The sun finally made an appearance for the vital Grade 4 derby match against our next door neighbours Queens Cross. Last week we had only 10 players available, this week we had 14 to select from. Out from last weeks match against St. Ronald went Raam and Mike Phillips, and in came John Youles, Luigi Govil, and new man making his debut John Davey. Grammar won the toss and invited Queens Cross to bat.
Last week’s bowling hero Karthik opened from the “Still Changing in the Decrepit Shed” end, and opening from the “Finally Finished But Not Yet In Use New Pavilion” end was Magesh.
Openers Arkless and Deedy were tied down by accurate bowling from Karthik and Magesh and in the 8th over Magesh tempted Deedy to drive outside the off stump, and the edge was well taken by Fraser behind the stumps for 4, Queens Cross total 15-1. Next over Karthik finally got his man when Arklis was bowled for 6, score 15-2.
Three overs later A. Russell was bowled by Magesh for a duck, much to his FP’s brother Doug Russells amusement, score QX 20 – 3. Grammar had a similar start to last weeks match, only to allow St Ronald’s off the hook. However this week, there was a more determined feel about the team as Magesh and Karthik gave nothing away, backed up by good tight fielding.
After 15 overs, Magesh was replaced by Rizwan. Magesh had bowled 7 – 3 – 9 – 2 tying down all the batsmen with good accurate bowling.
Rizwan took only three balls to claim his first victim when C. Lovie was brilliantly caught by Doug Russell diving to his right and catching the ball in both hands inches above the ground. With the last ball of his opening over, Rizwan bowled B. Finlay for 1, QX score 31 – 5 off 16 overs.
Karthik had bowled a great spell of 9 – 2 – 17 – 1, but without much luck, and was replaced by Doug Russell who was desperate to do well against his former team mates. QX batsman Goodenough defended stoutly (!), and he and Jamieson had added 13 runs when Goodenough was bowled by Rizwan for 9, QX total 44 – 6.
Three runs later Jamieson who was beginning to look settled was unlucky to be bowled by Russell off his pad, with just one bail falling from the stumps. Had this been last week, the chewing gum holding the bails on would have saved him.
Russell was celebrating again next over when his brother G. Russell was well held at point by Tom Murray, whose run to point and shout of ‘mine’ was good, the dive and roll afterwards was gratuitous.
Russell wrapped up the QX innings with two wickets in two balls, eventually reacting to hang on to an easy caught and bowled from Vellani, and followed up next ball by bowling Speagall with a good straight full delivery, the much underused “he misses, you hit” type ball, giving Russell bowling analysis of 5.3 – 2 – 6 – 4! He will now have to wait until next Saturday for a chance to bowl the hat trick ball. If selected.
A superb FP’s bowling performance, similar to last season at Dunecht, was well backed up by outstanding work behind the stumps by Fraser, and good consistent fielding from all team members.
QX total 54 all out, 28.3 overs
The tea interval was postponed at the suggestion of QX, except for Youles who made sure he had a cup of tea and sandwiches before going out to bat. Youles was given an early opportunity to finish his still warm cup of tea when he was given out LBW in the 2nd over for 2 runs. Govil had also scored 2 runs when he played at a wide delivery and was caught in the covers off Russell, FP’s score 9 – 2. This left debutant John Davey to come out at a tricky stage of the game, another wicket and QX were right back in the match. Their opening bowlers were bowling mostly a good line and length, but bowled several wides to help the score moving. Fryer and Davey batted sensibly, and with the lush grass thwarting Fryers trade mark back foot drives, FP’s had to fight for each run.
The Grammar batsmen had added 27 vital runs when Davey was bowled for 5 by Speagall who had just come on to replace G. Russell. An ‘arm’ ball apparently.
Next over Fryer was bowled by B. Finlay for 17 (1×4), but Karthik and Fraser ensured no slip ups by FP’s and saw Grammar home , Karthik scoring 4 no, and Fraser 12 no (2×4’s).
A most welcome first victory of the season which saw FP’s in control from start to finish. This was similar to last season where we raised our game when playing better sides. The FP’s 1st XI were obviously inspired and also beat QX 1st XI at Harlaw to round off a very satisfying double victory.
Man of the Match – Doug Russell, 4 wickets against his old team mates and a stunning catch.
Champagne Moment – Doug’s catch at gully.