First XI Match Report (a) -v- Leinster – Division 1

With Leinster needing maximum points from their last two matches to have any chance of staying up and Phoenix needing a win to have a chance of finishing in seventh place there was something at stake in this bottom of the table clash.

With Andrew Leonard on a busy weekend in the day job, Syed Ali injured, Coach Lunson reverting to his coaching role, Nicholas James and Steve Davis left out the selectors obviously had given some thought to the line up which welcomed the return of the Anders brothers, the return of Jonathan Wardell behind the stumps and saw a 1st xi league debut for Ben White. Leinster won the toss and elected to bat. The eleven who took the field for Phoenix were Captain Conor Kelly, wicket keeper Jonathan Wardell, Corie Dickeson, Colonel Sadaf Raza, M D Masud Ahmed, Dumisani Magala, Branem Adams, Adam Chester, Thomas Anders, Rory Anders, Ben White.

Rory Anders and Dumisani Magala shared the new ball against Richard Forrest and Hugh McDonnell. McDonnell did not last long before being bowled by Magala for 3 and the South African took a little longer to remove Ward for 17 and make it 47 for 2. In the meantime Forrest was batting steadily at the other end and his partnership with Mallon of 65 runs  in 53 minutes seemed to settle Leinster before Adams had Mallon caught by Wardell for 18. It looked as if Forrest would go on to a century and beyond but a misunderstanding with Moreton led to a run out with White the responsible fielder. From 144 for 4 the Leinster innings went into a downward spiral and the batsmen were overmatched against the collective bowling and fielding effort of Phoenix. Captain Kelly produced one of his better bowling spells of the season with 9 overs costing 33 , White picked up two wickets on his senior league debut with Wardell and Chester taking the catches, Johnston was run out for 4, Raza had O’Dwyer caught by Adams for 0 and Azhar lbw for 5 and Magala picked up a third scalp when he had O’Gorman caught by Dickeson  for 6. Carroll was undefeated on 19 as the innings closed on 205.

Masud Ahmed and Magala were the opening batsmen for Phoenix. Both were harsh on any loose deliveries by Azhar and Carroll and after 33 minutes the score had reached 50 when Masud was caught and bowled by Moreton for 28. After a few singles to ease himself in Captain Kelly was soon forming a solid alliance with Magala and at some point in this stand Phoenix picked up their second point and Leinster were relegated. Kelly and Magala added 131 runs in 76 minutes and after Kelly was bowled by Azhar for 61 Dickeson took most of the strike and ended undefeated on 21 with Magala undefeated on 86. Phoenix won by 8 wickets.

Man of the Match                           Dumisani Magala 3 wickets, 86 not out