4th XI Match Report (h) v North County – Division 9

Phoenix 4ths Start 2014 season with a hard fought home victory.

Phoenix 4s v North County 4s. Division 9. Phoenix Park. 27/04/2014

Phoenix’s 4th XI opened their Division 9 campaign with a tough assignment against North County 4s in the Phoenix Park on Sunday last.

New captain, John Anders, lost the toss and Phoenix were asked to bat first. Phoenix welcomed 2 club debutants on show, Adam Bampfield and Nathan Kearns.

Raj Gopal and Matt Gregg opened the batting and chalked an very solid opening stand of 52 before Gregg (34) fell to a catch at extra cover. Bampfield joined Gopal in the middle. Their excellent partnership of 72 saw Gopal go to 50 but it wasn’t without incident. North County appealed for a catch behind the wicket off Bampfield. Umpire Anders didn’t hear any edge and called not out.

What happened over the next 10 minutes and continued on throughout the Phoenix innings has no place on a cricket ground. North County players launched into volley of such abuse, the atmosphere was very tense. Bampfield stayed in the zone and went on to score 37.

At 124 for 1, with plenty of overs to go, Phoenix were in a great position to post a sizeable score. However, an England-esque collapse saw Phoenix all out for 155. Over to the bowlers!

After another wonderful tea and with strong words from the captain ringing in their ears, Phoenix took to the field. Clarke and Raza opened the bowling and tied the North County openers down. Raza struck first sending the off-stump cartwheeling down the ground. Clarke bowled his 9 over in a row and finished with figures of 9-1-25-1.

Kearns replaced Raza and Monjur replaced Clarke. Kearns bowled well without any luck. Raza replaced Kearns after drinks to try nick a wicket. Despite a load of effort and some great bowling, the second wicket for Raza just wouldn’t come. Monjur was putting the batsmen under pressure and picked up wickets at the other end to keep Phoenix well ahead in the game. Naeem fielded like a professional with 3 catches and a run out.

Bampfield replaced Kearns at the Graham Pasley End and was unlucky to only get 2 overs considering he took 2 wickets and the one run against his bowling figures was a no-ball. But Captain Golden Arm Anders came to end the innings with the last ball of his only over taking down middle stump.

A great start to the season against a tough opposition.

Notable performances – Raj Gopal 50. Monjur Ahmed 3 for 26. Naeem Shahzad 3 catches and a run out. Ali Raza great spell – more wickets to come next week. Adam and Nathan added a huge amount to the team on debut.

Thanks to Kate and Hannah for the teas, Conor Dillon for scoring, Mike ‘Supersub’ Godwin and our merry band of supporters. A big thanks as ever to Collie for preparing a pitch that fell victim to rain on Saturday.

Next up is a trip to Mullingar on Saturday, 03/05/2014.

Phoenix Team: John Anders (c), Grant White (wk), Raj Gopal, Matt Gregg, Adam Bampfield, Naeem Shahzad, Devon Dismore, Monjur Ahmed, Ali Raza, Nathan Kearns, William Clarke.