Stapleford Phoenix v Sharks

stapleford phoenix

Wednesday 24th May 2017, Stapleford Rec.

Phoenix Won

Another top-quality performance from all 11 players, again against opposition who battered us last season. The evolution of this team had been as rapid as it has been satisfying.
Gareth won the toss and put the Sharks in. And just like last week it was an early catch that stoked up belief that it could be our day once again.
Sharks came and went; some made runs but the key thing was that they came and went. Only one retired undefeated past the 25-run threshold; our bowling was tight and our fielding lively.
Alex picked up three wickets, all to catches; Nusrat’s tidy spell, often against their most aggressive batsman, brought him two wickets and there was one apiece too for Simon L and the Fixtures Secretary. Who also took a catch described by a team-mate as “on the bounds of possibility”. Further inquiry brought the clarification that it was on the bounds of possibility for the Fixtures Secretary, which is fair comment given his track record, but it cannot be denied that catches are being pouched now that probably would have been spilled last season. Nusrat and Tim are leading the way as this season’s super safe hands.
The Sharks posted 116-7 (for comparison they made 169-2 last time; we conceded 20 boundaries and two 6s) and in beautiful late summer evening sunshine Ralph and Dave set out in reply.
Ralph was first out, for a rapid 15 that included a 6. Last season it would have been a case of ‘oh no, Ralph is out, we’re all doomed’ (especially if Aidan was not around) but now we just wonder who is going to knock the runs off instead.
The answer was Dave and Tim, who both made enterprising 27 not outs to put us in a commanding position. Sharks had one bowler who was especially pacy and accurate but Tim, in particular, played him superbly and the run rate never dropped. The skipper bludgeoned a few more late on and Simon L clinched victory with a couple of lusty blows in the last over.
We’d shown we can defend a total, now we have chased down a target. It’s all good.

Batsman Runs
Jamie c J West A West 2
Michael c Harrison A West 12
Clive lbw Lancaster 4
Pat c Nusrat A West 16
Ralph b Nusrat 16
Adam retired 25
Tom c Harrison Nusrat 2
Marc b J West 4
Gilo not out 16
Mani not out 1
extras 17
Total (20 overs) 116-7
Stapleford Phoenix        
Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
A West 2 0 17 0
S Creed 2 1 3 1
Nusrat 2 0 5 0
Harrison 2 0 4 3
Minter 2 0 22 0
Martin 2 0 15 1
Everson 2 0 20 1
Rainsford 2 0 7 0
Dobson 2 0 5 1
J West 2 0 12 1

Stapleford Phoenix v Anglian Water

Wednesday May 10 2017, Stapleford Rec
Phoenix won by 13 runs
Phoenix won the toss and elected to bat

Match Report

Runs, wickets, catches, the greatest over in Phoenix history and sunshine too – it was the evening we had all been waiting for.

