Our first home game of the season was against promotion favourites Kintore 2nd XI. Following last week’s disappointment of having to scratch due to a lack of players, this week the selection committee had a difficult job of selecting eleven from fourteen.
The toss was again won by FPs, and Kintore were asked to bat first.
The opening bowlers were Magesh and Sam Oz who took the first wicket when Davidson was caught by the captain diving to his right, one handed, inches from the ground. Why there was a three second delay in a reaction from his teammates remains a mystery.
After three overs Magesh was honest enough to say he was not happy with his bowling and was replaced by Jim Bramald. The Kintore batsmen were looking to score quickly, helped by the ball rolling quickly over the newly cut outfield, and shorter straight boundary.
Karthik replaced Sam Oz who bowled 6-0-24-1, some great bowling towards the end of his spell. Karthik soon settled down to a good line and length allowing the fielders to be brought up, and frustration got the better of Satya who was caught behind off a thick outside edge for an aggressive 39. Jim Bramald also got in on the act having Wheaton caught behind by Rory, then making a caught and bowled look easy to dismiss E Davidson. Jim took 2-39 off 9 overs, and Karthik 1-40 off 9 overs and 2 maidens.
New batsman Gray was scoring freely off his legs, although he was being given plenty practice down the leg side. James Lord came on and immediately looked a yard faster than last season. Gray was eventually caught by Rob for 38 off James, who also bowled Anderson for 5, and was unlucky a couple of edges went through the slip area for four. He then bowled a perfect inswinger to claim his third wicket, (6-0-37-3). Magesh came back and took two wickets in two balls, one bowled, one LBW, (4-0-19-2) before Fiona came on and took her customary wicket, having Whale easily caught by Rob (3.3-0-16-1).
Kintore all out 190 off 37.3 overs.
Unfortunately our opposition’s top scorer were extras with 42. We bowled 14 no balls and 14 wides, almost 5 free overs to Kintore. Our fielding was good, only one dropped catch, the first of the season. Rob Fryer looks keen to win the fielding trophy and already has three catches this season.
The FPs openers started cautiously against good accurate bowling and with the score on 6-0, Johnston was bowled through the gate for 0. Luigi was next in and having transformed himself from the incredible bulk to the incredible hulk, showed his strength with his first three scoring shots being powerful drives for four. Rory was beginning to look set when he was bowled for 5.
In form batsman Rob then came in to bat, but could do nothing against a jaffa from Greg Anderson and was bowled for 2. Anderson obviously benefitting from the excellent coaching he received at the FPs nets last Tuesday, now also known as his last FPs net.
James Lord came in but was soon bowled for 1, as was Naeem, yet another bowled through the barn door. When Luigi was unluckily bowled off an inside edge, onto his pad, onto the stumps for 25 (5×4’s), this left FPs 48 – 6, and a heavy defeat looked very possible.
But last years battling batting heroes Magesh and Karthik had other ideas. The dangerous Anderson looked ordinary as Karthik scored comfortably off his legs with several well timed glances, and Magesh proved my bat does have a middle with some good drives. Batting sensibly and running well between the wickets, they had Kintore ringing the bowling changes and becoming increasingly frustrated and worried as they made batting look easy, adding 67 runs in good time, before Magesh was finally beaten by a well bowled slower ball by Vegas.
Karthik was a study in concentration, an innings, as Jim B said, Sir Geoff Boycott would have been proud of. Karthik did not let himself be distracted by some friendly banter from the Kintore fielders, and was sustained during his marathon innings by a steady supply of last seasons long lost, bottom-of-the-kit-bag wine gums.
After Magesh’s long innings, Jim Bramald came in and calmly blocked the last few overs with Karthik as FPs held out for what looked at one stage a highly unlikely draw. Karthik scored 43 not out with 6 x 4’s in his chanceless innings.
Our first Kit Bag Packer dropped catch award this season goes to Luigi, who dropped a catch on the mid wicket boundary. And as he left before the game ended he will be packing the kit bag for the next two games. Pressure off lads.
Chancer of the Match – Sam Oz who texted his captain half an hour before the start asking him to take some sandwiches for him, and “will give you a couple of pounds when I arrive”.
Champagne Moment– er, captains catch.
Man of the Match – Karthik. Bowled, fielded and batted brilliantly.