by Conor Dillon
Phoenix and Leinster both faced difficult assignments in the battle for seventh place. The Hills needed a victory at the Phoenix Park to be sure of the title while Railway would be keen to avenge their controversial defeat at Rathmines. The altar bound Jonathan Wardell was replaced by regular wicket keeper Syed Ali and Adam Chester was the man on whom the selectorial axe fell to accommodate the return of Steve Davis. There was rain in the air but the umpires and teams all wanted the game to be played and a 12.30 start was agreed. Phoenix lost the toss and were inserted. The batting order was M D Masud Ahmed, Dumisani Magala, Thomas Anders, Syed Ali, Captain Conor Kelly, Corie Dickeson, Rory Anders, Branem Adams, Colonel Sadaf Raza, Steve Davis, Ben White.
A score of 9 seemed to be the order of the day for both openers with Masud caught by the prolific Pretorious off the bowling of Joe Clinton and Magala run out by a good throw from Luke Clinton. Thomas Anders and Syed Ali set about their work after a fashion with Ali facing 19 dot balls before hitting four consecutive scoring shots to be out for 7. Given what the others had achieved Anders’s contribution of 16 was positively electric and the Phoenix supporters had more cause to be down in the dumps when their skipper fell for 3. However, this was to be a day of relative success for Dickeson’s aggressive strokeplay and with one six and seven fours he was to be the innings’s top scorer with 43. Rory Anders made just a single but there was some solid resistance from the lower order with Adams making 15, some good shots from Raza to make 31 and Davis a little more successful than usual with 10. White was undefeated as the innings closed on 159. Tomas Murphy was the leading wicket taker for The Hills with 4.
There had been an interruption in the Phoenix innings with one over lost and the Duckworth Lewis target for the visitors was 159 which was a point that seemed to be lost on spectators who had not been paying attention. Maybe they were concentrating on staying warm and dry. There were early alarms for the aspiring champions when Magala clean bowled Baumgart for 5 and Calder for 4 but McLoughlin and Pretorious would have put the dressing room and the large travelling support at ease with a composed partnership. Conor Kelly gave everyone a bowl bar Dickeson and after a stand of 109 Adams broke the partnership. There was no further joy for Phoenix as Mark Dwyer and McLoughlin guided the visitors past the target. Phoenix picked up one point which Leinster trumped with eight in a no result against Railway to finish in seventh place.
Phoenix performer Corie Dickeson 43 runs