Phoenix edge out The Hills in thriller
Division 1. Phoenix vs The Hills in Phoenix on the 25th June
The many guises of pressure surfaces in different ways in sport. The two foot putt to win, the penalty kick with a minute left, the ‘double top’ to win the title or a low total in cricket.
Phoenix took on high ish flying Hills in the park on Saturday. After a week of very unsettled weather which meant collies work on the ground was at Mother Nature’s timetable not his.
A green top greeted skippers Baumy and Cory and when the coin landed in phoenix favour Hills were asked to bat. Former teams chatted and shook hands and the weather warmed somewhat.
Phoenix were at full strength and the fingal men were missing opener Caulder and middle order stalwart PB.
Mal Byrne and former Phoenix player Kumar opened and a decent base constructed. A few aerial shots through the slip area from Mal but Hills must have being happy with this start but with 26 on the board Byrne bottom hand let him down and was C&B by DLS. Kumar follow caught behind off Khan with 39 on the total. Baumgart is a free flowing batter but on a slow wicket his trademark drives were few and far between.
Yogi struggled with Bray and Kelly’s lengths and lines. Bray took vital wickets of Baumy Yogi and Naz while Kelly had the very dangerous Max LBW. ( Kelly believing that another set might have been hit ). The end came quickly for the Hills and with DLS back on and Flanagan introduced the back end of the Hills line up ripped out.
Flanagan is a decent bowler with an ability to bowl a magic ball. Full and straight accounted for Dwyer and Moore. The same method was used by DLS to leave the Hills 114 all out in 38 overs. DLS 3 for 22. Khan 1 for 23. Kelly 1 for 21. Bray 3 for 18 and Rory 2 for 15 with wides 23.
40 minutes to bat before tea and ‘just bat and lose no wickets lads’ was the team talk. Naz doesn’t do ‘just bat’ and threatened with every ball. 17 were reached with many near misses. 4 balls later we were 2 down and not many more a 3rd. Gallagher unluckily run out backing up when Kelly drove straight from Naz and the trusty size 10 deflected the ball onto the stumps.
Kelly and Bray now together. Bray hit Naz’s free hit no ball to the dog pond with a square drive 6. 43 for 3 in 12 at tea. Tea over and Phoenix steadied the Vessel somewhat. The twist was about to start. 58 for 4 when Bray swotted Yogi hard but straight to Naz at short backward square. Max warmed up and had Kelly caught behind by Mark Dwyer to leave Phoenix 76 for 5 which soon came 76 for 6 when Dickinson was LBW to Luke Clintons 4th ball .
Phoenix does bat all the way down or at least can bat all the way down. Lanky is a decent number 7 and young Tom Anders has played big pressure knocks all year. Lanky was dropped by Sorensen on a drive from a Luke half volley and decided to make the chance pay with straight a 6 and 2 fours off Luke’s next over. Maxie bowled lanky with Phoenix on 101. Anders square drove Luke to ease a nervous home crowd. Surely there couldn’t be another twist.
Sorensen bowled the 31st over. The over went like this. Ball 1, Khan was caught behind playing a big cover drive to leave Phoenix on 107 for 8. Ball 2. 4 leg side wides. Ball 3. a leg side wide brilliantly stopped by Dwyer to save the game. Ball 4. Play and miss Ball 5. Play and miss. Ball 6. Play and miss. Ball 7. Raza bowled with another huge cover drive. Ball 8. Wardell to face. A ‘NICK’. NO MAN, the cry from the balcony. High to first slip. Dropped. Ball goes 20 metres behind the slip fielders. One run ran, the phoenix players balcony roaring to Jono to run a second and the win. A dive to make his ground as the ball flashes past the stumps.
SAFE and a nervous home win.