1st XI v YMCA – 29/4/2017
As Stan Mitchell commented during the match the visitors had won their last two league games at Phoenix but Phoenix’s win at Claremont Road last year was an important result in the fight to avoid relegation. There was just one change in the Phoenix team after the defeat against Clontarf with Ian Anders asked to drop down to the 2nd xi for their fixture later in the weekend and Graham Morris was called up to the 1st xi. (This may puzzle some readers as your correspondent previously alleged that “Morris” had left the club. It was Alessandro Morris who left the club after one season while it is believed that Graham Morris is now in his sixth season at Phoenix.) Nicolaas Pretorius won the toss and elected to bat. The batting order was Reinhardt Strydom, Robin Kelly, Rory Anders, Pretorius, Adam Chester, Richie Lawrence, Ari Kervales, Thomas Anders, Ben White, Andy Brawders, Graham Morris.
Strydom and Kelly scored quickly early on but then both fell with the score on 30. Pretorius was the aggressor while Rory Anders was concentrating more on holding up the other end. The stand had added 59 when the skipper was bowled by Jones for 47. Adam Chester was in good form from early in his innings. Rory Anders finished on 17 and Chester and Lawrence added 74 to put Phoenix in a good position. Kervales made 13 from 10 balls and at last has an average ( 173 including the Railway match ). Chester was dismissed for 91 in the 49th over and there wasn’t really enough strike left for White or Brawders with Thomas Anders ending undefeated on 20. An interesting feature of the innings was that all batsmen from 1 to 8 got into double figures.
Defending 267 Kervales and Rory Anders took the new ball. Anders took first blood for Phoenix when he bowled Fisher for 5. The visitors reached 51 for 1 and then Jack Tector fell to Rory Anders with Pretorius taking the catch, Simmi Singh fell to Kervales with Pretorius taking the catch and Gunning was stumped Pretorius bowled by Rory Anders. Harry Tector and Sam Murphy began to fight back for the visitors and slowly but surely they began to make ground on Phoenix. From 54 for 4 after 12 overs they reached 225 for 4 after 46 overs. That was a lot of hard work but they still needed 43 to win from 24 balls. Murphy fell on 74 and it was either hit out or get out for the lower order with Morris dismissing Parkinson and Thomas Anders achieving a commendable hat trick bowling McAuley and Jones and having Abassie caught by Kervales. Kervales dismissed Harry Tector for 117 and the visitors fell 19 short of victory. Only three visiting batsmen reached double figures and Phoenix managed to keep the extras down to 20.
Batting A Chester 91, N Pretorius 47
Bowling T Anders 4-58, R Anders 3-43
1st XI v Clontarf – 22/4/2017
After bonding with a trip to Belfast and a home win over Railway the previous weekend it was now down to the serious business for Phoenix. Mike Godwin and Matt Scott were left out with Robin Kelly coming in for his Phoenix debut and Reinhardt Strydom back in the side. With Masud Ahmed and Morris having left the club Eoin Cleere seems to be the only other option not pursued by the selectors so far this season. Phoenix lined out with the full team as selected during the week. Nicolaas Pretorius won the toss and elected to bowl first. The Phoenix team who took the field was Captain and wicket keeper Pretorius, Strydom, Kelly, ThomasAnders, Rory Anders, Ian Anders, Ari Karvelas, Ben White, Richie Lawrence, Andy Brawders, Adam Chester.
Altaf and Coghlan added 2 extras before Karvelas took his first wicket for Phoenix with Altaf given out lbw. Coghlan proved a handful for Rory Anders but after a stand of 30 Gallagher fell to Karvelas with White taking the catch. There was a bit of “jug avoidance” by Coghlan as he was bowled by White to exit on 47. John Mooney showed his patience by batting over two hours for 73 before White had him caught by Lawrence. White also dismissed “Bobbo” Forrest for 20 and Joe Morrissey for 0 while Karvelas removed Asmat for 26. Strydom was unlucky to concede consecutive boundaries in his first over with the fielders apparently in line with the ball proving unable to execute the long barrier correctly. Rory Anders had Vincent caught by Pretorius for 7 and Kelly effected a run out to remove Khan for 0. The innings closed on 250 after Thomas Anders had Sameer Dutt caught by Karvelas for 10. The last man, Islam, finished undefeated on 14. The batsmen had scored 201 runs and Phoenix had conceded 49 extras. One wonders would it be possible for a bowler to take more control of his line or would it be a pyrrhic victory.
