by Conor Dillon
After the setback at Rush the previous week Phoenix needed a win in this Alan Murray clash to remain in contention for the knockout stages. Phoenix were without the two Anders brothers who had played at Rush and also missing the injured Branem Adams so there were recalls for Vish Vaidyanathan and Adam Chester and continuing the youthful tinge there was a 1st xi debut for Ben White. Malahide won the toss and elected to bat. With Masud Ahmed delayed en route the ten men who took the field for Phoenix were Captain Conor Kelly, wicket keeper Syed Ali, Corie Dickeson, Vish Vaidyanathan, Colonel Sadaf Raza, Andrew Leonard, Steve Davis, Dumisani Magala (apologies to this player for the long delay in spelling his name correctly), Adam Chester, BenWhite. Evan Chester was on as twelfth man for a couple of overs and Branem Adams was on as twelfth man for a handful of overs until Masud arrived.
Fintan McAliister and Callum Riches took on the new ball pairing of Magala and Davis. It was good batting weather and the ball was sent to all parts of the ground in this stand. Captain Kelly tried himself, Raza and Leonard before the Colonel took the wicket of Riches in the twelfth over to end the stand at 96. It looked as if McAllister would make a century but he was stumped Ali bowled Leonard for 84. After this it was very much the Ben White show for Phoenix. The teenager took the wicket of Phoenix’s 2011 star Ryan Gallagher in his first over and ended his second with reasonable figures of 1-11. But as they say in England what is past is prologue or as they say in America “Man, you ain’t seen nothing yet”. The next over went 1, w, w, w, 1, w. Backed up by catching from Chester, Davis and Leonard to add to clean bowling Kashyap White took a hat trick, four in the over and ended on 5-13. The innings closed on 172 for 7.
Masud Ahmed and Vaidyanathan added 20 for the first wicket before the Indian was bowled by Saville for 12. Magala came in at number three and he was on 1 when Masud Ahmed was run out by Shehabeddin for 10. Magala got into his stride in his stand with Dickeson and with the muscular Aussie having a productive day the stand made 49 before Dickeson was stumped McAllister bowled Smith for 21. Captain Kelly made a brief 13 with one six and one four and with Magala out just one run earlier for 28 Phoenix needed a big contribution from the lower order to achieve victory. Leonard bestrode the crease like a colossus but sadly for Phoenix this was just a passing phase. Leonard was out to Gallagher for 19 and Chester was run out for 5 but it looked just briefly that Raza and Ali might steer Phoenix to safety but the Colonel fell for 20 and Phoenix ended 12 runs short of victory.
Man of the Match Fintan McAllister 84 runs
Phoenix performer Ben White 5-13