Crescent (H) 17th May

Grammar FPs 2nd XI had to make only six changes to last weeks team, unavailable were the Bramalds, Rory Annand, Luigi Goval, James Lord and Sam Gill, and in came Sam Knudson, fresh from takng 5 wickets for the first XI last week, and no less than five players making their first appearance of the season, Tom Murray, Ben Frizzel, Mike Phillips, and two debutants in Rizwan and Mike Ashton also playing his first game since his schooldays.

Grammar won the toss for the third time this season, and Crescent were asked to bat first.

Knudson opened from the Pavillion end, with Karthik bowling from the Cromwell Road end. Both bowlers beat the bat and had edges land in no mans land as Crescent scored at a steady 4 runs an over. Knudson’s opening spell of 6-1-21-0, and Karthik’s 7-0-32-0 deserved at least a couple of wickets. Magesh and Phillips replaced Knudson and Karthik, but the Crescent openers were well set, and a fast outfield meant the brisk scoring continued, and Crescent brought up the hundred in the 27th over.

But FPs finally had a piece of luck when Skedge was run out following a mix up with skipper Millar. It also took a great piece of fielding by Karthik and a good take by keeper Naeem to complete the run out. New man Faiz was soon bowled by a straight one from Phillips. Millar’s stroke play got better as his innings progressed, and he hit a straight six into the builders yard in front of the pavilion off Magesh meaning a limbo under the fence for the FPs fielders.

Rizwan was given his debut bowl, and with his first ball almost took a wicket when Potts edged past slip. However four balls later Millar was finally out caught by Rob Fryer at fine leg and an inspired bowling change had paid off. Crescent were looking for a large total, and Padmaraj was well caught by Phillips at wide mid on off Karthik for 9.

Meanwhile Potts was scoring quickly with some powerful shots all round the wicket backed up by some good running between the wickets.

Knudson came back for a second spell and bowled Link for 3, Karthik bowled Nicholson for a duck as Crescent pushed on past 200. Another smart piece of fielding by Knudson and Naeem ran out Birch. Potts ended 68 not out as Crescent declared on 229 – 7 off 43 overs.

Grammar bowling was inconsistent. There were 30 wides bowled as all the bowlers struggled to maintain line and length in a strong cross wind. Windy or not, still too many free runs and 5 extra overs. The five fielders playing their first match fielded well and maintained their concentration throughout, there were no catches dropped, and only 2 byes conceded by Naeem.

Knudson 11-2-51-1, Karthik 9-0-46-2, Magesh 11-0-57-0, Phillips 7-0-36-1, Rizwan 5-0-28-1

Grammar started well and the openers put on 34, including a cracking straight drive by Knudson for six followed by a couple of good drives for four, but Johnston was bowled for 5 by a good inswinger from Gibson who was bowling well. Unfortunately for Fryer, Gibsons next ball was even better and Rob was LBW for a golden duck.

From a promising position FPs were now up against it as more bad luck meant that Frizzel was unable to bat up the order due to a knee injury. Last week’s hero Karthik again looked up for a long innings before he tried to turn a straight ball from Kalai and was given out LBW for 9. Naeem played on to the consistant Gibson for 8, and Knudson was bowled by the best ball Kalai bowled.

Kalai had found his line and Magesh was also bowled by a good ball for 4. Murray was bowled by off break bowler Padmaraj for 2, and next ball Rizwan played back and was also bowled by a good off break. Frizzel came in to bat with a runner, hit a single and was half way up the wicket when he remembered about knee injury. He did manage to stroke a classic cover drive for four before he was bowled by Padmaraj.

Mike Phillips went for his shots and smashed 3 fours and then the captains bat. Not a great career move, but very amusing for the fielders once the bottom half of the bat landed safely. Mike Ashton came in ended a comfortable 4 not out when Phillips was bowled for an entertaining 17.

Grammar FPs all out for 100 off 28 overs.

Overall not a great day for the FPs. We were unable to get an early wicket, and could not keep the scoring rate down below five runs an over. We had 8 batsmen bowled and 2 LBW which proves the value of bowling straight.

Bowlers take note, batsmen take nets.

Man of the Match – Sam Knudson – bowled well without much luck, great throw for the run out and top scored with 25 runs.

Champagne Moment – Sam’s straight six to the longest boundary.

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