Capt. Staunton’s men approached the challenge with Trinity with sober expectation rather than the loose delirium that flowed from an easy victory the previous week.
Another Phoenix debutant joined the squad, Travis Stringer – our debutants have been outstanding so far; how would Travis fare?
A glorious day at Phoenix – the Trinity team give us the honour of batting first – gratefully acknowledged. Not as fluid as the first match, progress of the top 3 was gradual, Dar (5) and Abbas (1) were out with only 26 on the board. The bowling was erratic: excellent deliveries mixed in with more challenging bowling requiring good use of the feet. Our debutant Travis (68) came to the crease with the score on 26 and with Maginnis (48) proceeded to build a 104 run partnership taking the rate close to run-a-ball. Travis hits the ball cleanly and ‘through the line’, but gorged himself on some high full tosses to show ‘flat-batting’ at its best. Maginnis fell short of his 50 in the first over after drinks. Keeper Wamiq (12) looked to keep the momentum, however, Travis was dismissed a few runs later. A great knock.
Matt Wilson (11) entered the fray – the short 15 run partnership was tense – missed calls and missed runs, led inevitably to a confused run out. Matt, not to blame, looked in the same excellent shape as the previous week. Wamiq departed shortly afterwards. The mighty Iqbal (76 ret’d hurt) delivered another punishing batting display. The Trinity bowlers were doing their best in the intense heat but tiredness ensured too many deliveries were dragged down short. Junaid capitalised and then accelerated the scoring. Monjur (3) missed out this week but Captain Emmet (13*) supported Junaid who perhaps surprisingly given his subcontinental background retired hurt with heat exhaustion. The young Abdullah Tariq (1*) faced the last over. 270 runs from last week was surpassed with 271 for 7 off 40 overs this week.
Trinity replied to their challenge with great gusto. Bats were being flailed, edges found and a number of boundaries quickly got Trinity to 30 for 1 after 2 overs for the loss of 1 wicket. Our opening bowling Abbas and Tariq perhaps too variable and a pace that facilitated the bowl to fly to boundaries too easily. Capt. Emmet remained cool and alternated the bowling attack, arresting the run rate and ensuring the steady loss of wickets. Matt – seam (2 for 28 off 7), Usama – seam (2 for 23 off 8), and Vignesh – spin (2 for 34 off 7) were backed up well by an excellent fielding display. Matt Wilson taking 2 superb catches involving a chase to get under the high ball – excellent.
The run rate escalated and the Trinity guys battled well to reach the 39th over. Capt. Emmet finished their innings with a tidy catch at extra cover off Monjur.
Phoenix win by 83 runs.
The first outing for the 5ths. Emmett Staunton has taken on the role of Captain for the 2nd season in a row, and for the Club’s benefit, with its immense gratitude, the role of Membership Secretary. The goal for this season – to bounce back to Div 12 and continue to be a developing ground for youth.
The fruits of his labours as Membership Secretary resulted in welcoming 2 debutants to Phoenix and to the 5th XI, Masroor Abbas and Matt Wilson. And what a start to their Phoenix cricketing career, more later.
Terenure fielded a largely youth dominated squad whereas Phoenix had none! Very unusual for the 5th XI – that will change considerably as the season progresses. We were honoured to have official umpires and a pristine Phoenix grass wicket.
Batting first Phoenix established an extraordinary total – 270 for loss of 7 wickets. From the start the batsmen maintained a positive approach exploiting any bad balls available. After 10 overs the team was scoring run-a-ball – 62 for 2. Walker (7) and Maginnis (24) taking an early rest.
Masroor Abbas (40) – No 3 in his first match started aggressively – declining easy singles for large scale hitting. The short boundary particularly magnetic. Brief anxiety after the early losses of Captain Emmet (4) and Keeper Wamiq (1), coming in at 4 and 5 respectively were soon forgotten with the arrival of Matt Wilson (39) and then Junaid Iqbal (75). This pair added 95 for the 6th wicket. An excellent illustration of punishing loose bowling – power and controlled aggression; the pugnacious Iqbal outstanding. Monjur Ahmad (33*) and Vignesh Kannan (9*) continued to score with freedom when their opportunity came. After 40 overs and the loss of 7 wickets, the 270 total was imposing.
The Terenure team attempted to reply positively, but the weight of runs was too heavy and the skill of our veteran bowlers too penetrating. William Clarke (8 wkts) and John Anders (2 wkts) despatched Terenure in 13 overs for 29 runs.
Social media was buzzing soon after the match with the news of Clarke’s successes. A truly magnificent performance of gentle away swing bowling pitched on the right line and length every delivery. Anders for his part came late to the wicket taking party but he bowled excellently with serious ‘wheels’ one might not have anticipated from the veteran.
A one-sided match for sure, but the season is now under way.
Phoenix win by 241 runs.