FPs held in Artisans rearguard action

FPs had to settle for a draw despite dominating throughout against Artisans.  FPs could only claim 6 Artisans wickets but still remain top of grade 2 after a spirited effort on a good pitch played under a blazing sun.  FPs main contributors were the fit again Jerry Moir with 44 and Kieron Whyte with an aggresive 38.  Sam Knudson struck 33 and John Eagles claimed 3 for 21.

FPs made 4 changes from the side which won last Saturday with MacDonald, James Lord, Miller and Youles all unavailable and they were replaced by Moir, Stuart, Frizzell and Eagles.  Skipper Knudson lost the toss and Artisans chose to field.

Budd and Knudson opened the batting and after 3 maidens, Knudson fell for a 3rd ball duck playing on to Khan.  Muthu replaced his captain and he and Budd made steady progress moving the score to 32, when Budd edged an Islam delivery to Dickie at slip who held an excellent catch.  There was some delay in Budd departing before he was rightly given out following an unpleasant verbal volley from the Artisans skipper who had rightly felt aggrieved at first.

With calm restored Eagles joined Muthu and hit three fine cut shots for four as FPs looked to pick up the pace.  However Eagles fell for 14 caught from the bowling of Thomson.  New man Moir joined Muthu and they added 47 in good time as Moir hit 3 fours and a 2 huge sixes with Muthu also picking up a couple of boundaries before hammering a short ball straight at Irvine to depart for a gritty 24.  Moir soon followed as having hit his 3rd six he was LBW to Irvine for 44, leaving FPs 106 for 5.

New batsman Whyte joined Clelland and the former set after the bowling in aggresive fashion, hitting his 2nd ball for 4 and then his third over square leg for six, he continued his assault hitting Islam for three fours including some lovely drives down the ground before then cracking 3 fours off the next over from Irvine.  However when Thomson returned he soon had him plumb LBW for 38 from just 22 balls.

Frizzell came and went quickly for 4 to leave FPs on 166 for 7 before a useful 32 run stand between Sam Knudson and Clelland lifted the score to 198, Knudson hitting 4 quick boundaries with Clelland running smartly between the wickets and picking the gaps well.  Clelland fell bowled Islam for 29 and was replaced by Morrison.  He and Knudson added 21 in the final 3 overs, Morrison finding the boundary before Knudson launched a huge straight six, making a fine 33 from 27 before being bowled by the final delivery of the innings as FPs closed on 219 for 9.

Dickie and Munro opened the batting with Sam Knudson and Jerry Moir taking the new ball.  After a watchful start Knudson found some movement to take the thinnest of edges from Dickie’s bat who walked to depart for 5.  The introduction of Eagles was soon looking inspired as in his first over he bowled Dhar for 1 before repeating the trick to dismiss R Munro well caught by Clelland.  Moments later Eagles thought he had a third wicket as Moir held a brilliant catch at slip, with the umpire firmly in agreement, however the batsman was certain the ball had not carried and after consultation with the square leg umpire the decision was somewhat controversially reversed.  Sam Knudson then dropped a simple chance on the boundary to reprieve Islam.

The reprieved pair of Munro and Islam then set about building a useful stand of 32, before Whyte in his first bowling outing for the club had Islam superbly stumped off his medium pace by the excellent Clelland for 15.  Munro continued his sensible innings as he was joined by Thomson and he advanced to 25 before the returning Eagles removed him caught and bowled for 25.

Ritchie joind Thomson and played an attacking innings putting away the bad ball well as Knudson continued to rotate his bowlers as both Knudson’s, Whyte and Stuart all had a go from different ends in an effort to prise a breakthrough.  With 13 overs left Moir rejoined the attack and the move paid instant dividends as he caught Ritchie bang in front LBW for a well played 22.  Morrison then caught Irvine only for the no ball call to redeem the batsman.

FPs continued to battle for wickets but some sensible batting by Thomson and Irvine ensured FPs could not make any further inroads as the game petered out to a draw, Thomson unbeaten on 33 and Irvine unbeaten on 19.

FPs bowled and fielded well in the main with Sam Knudson returning 10-3-24-1, Moir 10-3-18-1, Stuart 8-2-21-0, Eagles 10-2-21-3, Whyte 5-0-35-1 and Roland Knudson 2-1-8-0.  However, a lack of penetration meant that sensible batting by Artisans made the draw the likely result quite early in the Artisans innings, FPs will be hoping they can get back to winning ways when they meet bottom club Kintore next week.

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