The coloured pens were working, the ipad was charged and the ground looked pristine as I arrived in the club on Saturday morning to start a bank holiday weekend of scoring for Phoenix. I will liken the three weekend matches I scored to three different musical compositions.
This was a musical, an all singing all dancing few hours of good enjoyable cricket from our newly promoted first team. We bowled first and took wickets at regular intervals with only K. Carroll who scored an impressive 107 showing any real resistance to our strong bowling attack. Railway finished their 50 overs on 244 for 9 with 2 wickets each for T. Anders, R. Anders and R. Strydom. Our new recruits R. Strydom and N. Pretorius opened the batting and scored 52 and 51 respectively and then M. Ahmed top scored with 66 not out to take the game away from Railway. Adam Chester had a cameo appearance to score a quick 29 (including some flamboyant boundaries off the bowling of a well known Irish international) and we reached the target 4 wickets down and with 8 overs to spare.
This was more of a symphony, the Germanic type with lots of low notes slow movements and worrying bangs and crashes but which unexpectedly ends in a rousing crescendo. Phoenix bowled first and were not very tuneful. Vish had somewhat flattering figures of 4 for 41 but the 32 wides which were shared among all 6 bowlers were poor and the fielding was not as sharp as it should have been. The Hills finished on 245 for 8. Phoenix started the run chase very slowly and had only reached 23 after 10 overs but no wickets had been lost. Wickets fell steadily after that however and at 110 for 5 things were looking bleak. E. Cleere then played a brilliant innings full of poise and maturity but at 172 for 7 he was running out of partners. Vish came in at number 9 and he and Eoin calmly took the game away from the Hills and we reached the target in the last over with 4 balls to spare. Eoin finished on 74 not out off 66 balls and Vish 37 not out off 40 balls.
The mighty threes were starting the defense of their league title with a canny Scots man replacing a cunning English man as skipper. I love the threes because they are never dull and today was no different as they treated us to an opera of a cricket match. Phoenix batted first and M. Gregg opened with a strong aria before we lost 3 wickets for 3 runs which included A. Samad falling on his sword (out hit wicket). In strode M. Godwin and, possibly disguised as someone else, he ground out a slow period of dots and sensible singles which kept us in the game. Thanks to Mike’s unbeaten 56 and some strong hitting at the end by S. Tomlinson, we ended the innings on 182 for 8. Clontarf set about their chase with vigour and were well ahead of the rate when G. Millar came on and took 4 quick wickets. Hope was rekindled, but a well known C. Darcy was making short work of knocking the runs off and with lots of overs in hand and just 13 to win with 3 wickets in hand all looked lost. In some moments of high drama Phoenix held their nerve and their catches and removed numbers 9, 10 and 11 leaving Darcy stranded at the non strikers end and Clontarf a tantalising 8 runs short at 174 all out.
My husband remarked that it can’t be an opera if there isn’t a fat lady singing at the end, well I certainly cheered as the mighty threes triumphed again.
Roll on next weekend.