by Conor Dillon
Refreshed after a trip to Cork to attend and participate in a concert by indie rock group the National Captain Ford was adopting the philosophical attitude that what happens in Civil Service stays in Civil Service. He consoled himself in a post match conversation with Captain Webster which had yielded a good networking opportunity. With Adam Chester and Rory Anders missing Mark Gibson McKenna and Kaleem Shaikh were called into the side. Your correspondent found himself the senior of the two scorers by 37 years as home skipper Barry Tucker entrusted the scorebook to his daughter Cliona. Tucker defeated Ford at the toss of the coin and chose to bat first. The eleven who took the field for Phoenix were Captain David Ford, wicketkeeper Amit Battan, Duminsany Magala, Vish Vaidyanathan, Eoin Cleere, Bramen Adams, Ben White, Mark Wells, Mark Gibson McKenna, Tyler Balogh, Kaleem Shaikh.
Tyler Balogh took the new ball from the Sandymount end while Kaleem Shaikh operated from the Sydney Parade end. Shaikh conceded two boundaries in his first over but he was on a hat trick in his second after Smith was caught by Battan and Kavanagh was caught by Adams. Dunleavy got to 12 before he was caught by Battan bowled Balogh. This brought Glen Cunningham to the crease and he would prove to be a thorn in Phoenix’s side. He soon lost Bromfield lbw to Gibson McKenna for 7 and O’Riordan survived only two balls before pushing the third straight back to Gibson McKenna who snapped up the caught and bowled chance. At 49 for 5 with 16 overs gone Phoenix may have felt that the bowling job was half completed.
However, Cunningham had other ideas and looked relatively fluent in a stand with Tucker who made an adhesive 3. Cunningham survived catching chances for Ford and Vaidyanathan and Wells also felt that he was lucky to survive an lbw appeal. Farrington was bowled by Magala for 4 and this brought Malin to the crease. He initially seemed intent just on survival but went on to hit four boundaries in what would prove to be the biggest partnership of the innings. Cunningham was finally dismissed by Balogh for 68 with Magala taking the catch. Then it rained and the Phoenix dressing room noted the lack of urgency from the home team in getting the covers on.
Tea was taken and after tea Heather and Little added 16 for the last wicket. The arithmetic proved a little tricky for both scorers and on a countback the home score went from 160 to 162.
Unfortunately this was not a big enough score to defend against Ford who was keen to make amends for his disappointment against Civil Service and Battan who wanted to outlast and outscore his skipper. Little, Dunleavy, Bromfield and Smith did not pose enough threat to worry the Phoenix batsmen and Malin was the only one who bowled unchanged from the Sandymount end and took both openers’ wickets with Ford making 66 and Battan 60. The opening stand was 121. Magala and Vaidyanathan with 18 not out and 10 not out respectively saw Phoenix home by 8 wickets in the 23rd over.
Man of the Match: Mark Gibson McKenna 8.3-2-17-3
Pembroke performers: Glen Cunningham 68 runs R Malin 22 runs, 9.2-1-42-2
P.S. After a happy car ride back to Cabra the conclusion was that Tyler’s got his mojo back.