by Conor Dillon
Phoenix travelled to Sydney Parade where the home team looked to follow Merrion, Railway Union and YMCA in completing a double over the league’s bottom side. The points were also important to Pembroke in their battle with Railway Union for fifth place and in the build up to the rearranged 60 over cup final. Corie Dickeson dropped out of the side to be replaced by Rory Anders. Pembroke won the toss and elected to bat. The eleven who took the field for Phoenix were M D Masud Ahmed, Branem Adams, Thomas Anders, Rory Anders, wicket keeper Syed Ali, Captain Conor Kelly, Adam Chester, Dumisani Magala, Andrew Leonard, Colonel Sadaf Raza, Steve Davis. Andrew Leonard was playing his first match at Sydney Parade since he left Pembroke for Phoenix.
Theo Lawson and Ryan Hopkins got off to a positive start against Rory Anders and Steve Davis. With the new ball pairing not having any luck Conor Kelly (who kept wicket for the opening 25 overs) brought on Raza and Magala but the batsmen went on scoring at over 5 runs an over. After a stand of 166 Hopkins finally fell lbw to Adams for 73. Robin Russell was bowled by Leonard for 1 and Adams went on to take 3 further wickets removing Barclay for 9 with Leonard taking the catch and Nicol for 14 with Raza taking the catch. However, his biggest achievement was probably to have Theo Lawson caught by Rory Anders for 88 and prevent a potential century. Barry McCarthy made an undefeated 43 from 28 balls as the innings closed on 265 for 5.
Masud Ahmed and Adams began the reply for Phoenix but were separated after 10 minutes when Adams was bowled by Alan “Stretch” Eastwood for 3. The Anders brothers struggled for runs with Thomas out for 3 and Rory making just 2. In between their exits Masud was bowled by Hopkins for 23. Syed Ali fought hard for Phoenix as Conor Kelly had an off day with the bat and comfortably the biggest stand of the innings was that of 47 between Ali and Chester who made 13. Magala made 8 and there was some cameo entertainment from Leonard who struck two sixes and one four before exiting for 16. Raza made 14 in a stand of 29 before Ali was finally out for 55. Once again Davis emerged undefeated as Phoenix fell 14 runs short of taking a point off the home team.
Man of the Match Ryan Hopkins 73 runs, 3 wickets
Phoenix performer Syed Ali 55 runs