The 2020 Season Arrives

Stapleford phoenix

The Phoenix fixture list is now full to brimming as we make our league debut.
We are in Division 3 of the Business House League, and will have another crack a Pye Cup glory.
So with all the friendlies added we have at least one match every week throughout the whole of May, June and July.
Note that a couple of times we have more than one fixture in certain weeks, and that will be the case when we play in the Pye Cup too.
Last night we managed to avoid another trip to Bluntisham; the furthest we will have to travel is Waterbeach.

Here’s to a magnificent season.

Jon, Damon, Gareth

Pye Cup QF – Madingley Mulch vs Phoenix

Stapleford phoenix

Pye Cup quarter final, Madingley Mulch away
Madingley Mulch won the toss and elected to bat

Of course there’s never a bad time to take a hat-trick but some are certainly sweeter than others…
It was all a bit flat out on the wide expanses of Caldecote Playing Fields. Madingley Mulch, last year’s beaten finalists, were scoring at a rapid rate mainly thanks to their opening bat.
Who had just reached 50 in fewer than 30 balls. True, some of his runs had been on the streaky side, with Jeff the unluckiest bowler as edges just didn’t go to hand but the hosts were sitting pretty on 97-2 and looking set for a mammoth score of Ice Age proportions.
Until…
Jeff steamed in and bowled their star bat.
Jeff steamed in and trapped the new man lbw first ball.
Everyone in for the hat-trick, including slips, Jeff steamed in and – an edge! Gareth, donning the gloves again*, snaffled it gleefully and the Phoenix was a far noisier and happier old bird.
One run later and Nusrat, who had bowled superbly, bamboozled the next man for yet another duck. The Mulch middle order had disappeared in fewer than two overs. 97-2 was now 98-6.
There was still one quality bat to worry about but with George replacing Nusrat as the slow bowling option they struggled to get away Matt bowled the danger man and did the same with the final Mulch man prepared to have a go. Madingley had to settle in the end for a less daunting 136 off their 15 eight-ball overs.
Jeff deserved to see if his magic also worked with a bat in hand and he and Badders immediately got the scoreboard moving at the required rate without taking any needless risks.
Badders hit three boundaries in his rapid 15 and Jeff took over the attacking mantle with a 24 that included a big drive for six. 71 was in the board when he was second out.
Could our left-handed duo take us home? Of course they could. Ralph, who had earlier taken amazing catch, found the boundary five times and Aidan four as we overtook their total with 14 balls to spare, with two instances of six wides certainly making our task easier.

* This week’s bizarre injury is Housemaid’s Knee – one of Dave’s looks like it should be in the Beano…

Madingley Mulch

J Allen c J West b Hamid 12
H Liddell b Wilson 51
K Gibbons c Minter b Hamid 8
A Meddle b Dobson 25
D Kodagoda b Wilson 0
R Radhakrishnan lbw b Wilson 0
V Dommanige c Everson b Wilson 0
H Kahlon b Dobson 12
A Kandula not out 2
K Mistry not out 4
Extras 17
Total: 136-8 in 15 overs

S Creed 2-0-20-0
J West 1-0-16-0
N Hamid 4-0-25-3
J Wilson 3-0-36-3
G Rolls 3-0-20-0
M Dobson 2-0-15-2

Phoenix

J Wilson lbw b Meddle 24
J Badcock c Liddell b Kandula 15
R Minter not out 31
A Swain not out 22
Extras 41
Total: 139-2 in 13.2 overs

Phoenix win by eight wickets with 14 balls remaining.

Sharks vs Phoenix

Stapleford phoenix
Not so much a game of two halves, more one of four overs and then another 36.
After 24 balls the scoreboard read Sharks runs 10 Phoenix wickets 5. Yes, you read that right – 10-5. Ten for five!
Fast forward a couple of hours later and we were contemplating a 30-run defeat. The Sharks middle order not only mended their sinking ship but went on to sail it round the regatta in a respectable time.
Then they bowled well to defend their par score of 122. After 10 overs the worm showed we had exactly the same amount of runs plus wickets in hand. But out middle order became becalmed and we ended up limping into port, mast broken and ensign drooping.
Still, 10-5 eh?
Some excellent catching made it happen as the Sharks order attempted to smash the varnish off the pink ball without playing themselves in. Peter took the first, Damon the second and Adrian on his Phoenix farewell pouched the third. Then Graham, making his Phoenix debut, ran in to take the best of the lot before Bruce ran out batsman number five.
The Sharks skipper and their keeper played sensibly to restore normality until the latter walked having nicked one off Adrian to stand-in keeper Gareth. I can truthfully say we would NEVER have done that. Not because we are cheats, it’s just we are plainly all too deaf to hear anything. There was no appeal.
With Matt unavailable because of a horrific redcurrant picking injury we were a regular bowler short, although Dave and Graham were not expensive (the latter dropped a difficult catch off the former too). The Sharks tail wagged vigorously (although their female players was unchivalrously ran out by the final bat without her facing a ball) but it wasn’t a daunting total.
Dave and Aidan couldn’t get to double figures in reply but Gareth was in top form, using the ample airspace of Queens’ to get the scoreboard moving as Damon offered support.
Both perished in fairly quick succession though and our run-rate dropped never to recover until Antipodean duo Simon and Adrian biffed a few late on. Too late on, sadly. Oh well.
Sharks
Pat c P Creed b J West 5
Hugh c Rainsford b A West 1
AB c Foster b J West 2
James c Briscoe b J West 0
Ralph retired not out 25
Steve run out 0
Marc c Everson b Foster 18
Rajeev not out 27
Sumit c Garman b J West 17
Anna run out 0
Jason not out 1
Extras 26
Total: 122-8 off 20 oversJ West 4-0-15-4
A West 4-1-14-1
S Lancaster 4-0-19-0
A Foster 4-0-24-1
D Garman 2-0-13-0
G Briscoe 2-0-11-0

Phoenix

D Garman c Ralph b Steve 6
G Everson c Marc b Pat 21
A Swain b Steve 3
D Rainsford b Pat 11
P Creed c? b Jason 1
G Briscoe b Pat 5
B Cairnduff lbw b AB 8
S Lancaster lbw Rajeev 10
A Foster not out 6
A West not out 2
Extras 19
Total: 92-8 off 20 overs