This week we went from fifteen players available on Thursday night, to nine on Friday, to eleven on Saturday to actually arriving at Kintore with 10 players. Unavailable from last week was Luigi Govil and promoted to the firsts was Muthu. Craig Fraser came in to keep wicket and despite the fluctuations in numbers, nine of last week’s team made the trip to play third top Kintore.
Grammar lost the toss and were invited to bat first on a green but dry wicket. Openers Rob Fryer and Tom Murray started cautiously, and managed for only the second time this season to get the FPs opening partnership into double figures. The curse of the right handed openers had been lifted, only to be replaced with a curse on left handed opening batsmen when Murray was bowled by Greg Anderson for 6, score 15 -1.
Nick Blyth hit a perfect cover drive for four, but was out caught behind driving at a wide-ish delivery. Johnston was also soon out for 2, driving at the long run up, but slow bowling S. Anderson, and caught at mid off by his brother G. Anderson.
Karthik was next in but was quickly out for 1 caught off G. Anderson. Fryer was batting beautifully, but having scored 18 mistimed a drive and gave an easy catch to cover, leaving FPs wobbling on 46 – 5. Rory Annand and Craig Fraser looked at ease, but Annand mistimed a pull off G. Anderson and was caught behind for 2.
Fraser was batting with confidence and Rizwan also looked comfortable as they added 27 in good time. Rizwan was deceived by skipper Davidson and lobbed a gentle return catch for 6. Magesh and Fraser took the score past 100 playing sensibly but Magesh was out LBW to Vegas for 10. Mike Phillips was 3 not out when Fraser was bowled by Vegas for a well played 26, and 10 man Grammar were all out for 111 in 35 overs.
There were a few poor shots played all of which seemed to lead to a wicket, Kintore dropped only one catch which cost no runs as the batsman was out next ball. Our so-called Rubislaw “net buddies” G & S Anderson took 5 wickets and a vital catch.
After a good tea, 10 man Grammar were ready to make Kintore fight for their runs.
Blyth and Karthik opened the bowling and both bowled their best spell of the season and had restricted Kintore to only 11 runs off 9 overs when S. Davidson, recent scorer of a century against Anchorians, was beaten for pace and bowled by Blyth for 5. Next over Morse was bowled by a great inswinger from Karthik, and Kintore were 12 – 2. This was the perfect start for Grammar.
Skipper Davidson was content to survive and hit the rare bad ball, and G. Anderson also showed patience as FPs bowling and fielding continued to impress. After 20 overs the score was 38 – 2, but FPs needed another wicket. Unfortunately Annand dropped a sharp chance at slip as Kintore slowly crept towards FPs total. Blyth and Karthik bowled 24 tight overs for only 52 runs, but Davidson’s running between the wickets was excellent, one notable occasion was turning a safe two into three by running flat out for all three runs. Vital runs when things are tight. Hope we were all watching.
Blyth bowled with good pace and control, 12 – 3 – 31 – 1 conceding only 2 boundaries, Karthik bowled his most accurate and economical spell for the FP-s, 12 – 5 – 20 – 1. A great effort by both bowlers. The bad news for them, this is now what we want every week.
Rizwan and Magesh replaced the opening bowlers and were equally as accurate. Opener Davidson was tempted by Magesh and Annand was alert at slip to take the catch, leaving Kintore 68 – 3 off 30 overs. Four runs later G. Anderson drove Rizwan straight to Fryer at mid on, and Kintore were 72 – 4. Another quick wicket would have swung the game Grammar’s way, but new batsman S. Anderson immediately went for his shots, and clubbed Magesh for a six and a four in successive balls. He all but won the game for Kintore scoring 20 in not many balls. Meanwhile as both batsman swung the bat the FPs dropped a couple of difficult skiers.
Mike Phillips almost brought off the catch of the season. Running away from the wicket at mid off, with the ball coming down over his shoulder, he stuck out an arm at the last moment while twisting as he ran. He held the catch for a half second but as he shouted out in what sounded like total astonishment, while at the same time attempting to throw the ball up in the air, he dropped the ball. There’s a lesson there somewhere Mike.
Revenge was sweet for Phillips when he held a more straightforward catch off Rizwan, and then bowled Flett for 6 as Kintore closed in on victory with some lusty blows.
Kintore scored 115 for 7, winning by 3 wickets.
Grammar bowled as well as any match this season, the opposition bowled more wides than us! With another 20 or 30 runs, a bit of luck with a couple of catches or even a full team Grammar might well have won the game. And the Andersons are now officially banned from Rubislaw net practice.
Man of the Match – Wicketkeeper Fraser, saved a lot of runs and top scored.
Champagne Moment – The catch that nearly was.