Phoenix began the 2016 season with a friendly against the opposition which had finished above them in first place in Division 2 of 2015. Nicolas Pretorius had swapped The Vineyard for the Phoenix Park since the sides clashed in September with Rheinhardt Strydom joining Phoenix as player coach and Alessandro Morris also giving the selectors a new bowling option. There were hailstones for a few minutes during the preceding 2nds v 3rds game but the 1st xi game was completed without any weather interruption. The scorers were advised that Phoenix would bat first. The batting order was Rheinhardt Strydom, wicket keeper batsman Nicolas Pretorius, M D Masud Ahmed, Sam Anderson, Adam Chester, Richie Lawrence, Matt Scott, RoryAnders, Thomas Anders, Ben White, Alessandro Morris.
Strydom hit one nice four before becoming the first to get out after an innings of 9. The visiting scorer’s verdict on Pretorius was that his defences were not impregnable but that he tended to score quickly while remaining at the crease. An innings of 35 from 36 balls seemed to make this an accurate assessment. Masud dropped to number 3 to accommodate the heavyweight new signings and made a respectable 22 including three fours. Anderson also made 22 but Chester’s 6 may have been beneath his ability and Scott may have been disappointed to be run out on 3. Lawrence made 18 and Rory Anders 12 while Ben White suffered a platinum duck. Thomas Anders ended undefeated with 14 from 10 balls while Morris managed a single from the only ball he faced. The opening stand of 33 proved to be the biggest partnership of the innings with the visitors set a target of 146 from their 30 overs.
Sam Anderson and Thomas Anders shared the new ball. Anders made the first breakthrough in the fourth over when he had Baumgart caught by White. Morris took his first wicket for Phoenix when he had Gavin caught by Chester. A big stand between Sorenson and Van der Merwe kept the visitors in touch and they did well to keep wickets in hand. Rory Anders had Van der Merwe caught by Anderson and Lawrence had Sorenson caught by Thomas Anders but Shaukat and Murphy were able to bring proceedings to a close with an over to spare. Phoenix lost by 6 wickets.
Batting N Pretorius 35
Bowling T Anders 1-16 (most economical)