The 2nd XI team selection was finalised around Saturday lunchtime for the away match against Anchorians at the Duthie Park, but amazingly showed only four changes to the eleven involved in the thrilling tie against Dunecht the previous week. Nick Blyth , Rory Annand and Junaid were unavailable, Rizwan was promoted to the firsts.
They were replaced by three friends of Magesh’s who were in Aberdeen for the weekend, Badri, Deepak and Dradeep and Mike Hart also generously volunteered to come in to make a rare appearance.
Anchorians won the toss and asked Grammar to bat first on a grass wicket the colour of hot chocolate due to the rain showers earlier. Johnston and Fraser opened the batting and with the score on 6 Johnston was caught behind off, yes you’ve guessed it, an unplayable lifter for a duck.
Karthik came in number three, but was not timing his shots and was soon out for 2. Sam Knudson soon followed Karthik, also out for 2 caught following a lifting ball and edging to second slip who held a good tumbling catch.
Rob Fryer was soon beaten by a jaffa from Guru, pitching middle and off and going passed a perfect forward defensive shot. Fryer was then out the same over when he mistimed a drive to mid on. Meanwhile Fraser was doing a good job keeping out the pace of Forbes and the seam and lift of Guru.
Mike Phillips then came in at number 6, but found the pace of Forbes too much and was bowled for a duck. Next in was Mike Hart for his first innings for a couple of seasons, and immediately looked the most comfortable of our batsmen against the pace of Forbes.
Fraser was out when he was finally bowled by Forbes for 14 including 2 x 4s, an innings Chris Tavare would have been dining out on for years. (Chris who? A player who made Sir Geoff Boycott look like Kevin Pieterson)
Mike Hart played a couple of good shots off his legs for four, but was out for 13 when he played Sunni straight to a fielder.
Magesh was the next Forbes victim for 3, also bowled. Our three guests fared no better than the rest of the team, Badri bowled through his legs by Sunni, Deepak looked like he was settling down nicely when he was out for 5, leaving Dradeep not out 0.
Grammar total 48 all out.
Not one of our best batting performances, but conditions were tricky with lift and movement off a wet wicket, and heavy rain at times. However, to get the most from the wicket, Anchorians bowled with pace and, more importantly, accuracy. They bowled 6 wides in 27 overs, and four of them from one bowler.
So, to remind everyone, accuracy was more important than pace.
Tea was not taken and Sam Knudson opened the bowling from the Bandstand end, and Karthik from the River End. The first two overs were good, both batsmen playing and missing, but they then both openers went for their shots and several edges fell safely in no mans land, and ran across the fast outfield for four.
Wicketkeeper Fraser was given a few to take off for, and Mike Hart was a ball magnet at fine leg, pulling off several good stops, looking almost as agile as the Anchorians 11 year old schoolboy whose ground fielding was immaculate.
Anchorians raced to a 10 wicket victory in only 8 overs, and a subdued tea was taken.
A real thrashing for the seconds and a pity one of the rare chances to play at the Duthie Park was so brief, but if Magesh had not persuaded his friends to play, we would not have had a game at all this weekend.
Man of the Match – Mike Hart, first game for a long time, only batsman who had time to play shots, and fielded well.
Champagne Moment – Mike Hart late cut off Forbes, just about the only authentic scoring shot of Forbes.
Unfortunately the Reid Cup match against Crescent next day had to be scratched as both the Firsts and Seconds were due to play cup ties, but only eleven players were available. (Eleven became nine due to a couple of late call offs, we lost to Artisans 176 – 9, FPs 134 ao)