The 5th XI fought the next leg of their league campaign at Castleknock College on Saturday. Swords are top of the table and would be a stiff test for Doc Shazads team. The team was Doc, Aidan Chester, Graham Mooney, Arsalan Raffique, Mohammod Younas, Akarsh Nalawade, Mick McDonagh, Bharat Hirve, Mike Clucas and Michael Fahy. (Phoenix were one short for the game).
Swords won the toss and decided to bat first. Younas and Akarsh bowled beautifully and had the visitors 13 for 3. Younas got 2 and Akarsh 1. After that Swords settled down and made Phoenix toil on a heavy humid day in the field. Celebrating his 40th birthday Mooney came on and never got going. The Swords batsmen gave him some stick and when Arsalan also struggled early on Phoenix looked in trouble. Bharath was next but while the batsmen didn’t hit him for boundaries there were simply too many wides conceded. When the Doc asked Graham did he fancy another spell the Admiral stepped in and said it was time he got a bowl this season!!!. The Admiral made the case to the skipper that his bowling would offer a suitable enticement to the Swords batsmen to “hit out or get out”! They duly obliged and in three overs the Admiral had the two batsmen trudging back to the side. I’m fairly sure the first wicket delivery would have had Swanny smiling ripping viciously to bowl Kumar for 44 but the 2nd wicket was down to good work behind the stumps by the only athlete on the side Mick McDonagh who whipped off Jacobs bails for 54. The Doc got another wicket and suddenly the 200+ score Swords looked like setting was quickly 179-7 off 40 overs.
Mooney and Raffique opened the batting but obviously Graham’s mind was elsewhere as he played around a straight ball and was out fairly quickly for 2. Arsalan and Mike Clucas tried to get the side going but when Arsalan was out for 26 and Clucas for a stodgy 5 Phoenix were struggling.Skipper Ahmad survived quite a while with Akarsh and gave Phoenix some hope. But when Akarsh went for 24 off 36 with the score on 90-4, followed quickly by Michael Fahy and Younas both for for 6 and then the skipper for a well made 25 Phoenix were 107-7 needing another 73 for victory off just 8 overs. The Admiral came in next and decided that we weren’t going down with a whimper and decided with the help of Bharat to have a bit of fun. 73 off 8 soon became 55 off 5, 44 off 4, 33 off 3 as Chester dealt only in boundaries or 2’s! (Its rare I score runs so I have a bit of poetic license!). Swords were starting to panic and even though they brought on their opening bowlers the runs still “flowed” despite some impressive swing and misses from the Admiral! With 2 overs remaining Phoenix needed 18 but when the Admiral was bowled the game was up. Mick McDonagh came in next but there was simply too much for him to do and Phoenix came up 12 short. A good effort but just not enough batting- but we did bloody their nose!!
A weekend off this week but hopefully some wins around the corner!