Despite the poor weather there was a busy schedule for the club over the long weekend. Both the 1st XI and 5th XI had their games called off on Saturday but the 3rd XI trip to YMCA went ahead.
On Sunday David Ford’s 2nd XI kicked off their home campaign in desperately cold conditions. The 4th XI repeated the process, with a very similar result, on Monday while the 1st XI saw their game rained off after a very strong 1st innings showing down in Leinster.
Sat May 6th – Division 6 – YMCA -v- Phoenix 3rd XI
Conrad Jones led his side in their first outing of the season as they managed to get some play down in YMCA despite the overnight rain preceding the game. Phoenix won the toss and elected to field but the home side went well throughout their innings and managed to set a total of 217 for 8 off their allotted overs. The pick of the bowlers were newcomer, Deepak Kumar, with 2 for 25 and Phoenix regular, Graham Pasley, with 2 for 36.
In reply Phoenix started well before suffering a middle order collapse and falling away to 80 for 6. Aaron Joseph led the rearguard action as he posted his first half century of the campaign as he looked to bring his side back into contention. They did well to get within striking distance needing 27 off the final 3 overs but they couldn’t get over the line as Joseph (55) was last man out as he swung the bat freely looking to chase down those final runs.
Phoenix lost by 28 runs
Sunday May 7th – Division 4 – Phoenix 2nd XI -v- Railway Union
The 2nd XI were the first of our sides to get use of our new sight screen as the entertained the visit of Railway Union. The track was slow and low and the conditions were extremely cold as Phoenix elected to field.
They had good and bad patches in their innings in the field. There were a few too many wides but also good spells where they tied their opponents down and restricted the scoring. Masud Ahmed continued his fine start to the season with 2 for 23 from his 10 overs while skipper, David Ford, led by example knocking off 4 for 46 from his allotted overs.
Railway managed 199 before falling all out just before the end of their scheduled innings. Phoenix had been set the nice round target of 200 to chase but it was never going to be easy. Masud Ahmed came out swinging freely as he looked to take the game to the visitors. He managed to plunder a quick 17 off 13 balls before being cleaned up.
Phoenix found it hard to get going after that and wickets fell before Vish Vaidyanthan helped steady the ship. He notched up 51 before falling caught behind while Amit Battan (34) was the only other Phoenix batsman to get anything going. Runs were all to hard to come by for the rest of the batting line up and Phoenix were eventually bowled out for 181.
Phoenix lost by 19 runs
Sunday May 7th – Division 2 – Leinster -v- Phoenix 1st XI
After having made the ideal start to the season Phoenix 1st XI were keen to keep their momentum up as they traveled to face Leinster with the threat of heavy rain likely to spoil their day. In the end the weather would win out but not before Phoenix got some good batting under their belt as they were all set to post a good total before weather intervened.
Phoenix lost the toss and were asked to bat in conditions that would have seemed likely to favour the bowlers. Conor Kelly’s side showed their steel with the bat, though, as they kept clocked up the runs. The skipper led by example and posted 60 while new boy, Syed Ali, chalked up 64 as their side was well on it’s way to setting a demanding total. When the rain came Phoenix were 233 for 7 off 47.5 overs.
Tea was taken early as the heavens opened and the rain failed to desist which led to the match being abandoned. While it was no doubt frustrating to not get the game finished any time at the crease this early in the season will prove useful for the 1st XI batsmen.
Match Abandoned – No Result
All in all it was a frustrating weekend. The 3rd XI came up 28 runs short, the 2nd XI were 19 runs short and the 5th XI were a similar total short of their target. The 1st XI were well set to go on and win their game when the weather came to Leinster’s rescue.
On the bright side some our batsmen showed good early season form. Aaron Joseph, Vish Vaidyanthan , Syed Ali and Conor Kelly all posted half centuries after Masud Ahmed and Marc Gibson-McKenna had done so the previous week. That’s 6 batsmen past the fifty mark in the opening 7 games of the campaign. Not a bad tally given the difficult batting conditions and a good solid platform to build on moving forward.