Working hard towards too; this was a complete team performance against experienced opponents many of whom, helpfully for our scorer, had their names on the back of their shirts.
They destroyed us last season but this time it was a different story.
With Gareth still rumoured to be somewhere in the Audley End region Damon won the toss and we batted.
Gion the Groundsman got us off to an aggressive start and when he departed Ralph treated us to some more of his trademark elegant strokeplay (although both were dropped, giving an early hint that this might be our day).
Ralph’s unexpected demise saw Dave effortlessly assume the role of senior run-maker and he was aided by a flurry of middle order partners determined to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Gareth’s breathless arrival plus the decision to keep Stuart and Damon back meant we had quite a tail to wag and boy did it do just that with the trio taking our score into three figures and up to 123-8 in the last few overs.
It was a total we would have a real go at defending.
Last summer three Anglian batsmen ended up smashing their way back to the pavilion and one was their opener. Who might well have done so again had Ralph not nonchalantly plucked a big hit out of the ether.
Then came the champagne super over from Tim, in a hurry to get away for a meeting elsewhere. First went the other opener, who sportingly walked after the square leg umpire admitted he hadn’t seen anything of Dave’s cunning fumble-stumping. The new man took a single only to see his partner bowled by the next ball. Next up was another of last season’s run-plunderers – and he was caught first ball in the deep by Nusrat, whose own pair of overs had been encouragingly miserly.
We were in a commanding position but Anglian’s middle order debutant had other ideas, smiting his way back to the pavilion to put the game back up for grabs.
Still we kept plugging away and Gion and Gareth were rewarded with wickets but Goff, their left-handed all-rounder and one of many Great Shelford club-mates on either side, was keeping Anglian up with the required run rate.
In the end it took a high-quality couple of overs at the close from Matt to not only keep him quiet but get him out as well.
That left Anglian needing 19 off the final over and surely not even the Fixtures Secretary could ‘Stokes’ that up?
First ball was an lbw shout, the second a was wicket, our eighth of the evening. Job almost done lads.
But who was this coming to join us? One Anglian batsman had been hurt earlier and couldn’t take part so back came the middle order smiter. Suddenly we weren’t so jubilant as memories of last week’s one-wicket near miss, entirely the creation of such a returnee, flashed into our nervous brains.
The next ball flashed into the bushes to stoke up more fears. But ball four cost us only a single and the other batsman couldn’t add to the total. We had won. Finally. Against a team that didn’t have small children making up the numbers, or people picking up a bat and requesting clarification on which end to hold.
We’ve made history boys. Let’s do it again.
Stapleford Phoenix
Batsman Runs
G Martin c Edevane 7
D Garman (w) retired 26
R Minter c – wkt Bevan 16
Harrison c&b Merriman 5
P Creed run out 2
M Dobson c&b Seymour 4
J West lbw Coleman 8
S Creed run out 12
G Everson (c) not out 16
D Rainsford not out 8
Nusrat dnb
Extras 19
Total (20 overs) 128-8
Anglian Water
Batsman Runs
Watts c Minter Creed 11
Coleman st Garman Harrison 9
Thomas b Harrison 4
Merriman not out 30
Walker c Nusrat Harrison 0
V Walker c Garman Martin 12
Edevane c Garman Dobson 20
Seymour c Everson 1
Bevan b J West 6
Harrison not out 0
Pegg absent injured
extras 11
Total (20 overs) 110-8
Stapleford Phoenix        
Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
A West 2 0 17 0
S Creed 2 1 3 1
Nusrat 2 0 5 0
T Harrison 2 0 4 3
R Minter 2 0 22 0
Martin 2 0 15 1
G Everson 2 0 20 1
D Rainsford 2 0 7 0
M Dobson 2 0 5 1
J West 2 0 12 1

Stapleford Phoenix v IPH

Stapleford Phoenix

Phoenix won the toss, elected to bat.
IPH won by one wicket.

Match Report

Another battling performance that again came so close to victory.
Gareth continued as skipper and this time won the toss. With two players still on their way to the Field of Dreams, plus the need to avoid last week’s fading light problems, it was was an easy call to make – we batted first.
Gareth and Stuart overcame the setback of Dave’s early wicket loss to get the scoreboard moving; both retired not out – the skipper rode his luck but played some excellent attacking shots, Stuart took much longer but made sure we always had a senior batsman at the crease until the final overs.

Stapleford Phoenix
View from the boundary, one layer warmer.

Nick continued his double-figure form in a middle order that found it difficult to get going as the overs diminished – our total included four ducks, including Aidan, who, having finally turned up, went in at number seven and was immediately caught, thus once again winning the Thanks for Turning Up award he introduced last season.
Simon and Matt wielded willow in the final over to get our score to 96-7 – exactly the same total we managed last week.
Not a huge score but one we were determined to defend, although that task became even more difficult when their opener smashed his way back into the pavilion after just five overs; some of the shots he played off Simon in particular were astonishing.

