Ellon (H) 5th July

There were only two changes in the line up this week, Ben Frizzel was promoted to the firsts and JPL Williams went back into exile. In came Nick Blyth and making only his second appearance of the season, Luigi Goval returned to strengthen the batting.

Grammar again won the toss and again decided to bowl first.

The match started after a long delay while waiting for the match ball to be retrieved from the changing rooms. And then the piece of chalk to mark the crease.

The Ellon openers were obviously unsettled by the wait, and lost opener Sirini for only 1 when he was bowled by an inswinger from Karthik. This was just the start Grammar had been lacking this season, and for the next few overs runs were hard to come by, and with a bit of luck Blyth and Karthik would have taken a few wickets.

The fielding was excellent, especially on the off side as Murray and Govil stopped several hard hit drives, but the Ellon batsmen began finding the gaps with many good drives and pulls, Ellon skipper Duncan and McReadie both looked in ominous form.

The score had reached 72 in the 16th over when a mix up between the batsmen and an excellent pick up and return by Murray saw Duncan run out for 23.

McReadie continued driving powerfully and reached 50 with 6 x 4s. Magesh had replaced Karthik, and in his second over bowled a perfect off break which bowled Petherick for 4, leaving Ellon on 102 for 2.

New batsman Aman immediately found the gaps with some clever strokeplay, and McReadie continued his power shots, hitting Magesh for 2 x 6s in one over. But Rizwan was bowling his usual accurate spell and bowled McReadie for 73 (4 x 6, 8 x 4).

Grammar picked up a further two quick wickets as Rizwan bowled Sunny round his legs for 4, and Magesh reverting to pace, had Taj LBW for 2. Ellon were 148 – 5 after 33 overs and FPs were hoping to finish off Ellon quickly.

Unfortunately Aman had other ideas, and the seventh wicket added added 84 runs in 11 overs, with Blyth’s last two overs being smashed for 29 runs. Ellon declared on 232 for 6 wickets after 45 overs, with Aman scoring 83 not out.

Top bowler for FPs was Rizwan taking 3 – 39 off 12 overs.

Grammar opened the batting with Rob Fryer and Tom Murray. The jinx on the right handed opening batsman continued when Fryer was out in the fourth over for 1. Next over new batsman Goval was bowled by Duncan for 1. Nick Blyth looked in good form and had just got into double figures when Duncan, having bowled 5 straight balls, then bowled the last ball wide of the off stump, tempting Blyth to go for a big drive. With Blyth out caught behind, Grammar were 22 – 3 in the 9th over.

Murray and Karthik doubled the score without too much difficulty when Murray was bowled by Viander for a dogged 13. Muthu unluckily played on for 2, Rizwan was well caught at slip by Duncan, Karthik was bowled by Virander for 20,and Magesh went LBW for 2 as wickets fell steadily. Mike Phillips was out caught for 8 and next ball it was all over when Johnston was bowled through the barn door. Rory Annand boosted his averages with a not out 6. Grammar total 102 in 35.2 overs.

The main difference between the teams were the two Ellon batsmen who scored 156 runs between them. Despite this, we have batted out for draws several times in the past couple of seasons, so this batting performance was disappointing.

Man of the Match – Karthik, bowled and fielded well, top scored.

Champagne Moment – Tom Murray’s fielding for the run out.

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