The best club cricketer in Ireland made 74 as Merrion cruised to a 112-run victory over Phoenix in a top of the table clash in the LHW Financial Leinster Senior League Cup in the Phoenix Park on Saturday.
The 2020 season may be shorter, but John Anderson is determined to show his continued class. A 59-ball innings that included nine boundaries and three maximums was an exhibition of shot making and poise.
Opening partner Michael Lewis (39) was also a man in a hurry as Merrion showed intent from the off. Max Sorensen kept the strike rate high as he struck a blistering 25 off 14.
Yet it could have been so different for Phoenix. Aaron Cawley (0-23) and Jeremy Lawlor (1-29) bowled aggressively up front and at the death. While even though Anderson played some glorious shots, including a couple of straight sixes, he was dropped twice. Both were relatively straightforward chances and could have given the home side some much needed momentum.
Instead, these were compounded by the power hitting of Sorensen and the loss of Cawley to a leg injury bowling the 19th over, meaning all the momentum was with Merrion as they posted 172/4 at half-time.
Phoenix needed a fast start to their chase, but it was Hugh Kennedy who struck in the first over; Grassi caught behind by Lewis.
Jamie MacNulty had a wicket with his very first ball when he bowled Jeremy Lawlor (6), before his captain Tom Stanton (3-6) took two wickets in an over to leave the home side reeling at 26/4 after eight overs.
James Maginnis (22) was the only player to pass 15 before being run out in a disastrous mix-up that summed up the chase. When Stanton had Millar LBW at the beginning of the 16th over that was the inevitable victory for Merrion wrapped up as Cawley was unable to bat.
A real contest between bat and ball in the first ten overs of the match, the innings of Anderson and the power-hitting of Lewis and Sorensen took the game away from Phoenix before they were all out for 60 and a comprehensive 112-run victory for the Ballsbridge outfit.
Elsewhere in Group A
Pembroke defeated Rush by 45 runs at Sydney Parade. Ryan Hopkins (23) and Gavin Hoey (21) top scored as the home side posted 126/8 despite Nathan McGuire’s 3-20. Rush were bowled out for 81 as star-man Stephen Doheny could manage just 21, Scott Ruttle leading the Pembroke bowling with 3-14, skipper Fiachra Tucker (2-4), Bill Whaley (2-16) and Hopkins (2-23) taking two apiece.
Leinster had their second victory of the season with 66 run win over North Kildare at Observatory Lane. Openers Monil Patel (38) and Saqib Bahudar (37) the mainstays of a total of 154/5. Bahudar backed up his performance with ball in hand, as he took 4-8 with youngster Tristan de Beer taking 2-8, as North Kildare were bowled out for 88.
Dublin University had no game
At Malahide, the Villagers beat Railway Union by 13 runs in the second top of the table clash of the day. Alistair Frost made 32 and Greg Ford 29 as the home side scored 113/7. Glenn Querl scored 42 for Railway but with Cameron Shoebridge taking 4-19, the visitors came up short scoring 100/6 in reply.
North County crossed the city to play YMCA at Claremont Road where the home side won by 5 wickets. YMCA (121/5) were the only side to successfully chase in the Senior League Cup on Saturday as youngsters Tim Tector (43*) and Mitchell Thompson (34) saw them overcome North County’s 117/6.
Clontarf got their first win of the season with a 27-run victory over The Hills at Castle Avenue. Robert Forrest continued his good form with the bat scoring 71 of the home side’s 137/4, before four players took two wickets as The Hills were bowled out for 110.
Terenure had a 26-run victory on the road at Jack Harper Memorial Park against Balbriggan. Seamus Lynch showed more of his class with a brilliant 84, supported by Mick Cotter’s 47 as Terenure made 169/4. Balbriggan made a decent fist of the chase to score 143/9 but three wickets each from Zubair Khan (3-24) and Sadiq Safi (3-28) meant an away win.
LHW Financial Planning Leinster Senior League Cup 20-over
Phoenix v Merrion, Phoenix Park, Saturday August 1st
Merrion 172/4 20 Overs (J Anderson 74, M Lewis 39, M Sorensen 25; B White 2-34)
Phoenix 60/9 15.1 Overs (J Maginnis 22; T Stanton 3-6)
Merrion won by 112 runs