Stapleford Phoenix
J West enjoying IPH opening batsmen


Our only option was to try to get the rest out and to our credit wickets began to tumble.
Simon was rewarded with the scalp of the other opener and Stuart’s tidy spell resulted in two more gone – including a superb caught and bowled.
Both change bowlers continued the trend with the ultra-economical Matt bowling one and the fixtures secretary getting two more caught behind in the same over.
Tim, having already taken a routine catch, pulled off another stunning caught and bowled and then bowled another IPH man off his legs.
Damon dismissed the next man as Dave took his third catch of the match behind the stumps, just as he had last week.
IPH were nine down but that meant their opener could return. He was able to take most of the strike and saw them home in the last over.
Great effort though.

Batsman Runs
D Garman(w) b Richard M 0
S Creed retired 28
G Everson (c) retired 26
D Rainsford c Richard B 0
Harrison b Ben 3
Robinson b Chris P 10
A Swain c Richard B 0
Cairnduff c Raj 0
J West c Richard M 2
Lancaster not out 6
M Dobson not out 3
Extras 18
Total (20 overs)   96-7


Batsman Runs
Chris P c Harrison Lancaster 9
Mel not out 36
Sushant c&b S Creed 8
Boyce b S Creed 0
Bond b M Dobson 1
Suraj c Garman J West 10
Aji c&b T Harrison 8
Ben c Garman J West 0
Richard M b T Harrison 13
Vin c Garman D Rainsford 0
Butler not out 1
extras 11
Total (19.2 overs)   97-9


Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets Econ
S Lancaster 4 0 33 1 8.25
S Creed 4 0 18 2 4.5
M Dobson 4 1 6 1 1.5
J West 4 0 20 2 5
D Rainsford 2 0 9 1 4.5
T Harrison 2 0 8 2 4

Stapleford Phoenix v St Barnabas

St Barnabas won by seven runs

St Barnabas won toss, elected to bat.

Match Report

Ultimately it was another near miss disappointment in the already well-stocked ‘what if?’ department.

But I thought it was a great team performance and we can always say the complete and utter lack of light at the end of our innings was the reason we lost. Plus the dodgy pitch.

Gareth’s captaincy was first-class and our bowlers restricted St Barnabas to 103. Simon L took two wickets in a hostile opening spell, Alex kept the pressure on at the other end and Matt weighed in with an imperious three-wicket spell mid-innings. One of those was a superb caught and bowled – with Bruce already having pulled off an equally excellent pouching at mid off.

Stapleford Phoenix

Aidan and Dave, who had taken three catches behind the stumps, got us off to a flyer but some accurate bowling slowed us down soon after. Aidan notched up his first retired not out of the season but we were up against it when Ralph got a no bounce shooter first ball and Tim followed soon after.

Bruce and Nick guided us nearer the target with a mini stand but it was so dark in the final few overs that we just couldn’t get enough bat on ball to squeak home.

Stapleford Phoenix
Minter gets a first ball shooter.
St Barnabas
Batsman Runs
Smith retired 27
Adams b Lancaster 1
Howard c Cairnduff Lancaster 6
Freeman c Garman Dobson 15
Middleton c Garman Minter 15
Wilson b Dobson 2
Morris c&b Dobson 19
Ledzion lbw J West 3
Rowley c Garman J West 1
Carnegie not out 5
Higginson not out 1
extras 8
Total (20 overs) 103-8
Phoenix Bowling
Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets Econ
Lancaster 4 1 15 2 3.75
A West 4 0 22 0 5.5
Dobson 4 0 11 3 2.75
Harrison 2 0 23 0 11.5
J West 4 0 15 2 3.75
Minter 2 0 17 1 8.5
Phoenix Batting
Batsman Runs
Swain retired 26
Garman(w) c Freeman 8
Everson(c) b Ledzion 23
Minter b Morris 0
Harrison b Adams 0
Robinson run out 10
Cairnduff run out 5
J West not out 7
Lancaster not out 2
Extras 14 dnb Dobson, A West
Total (20 overs)     97-7