There were several changes to the Phoenix line up after the narrow win over DIT. Skipper Sayed Shah was on a holiday and Aaron Joseph stood in as captain. Ian Anders and Andy Brawders were probably rested with the !st xi fixture on Easter Monday in mind and Jonathan Wardell perhaps enjoying quality time with his family. Captain Joseph was a little behind schedule in his journey to the Maws and Mike Godwin represented Phoenix at the toss and advised Joseph that Phoenix would be in the field and managed to surprise the skipper with the news that the match would be 40 overs each. As your correspondent understood it the eleven who took the field for Phoenix included Captain Joseph, wicket keeper Amit Battan, Matt Gregg, Naeem Shahzad, Nitin Naik, Matt Scott , Graham Morris, V Kumar, Vish Vaidyanathan, S Ahmad, A Jan. Later Godwin would bat and Morris would not.
Vaidyanathan and Jan took the new ball for Phoenix and after 33 runs and 32 minutes Jan took the first wicket for Phoenix as Gregg took a catch. Joseph rested Jan and brought himself on and removed batsmen 2,3 and 4 for 16, 8 and 8 respectively with Gregg, Naik and Jan all taking catches. The skipper again finished with a commendable economy rate of 3.5. The other wickets to fall went to Jan, Vaidyanathan, and two to Morris but having reduced the hosts to 95 for 7 in the 25th over Phoenix were unable to go for the jugular with batsman no. 8 retiring on 56, no. 9 making 46 and nos. 10 and 11 both finishing undefeated as the innings closed on 224.
Gregg and Shahzad faced up to the Auret brothers and the South Africans got the better of the early exchanges as they removed one batsman each. Battan played steadily for a while and the stand with Naik looked promising before the DIT man had to retire hurt on 16. Scott was bowled for 10 and Godwin was run out for 0 and the Phoenix innings seemed to struggling in a similar manner to the home team earlier. Arriving at the crease with the score at a very unpromising 74 for 5 ( and Naik unlikely to come back ) Vaidyanathan knuckled down and emerged as the top scorer in consecutive weeks with a current average of 120. Skipper Joseph was a little more meticulous in giving the no. 9 batsman’s name as “S. Ahmad” who had struck a six to win the DIT match and announced himself to the home bowlers with a six from his first ball and he and Jan both hit one four and two sixes and both finished on 18. Not to be outdone skipper Joseph hit a six from his first ball and made an undefeated 14 as the innings closed on 196. Phoenix ran out of overs before running out of wickets.
Bowling A Joseph 3-21
Batting V Vaidyanathan