by Conor Dillon
With the last rites of the 4 day international to be played out at Castle Avenue Phoenix got a second home game against the visitors. Phoenix had polished off the Division 3 bound Civil Service on their last outing and looked to finish their season on a positive note. Adams and Magala had gone home and Captain Ford was also absent and so there were a few experimental moves by the selectors. Ian Smillie won the toss and elected to bat. The eleven who took the field for Phoenix were Captain Thomas Anders, wicket keeper Amit Battan, Sayed Shah, Nayim Shahzad, Vish Vaidyanathan, Adam Chester, Nicholas James, Devon Dismore, Simmi Singh, Aaron Joseph, Chris Cavanagh.
Andrew Delany and Kevin O’Connor took on the new ball pairing of Singh and Anders. Wides were to be a prominent feature in the Clontarf innings but after a relatively pedestrian 21 runs in 32 minutes Anders had O’Connor caught by Battan for 11. Singh was unable to make a breakthrough but ended his spell with a tidy 0-15 from 6 overs. Anders got 2 lbw verdicts to remove Patterson for 1 and Boland for 3. Patsy Flanagan was run out after a good throw by Singh and Vaidyanathan got in on the act when he caught and bowled the hitherto adhesive Delany for 25. The Indian tasted further success when he had McDonnell caught by Shah for 8 and skipper Smillie lbw for 0. Ian Dent played a composed innings as wickets fell at the other end and he finshed undefeated on 30. James had Cotter lbw early in his spell which turned out to be slightly expensive and it was Chester and Joseph who shared the last two wickets as the visitors were bowled out on the countback for 140.
Shah and Battan put on a brisk 25 runs in 13 minutes until Battan was bowled by Ian Dent. Anders despatched his first ball for four and Clontarf pegged back the scoring rate in this stand but it still realised 38 runs in 36 minutes. Shah was bowled by Rory Sullivan for 25. Nayim Shahzad struck two boundaries before being bowled by Sullivan for 8. Vaidyanathan was caught out trying to run a second when he thought his shot was good enough for four and suddenly Phoenix began to look vulnerable. Chester and James both fell lbw to Sullivan for 13 and 0 respectively and Anders must have wondered if he would run out of partners before he got to his fifty. Dismore was soon going aerial but he survived long enough to bring the score to 132 and then Anders wrapped it up after securing the fifty with ten runs from the bowling of McDonnell.
Man of the Match Thomas Anders 3-25 and 57 not out