Strydom and Kelly began the reply for Phoenix. Morrissey and Islam took the new ball for the visitors with the Dubliner bowling without a break until he had completed his ten overs and could leave to attend to a pressing domestic matter. Morrissey dismissed Strydom for 19, Pretorius for 5 and Lawrence for 5 before he left. Kelly fell to Mooney for 16, Rory Anders also fell to Mooney for 23 and Chester fell to Mooney for 4. When Karvelas came to the crease Phoenix were 177 runs short of victory with only 5 wickets in hand. Karvelas and Thomas Anders worked hard together and a stand of 61 in 53 minutes was an improvement for Phoenix. White made 13 while Karvelas began to accelerate at the other end and an adhesive 6 from Ian Anders brought Phoenix to within 32 runs of victory. Karvelas reached his century and umpire Andrews felt that taking a single from the next ball was too early in the over and unfortunately Brawders fell to Khan on the next ball. Karvelas finished undefeated on 104 as Phoenix lost by 22 runs.
Batting A Karvelas 104 not out
Bowling B White 4-40 A Karvelas 3-48
1st XI v Railway Union – 17/4/2017
After a washout in Belfast on Easter Sunday Phoenix had another chance to prepare for the Division 1 2017 season with a home friendly against Railway Union. The match was to be 40 overs each with Phoenix batting first. Your correspondent did not see a team list for the Belfast game and so could not be sure if there were any changes between the two games. Coach Strydom rested himself and current skipper Nicolaas Pretorius and former skipper Richie Lawrence put themselves at 10 and 11 so that the younger members of the team would have a chance to bat. The batting order was Adam Chester, Rory Anders, Ari Kervelas, Thomas Anders, Matt Scott , Ben White, Ian Anders, Andy Brawders, Mike Godwin, Riichie Lawrence, Nicolaas Pretorius.
Chester was adhesive early on while Rory Anders found his fluency a little more quickly but as Chester got his eye in the runs began to come at both ends with Chester the first man out for 34 after an opening stand of 68 in 41 minutes. Kervelas struck a boundary from his first ball and managed 5 runs from his next eleven balls. The sequence of scoring shots that followed was 6, 4, 4, 4, 6, 1, 6, 4, 6, 6. Kervelas then retired on 56. It was an innings that brought back memories of Peterson clubbing the North Kildare attack all over the ground in 2014 or going further back to Torissi’s 58 not out from 22 balls against Limavady in 2003. Thomas Anders batted well and may have considered himself unlucky not to reach 50. Matt Scott was industrious and it seemed that 17 was an unusual score to retire on. White made 6. Ian Anders would probably have reached 50 within one or two more overs while Brawders could be happy with an undefeated 19. The innings closed on 270.
Kervelas took the new ball from the Pasley end with Rory Anders coming from the magazine fort end. Having been run out at the Maws on Saturday Godwin will have taken some quiet satisfaction from running out the opener Kenny before he had scored. Hunt was removed for 5 when Rory Anders had him caught with Godwin the fielder responsible again.No. 5 Divney was bowled by White for 0 and no. 6 Duffy also fell to White for 7. Your correspondent was unable to identify the fielders who ran out Hafiz for 14 and caught Maan to give Brawders a wicket. No. 9 Grehan tried hard for the visitors and finished as their top scorer with 29. It was sad to see the no. 10 working so hard to keep the no. 11 off the strike and Rory Anders first delivery to Van Dyk ended the match. Phoenix won by 155 runs.
A good team effort by Phoenix but against opponents who were overmatched.