by Conor Dillon
The 2nds promotion push had been one of the themes of the previous night’s race evening and the team got back to the day job with this clash on the mat at Wesley College. Thomas Anders, Coach Lunson and Ben White dropped out of the side for various reasons with the starrings permitting the return of Dumisani Magala and recalls also for Mark Gibson-McKenna and Simmi Singh.
Dundrum lined out without J Kumar and Danio from the season’s earlier fixture which they won at the Phoenix Park. J K Pillai and Abilash replaced the two absentees. Dundrum won the toss and elected to bat. The eleven who took the field for Phoenix were Captain David Ford, wicket keeper Jonathan Wardell, Amit Battan, Nicholas James, Dumisani Magala, Vish vaidyanathan, Eoin Cleere, Adam Chester, Branem Adams, Mark Gibson-McKenna, Simmi Singh.
Medwin and Sojin got the home team off to a positive start against the South African new ball pairing of Magala and Adams. Adams was rested in favour of Simmi Singh after his third over cost 13 but it was Ford himself who broke the partnership when his second delivery saw Medwin caught behind by Wardell for 41. Sojin soon fell to Simmi Singh for 27 with Wardell taking the catch. Alex and Sanju George both fell to Ford for 7 and 6 respectively but Jinto and JK Pillai added 27 runs in 27 minutes before Pillai fell lbw to Ford for 11. 118 for 5. Jinto and Abilash added 26 in 25 minutes before Jinto fell lbw to Adams in his second spell but it was Vaidyanathan who dominated the closing overs of the Dundrum innings with 3-15 from 6.1 overs. Adams had Vinu Jacob caught by Gibson-McKenna and the innings closed on 161 all out.
Renjith and Deepak Raj opened the bowling against Ford and Battan. They were obviously going to have more experience of where on the mat to pitch the ball and Ford had made just 9 when Deepak Raj had him caught by Sanju George. Battan hit a nice six but Phoenix suffered a setback when the ball struck the shoulder of James’s bat and pierced his helmet’s grille to strike him on the forehead. He retired and Magala came in. Magala made a breezy 9 but then Deepak Raj had him caught by Sojin. Battan had been going well but he was caught by Alex bowled Abilash for 25 and Phoenix were 61 for 3 with James still recuperating. Cleere was caught by Sojin bowled Sony for 1 but Vaidyanathan and Chester struck up a useful alliance for Phoenix which took the score to 88 when both fell lbw to successive deliveries from Sony and J K Pillai. Wardell and Adams then tried to bat out the overs and at 122 for 6 after 40 overs Phoenix needed 40 from the last 10 overs. Unfortunately Wardell pulled Abilash to square leg and was caught by Jinto to make it 131 for 7. James returned and made 2 out of 7 before being run out. Gibson-McKenna’s contribution of 6 meant that Adams and Singh needed 14 from 17 balls. The tension mounted as the batsmen made a single each and then Adams hit a big six. Then Abilash had Adams caught by Sojin and Phoenix had lost by 5 runs.
Men of the Match A good team effort by Phoenix which ended in a frustrating defeat