from Clarke (he’s a batsman you now) saw him replaced after 4 expensive overs. Ali, Monjur (2 for 34), Dev (1 for 25) and Nathan toiled away. Dev taking the big wicket of what seemed like Ringcommons only batsman on the day.
Ringcommons continued to make steady if some-what slow progress towards their target of 157. The brakes were further applied with the introduction of Gordon ‘Murali’ Millar and his off-spin. Murali Millar finished with figures of 4 for 15 off 8 overs.
With the game tilting towards Ringcommons, the Phoenix team pulled together and pulled off a remarkable finish to the game. Ringcommons had 5 wickets in hand needing 14 runs to win with plenty of overs remaining. Captain Anders, as he has been all season, made another inspired decision to back Clarke back into the attack. With Millar at one end and Clarke (2 for 36) at the other, Phoenix set about getting the remaining wickets. As each wicket fell, the commitment in the field increased and so did chances of winning the game.
The pressure was building on the batsmen as was the tension in the middle. With only 6 runs needed to win, Clarke bowled the last batsman to record an exceptional win for the 4s. This was a truly magnificent team effort. Every single player played a part in the win.
The 4s remain unbeaten and stand top of Division 9 for another week.
Grant White’s knock of 49 certainly set up the game but the man of the match has to go to Millar for his 4 for 15. He wrestled the game away from Ringcommons with a superb display of off-spin bowling.
The game was played in a great spirit with both teams contributing to a wonderful afternoon of cricket.
Next up the 4s play Railway Union, in a re-fixed cup match, on Sunday 29th June 2014 in Phoenix. 1pm start. This is the Intermediate Cup which Phoenix has won 3 out of the last 4 years and are defending champions.
Phoenix Team that played Ringcommons – John Anders, Grant White, Willie Clarke, Junaid Ashfaq, Monjur Ahmad, Ronan Harris, Devon Dismore, James Maginnis, Nathan Kearns, Gordon Millar, and Ali Raza.