The team to play Crescent at the Duthie Park showed five changes from our last match at Kintore. Magesh, Murray, Fraser and Blyth were all unavailable, and in came Ben Frizzel, Harry Houghton making his debut, Junaid, and two of Karthik’s friends Pradeep and Murali (no, not that one) volunteered to help us out.
Grammar lost the toss and were asked to bat first on a dry wicket, the outfield grass was longer than usual, but was still fast and flat.
Openers Rory Annand and Rob Fryer went out to bat with a gale force wind blowing down the wicket from the Winter Garden end. Crescent opening bowler Arran immediately bowled with pace and accuracy and with his third ball Annand was beaten by a ball which gently lobbed over his head to be caught by the keeper. The umpire initially gave Annand not out thinking the ball had come off his thigh guard, but in keeping with the spirit of the game and the good Grammar name, Annand indicated he had gloved the ball and walked.
Runs were proving hard to come by as Arran’s first first 5 overs went for only 6 runs, including an edge for four by Ben Frizzell. Fryer was soon out when a ball bowled by Arken from the River End lifted sharply and the batsman lobbed a gentle catch to cover, score 16 – 2, and the FPs openers both out for 1.
Rizwan and Frizzel added 15 runs, both batsmen were hit by lifters from Arran, and Rizwan did his best not to laugh when he had to endure a theatrical teapot stare from Arran after being hit on the body. Grade 3 reaches / sinks to Test level at last!
Frizzel was bowled in Shearer’s second over for 12, score 31 – 3, and next over Rizwan mistimed a full toss and was caught off Arran for 9, score on 38 – 4.
Karthik and Phillips staged a mini recovery adding 23 when Phillips played across the line and was out caught for 11, including 2 x 4s, score 61 – 5.
Karthik continued his impressive form and looked to be on for a big score when he was out LBW for 27 runs with 3 x 4s. Harry Houghton was making a good impression with his calm batting and solid defence, and he helped Johnston add 21 for the 7th wicket, before Johnston played on for 13 driving at Arran who had returned for a second spell. Junaid was then out very next ball, bowled by a good ball from Arran.
Houghton was the Crescent opening bowlers next victim after scoring 7 and showing good concentration during his 15 over stay at the crease.
Pradeep and Murali took the Grammar score past 100, and Pradeep scored the only authentic 4 off Annan (5 – 22) while scoring 7 not out, with a lovely shot of his legs. Murali was last man out bowled by Gayathra, and Grammar were all out for 103 in 42.3 overs.
There were only a couple of injudicious shots which cost wickets, and it was good to see us maintain discipline against a good attack while batting for over forty overs.
Karthik opened the bowling for Grammar with the wind behind him from the Winter Garden end, and the first ball was edged for four past second slip. Karthik had both batsmen hopping about, but without any luck. Rizwan had the hard job of bowling into the wind, and his first over went for 8 runs as he found it difficult to find a rhythm. Both Crescent openers edged several balls, but there were no catchable chances given as they scored at a steady four runs an over.
In the 13th over with the score on 63, Rizwan bowled Skedge for 43, and next over new bowler Junaid had Samarasekara caught at gully by Karthik for a duck. Any hopes of a shock were soon dashed when new batsman Findlay and Shearer scored quickly off Phillips and Junaid. Crescent scored 104 – 2 off 20.3 overs, Rizwan taking 1 – 31 and Junaid 1 – 16.
Man of the Match: Karthik, top scorer, took a catch and early overs worried the Crescent batsmen.
Champagne Moment: Rory’s sporting gesture.