Sunny Stonehaven was in complete contrast to the submerged Stonehaven encountered when Grammar FP’s 2ndXI had dropped anchor in the Mineralwell car park in July. Although the rearranged game was being played on a Sunday, both teams had a full turn out.
FP’s had to make 5 changes to the team given a scare the previous day at Dunecht, missing were Fryer, Magesh, Blues, Norwood, and Joy. Back into the team came John Davey, Tom Booth, Ian Goodenough along with Gary Stuart and Geoff Morrison.
The toss was won by FP’s who chose to bowl first on a green but drying wicket. Stuart opened the bowling from the Town End with some good opening overs. Tom Booth was given his first bowl of the season from the River End and after a couple of wides, bowled the perfect ball to Gibson who edged behind to keeper Pehlaj, the batsman walked without waiting for the umpire who seemed not to hear the faint edge. This was a good start for FP’s as Gibson had played several long innings’ in previous matches against FP’s.
Booth’s bowling was understandably rusty, but he produced another great ball in his third over when he bowled Stonehaven skipper D. Long jnr for 2, Stonehaven 23 – 2 off 6 overs. Stuart bowled a good spell (a couple of wides apart), 6 – 0 – 14 – 0 and was replaced by D’Costa. Booth was slightly more erratic, but reasonably economic, bowling 7 – 2 – 21 – 2. John Davey came on in place of Booth, and despite a lack of practice bowled excellently from his first ball.
D’Costa and John Davey bowled well in tandem, and after 20 overs Stoney were 63 – 2. Opener Crozier was out in the 21stover when he pulled D’Costa to the deep mid wicket boundary where Stuart took a well judged catch, Crozier scoring 24 (1 x 4).
Davey took a deserved wicket in his 7thover when he took a straightforward c&b to dismiss Kerr for 2, Stoney 79 – 4. Davey also had a couple of good LBW shouts turned down before Atkinson was given out LBW for 26 (3 x 4), Stoney 80 – 5.
Left handed batsman Swallow was content to wait for the bad ball, and when D. Long snr tried the same, he ended up being dismissed by the worst ball new bowler Andy Milne will probably ever bowl. The ball pitched half way down the wicket, just had the momentum to bounce again and Long’s eyes lit up as he saw a free hit to the boundary. However the batsman only succeeded in sending a tame return catch to the embarrassed bowler. Stoney 99 – 6 off 37 overs.
New batsman Hay started in aggressive mood, and looked to have been bowled by Davey early in his innings. The batsman had turned round to see the wicketkeeper break the stumps just after the ball had hit the wicket and was given out by the umpire. But as he reluctantly stomped off the umpires conferred and decided that they were not convinced that the wicketkeeper had not broken the wicket first. As a result, the fortunate batsman was sportingly recalled by FP’s, not a unanimous decision, but a decision made in the spirit of what was a Grade 3 cricket match.
Hay then made hay and hit three boundaries before Davey got revenge by holding onto a fierce caught and bowled at head height, Hay out for 18, Stoney 120 – 7 off 38 overs. Davey bowled 12 – 1 – 31 – 3 and with a bit of luck would have taken a few more wickets.
Milne had bowled well with 3 maidens in his first 4 overs, ending his spell with 1 – 28, giving way to Stuart who returned for a second spell. Booth also returned but had lost his earlier ‘control’ and a ‘Booth Beamer’ was swatted over the mid wicket boundary for 6 by Swallow. The 8thwicket stand was worth a valuable 44 runs with Swallow ending 19 n.o. and Long 16 n.o. Stoney declaring on 164 – 7 off 45 overs.
Stuart bowled 10 overs for only 28 runs, D’Costa took 1 – 23, Booth 2 – 46. FP’s fielded well with Davey and keeper Pehlaj outstanding.
Following a good tea, Rama and Booth opened the innings for Grammar. Stonehaven bowlers D Long jnr and A Long both bowled with pace and accuracy, but Booth was in no mood to be tied down and played some aggressive drives for boundaries. Rama was almost decapitated by a fast rising delivery but next ball played a classic straight drive which just stopped inside the boundary due to the long grass. Rama was eventually out for 4 when D. Long jnr bowled him middle stump, FP’s 30 – 1 off 9 overs.
Left hander Pehlaj joined Booth and was content to play his normal calm game and let Booth do the bulk of the scoring. Booth stroked two big sixes, but while going for a third six was well caught by Crozier who patiently waited on the boundary for the ball to drop to him, without having to move an inch, and Booth out for 40 (2 x 6, 3 x 4) FP’s 54 – 2 off 15 overs.
Davey was next man in and also batted carefully until used to the pitch. The scoring rate was kept up to the required rate by some classy boundaries all round the wicket from both batsmen. A potential problem for FP’s arose when Pehlaj went down with cramp, and Rama the Runner was recalled to the middle. Fortunately there were no complaints from Stonehaven about Rama not changing back into his spikes, but keeping on the go faster leather sandals he was wearing. But there were no mix ups and all three batsmen did well with the running between the wickets. Might try this more often.
The match was slipping away from Stonehaven who tried six different bowlers to break the 3rd wicket partnership. But just as a big black cloud approached and visions of a potential wash out crossed one or two minds, Davey was out caught trying to end the game in a hurry, FP’s 149 – 3, Davey contributing 34 (5 x 4) in a partnership worth 90 runs.
A sudden shower of rain brought the players off for a short break just after the wicket fell, but FP’s nerves were calmed by Pehlaj who reached a well deserved 50, and then pushed on, finishing the game with consecutive boundaries, ending 59 n.o. (7 x 4). Morrison batted long enough to load test his new batting helmet, which survived, scoring 1 n.o.
Grammar scored 166 for 3 wickets off 33.2 overs, a comprehensive victory against a good bowling attack, best for Stonehaven D. Long jnr 2 – 39 off 11.2 overs, and Snelling 0 – 12 off 5 overs.
Man of the Match – Davey with 3 – 31, fielded well and scored 34 runs
Champagne Moment – Davey’s caught and bowled off the Hay howitzer to end Hay’s second innings.