Phoenix 4 v Laois 3
Phoenix Park, Monday, 3rd June 2013
Toss won by Phoenix who fielded first
Before getting into the nuts and bolts of this game, this reporter must bring you all update on the 4s and their Whealn Cup adventure to Laois last Monday. A team of ten made the trip through rush hour traffic. But in truth, only one man was needed. 1 for 29 off his 4 * 8 ball overs and 94 with the bat, when chasing 150 to win. That man was Naeem Shazad. Man of the match. So the Ted Rogers (yes I am showing my age here)
Special mention: Naeem Shahzad 94
Phoenix team: Michael Godwin (c), Grant White (w), Charith Wanniarachchi, Hashmi Khan, Matt Gregg, Monjur Ahmad, John Anders, Ian Anders, Naeem Shazad, Raj Gopal, Willie Clarke
On a beautiful sunny day in the Phoenix Park, the 4s took on Laois for the second Monday in a row. An eight wicket win for the 4s away in Laois in the Whelan Cup added little more spice to this critical league encounter.
Godwin won the toss and had no hesitation in bowling first to try make use of warm humid conditions. Gregg powered in from the Chesterfield Avenue end while Clarke came in from the Magazine Fort end.
The first 16 overs were a tale of two ends. Gregg, while he proved expensive with the ball, provided some pace and bounce for the batsmen to contend with. Clarke, continued on from the previous league game, bowling a good line and length. With helpful conditions and support in the field, Clarke claimed 3 for 20 from his eight overs. But a bit more luck, this could have 4 or 5 wickets.
The change bowlers plugged away without much luck as the Laois middle order set about amassing a challenging total. Godwin took his now customary wicket before John Anders took 3 late wickets to put the brakes on the run rate.
Laois finished on 224 for 7. Clarke and Anders took 3 wickets apiece. Ian Anders chipped with two catches as well.
After another wonderful tea, Godwin outlined the plan to a hushed dressing room. Score the runs, lads. Masterful!
White, following 40 overs in the keeping position, went early for a run a ball 10. What followed was one of the best partnerships seen in the Phoenix Park in many a year. Gregg, on the back of an expensive spell with the ball, set out to ensure he redeemed himself with the bat. And redeem himself he did. Together with Godwin, they put on 169 for the second wicket. With the score on 183, Godwin (83) was caught trying to hit a ball out on the North Circular Road.
Any nerves about a possible batting collapse or last over run chase were alleviated by Naeem. A six over mid-on brought Phoenix within touching distance of the winning post. Unfortunately, Naeem fall with 2 runs needed.
This left the job of hitting the winning runs to Gregg. A magnificent innings of 97* showed that this lad can bat.
A few words of thanks to finish. Firstly to Collie for a wonderful pitch and great outfield. To Kate, Hannah and Vanessa for the teas. And finally to Laois CC. A great bunch of guys who contributed to a game of cricket played in a competitive and respectful manner.
Michael Godwin 83 tidy with the ball – turning into a run scoring machine
Matt Gregg, 97* – match winning performance
Willie Clarke – 3 for 20 off 8 overs
Grant white – kept well