Fourth XI Match Report (a) -v- Mullingar – Intermediate Cup

Mullingar 2 v Phoenix 4
Intermediate Cup
9th June 2013

The 4s travelled to Mullingar knowing the social media pundits of @cricketleinster and @mullingarcc had opted for a home win. No real surprise in that as Mullingar 2 sit third in Division 9.

Phoenix 4s made to changes to the side that beat Laois on the previous Monday. Conor Huhges replaced Matt Gregg (cup starring regulations). Michael Brown (Mr President to me and you!) replaced the injured Charlie W.

This was the 4s second trip to Mullingar this season. At least the sun was shining this time.
Godwin won the toss and decided to field first. The tactical view being let them set a target.

Naeem opened the bowling up the slope (Category 3 climb in the Tour De France) with Clarke from the other end. Both bowled tight lines length to restrict the run scoring. Naeem finished with 0 for 20 off 6 overs. While Clarke’s figures were 1 for 24 off 8.

Monjour and Godwin replaced the openers and continued to apply the pressure. Monjur finished with the impressive figures of 3 for 22 off 8. Godwin was unlucky not to take a wicket or two but was economical.

The death bowling was left to the Anders clan, John and Ian. John varied his pace and confused the batsman to finish with figures of 3 for 22 off 6. All 3 wickets coming in the same over. Ian bowled with pace and bounce troubling the batsmen on a number of occasions.

Mullingar finished up on 178 for 7. However, that only tells half the story.

While the bowling was tight for long periods of the 40 overs, there were times when things don’t go to plan. The 4s conceded 51 in extras including 30 wides. At times, the fielding was sloppy and lacklustre. To put the 51 extras into context, it outscored the leading batsman by 13 runs.

Grant and Raj opened the batting. Raj departed early much to the disappointment of his family who had made the short trip from Delvin to watch him. Grant and Godwin shared 32 runs in boundaries before the first single was scored in the 8th over.

Grant and Hashmi fell in quick succession. While Phoenix were well ahead on the run rate, the loss of 4 early wickets was worrying.

However, Captain Godwin and President Brown set about rebuilding the innings. A partnership of 68 stedied the ship. Godwin went to 50 with a huge six over long on. However, he fell again (64) with a big score looming.

He was replaced at the crease by Ian Anders in the 20th over. When Brown fell shortly afterwards, the ship was rocking again. Naeem was bowled by a ball that never got up above ankle height (the Mullingar Rat I believe it is called). However a career best of 21 from Monjur brought the total ever closer. But he fell to a catch behind the wicket.

Ian was joined by John Anders. With some careful batting interlaced with beautiful cover drives, the Anders knocked off the winning runs with 9 balls to spare.

Godwin’s 64 with the bat was probably the game changer and a deserved, if closely fought, man of the match performance.

Other contenders included Monjur and John. Both got runs and wickets.

Other awards:
The Geoffrey Boycott Digin Trophy goes to Ian Anders. Was at the crease for nearly 50% of the innings

Circus Moment: This was the hardest decision. The Mullingar player chasing the ball to the boundary and continuing straight into the bush came in at number 3. The keeper and first slip dropping Michael Brown six times in the same effort was impressive but only came in at number 2. At number 1, our very own captain, Michael Godwin. Having chased the ball to the point boundary, his ‘throw’ (I am been kind here) landed at deep extra cover. A fate that would be hard to repeat.

Next game for the 4s is top of the table clash with Rush in Kenure next Sunday.