Stoneywood – Dyce (A)

AGSFP’s 2nd XI once again had a large squad to choose from for the away match against Stoneywood-Dyce. For the second week running we had to play at that well known Aberdeen sun-trap Sheddocksley, and it was sunshine as usual all the way as the captains made their way to the middle for the toss. The wicket was green but firm, FP’s lost the toss and were invited to bat by S-D skipper Barron.
There were two changes to the FP’s team which had won convincingly the previous week, vice captain Rob Fryer was off on an exotic holiday and Muthu was recalled to the first XI following last weeks excellent performance. In to the team came debutant Michael Campbell and Craig Fraser returned to keep wicket. Before the game started, both skippers agreed that leg side wides would be given for genuine wides and not for everything bowled down the leg-side as some teams have been giving this season.

Fraser and Campbell opened the innings for FP’s and after a cautious start, Campbell was taken by surprise by a ball which stopped slightly and bowler A. Rayner took a brilliant caught and bowled at the second attempt lying on his back, dismissing Campbell for 2, FP’s score 9-1 after 4 overs.
In form Nick Blyth hit his third ball for 6 and Fraser then hit 3 x 4’s in one over, two straight drives and a cracking cover drive. The score had rattled along to 61 off 11 overs when Fraser unexpectedly played on for an aggressive 37 (7×4’s).
Next over slow left arm bowler Moir had Blyth caught in the deep for 14, FP’s 61 – 3. John Davey and Karthik continued to score at a steady rate, adding 40 runs in 9 overs and looked likely to add a lot more when Karthik was well caught by Moir at slip off Leith for 20 (3×4’s), FPs score 101 – 4.
New batsman Johnston turned his second ball off his legs for 4 to keep the momentum going, but with Davey hitting boundaries and batting very well and looking set for a big score, he just got a faint outside edge and was caught behind by keeper Mamum off Moir for an excellent 34 (2×6, 3×4’s), FP’s score 125 – 4.
Barron then came on to bowl and immediately showed the youngsters in both teams the benefit off controlled line and length bowling when Phillips tried to turn a straight ball to leg and was plumb LBW for 2, FP’s 129 – 6.
One run later, Johnston tried to pull a short ball from Moir, but got a top edge and was easily caught at square leg for 6, and suddenly S-D were on top. Barron and Moir were using all their experience against young FP’s batsmen Doug Russell and Harry Houghton as the runs dried up, Russell was tempted too far forward by the slow left arm bowling of Moir and was well stumped by the young S-D keeper, FP’s now severely wobbling on 131 – 8. Three balls later Rizwan was caught off Moir as he just failed to clear the fielder at mid wicket. It was soon all over for FP’s when Houghton played no shot at a ball from the accurate Barron and was bowled off stump for a duck. FP’s all out for 131 off 34.5 overs, Moir taking 5-29.
This was a batting collapse to rival anything we had managed in the past few years, the last 6 wickets going for 6 runs, the last five for a disasterous 2 runs, and from a very strong position FP’s now had a tough match on their hands, especially with a short boundary on one side of the wicket.
Karthik opened the bowling from the Pavillion end, but opener Moir was in no mood to hang around and hit 3×4’s off Karthik’s second over. Campbell ‘s first two overs were fast and accurate with a couple of unplayable deliveries, and he was unlucky in his third over when Johnston dropped Macpherson off an awkward chance at cover. Moir was now in full flow and smashed Campbell for two sixes in one over.
Magesh replaced Karthik and opened with a maiden over, but it was Mr Reliable Rizwan who came on and with his fourth ball bowled Moir with a beauty. Moir had scored a rapid 44 (2×6,7×4’s) the first wicket putting on 65 runs.
Magesh and Rizwan then slowed things down and bowled 12 overs for only 25 runs, Rizwan having Rayner caught by Blyth at cover for 2 and Magesh bowling the stubborn Macpherson for 13, S-D score 78 -3 off 15 overs.
FP’s had to take wickets quickly, and after 6 overs from Magesh (6-1-12-1) Phillips came on and in his first over had Rodger brilliantly caught at square leg by Rizwan for 18 runs (3×4’s). This was another diving, one handed catch by Rizwan, his nonchalant throwing the ball in the air adding to the effort.
At 93 – 4, another quick wicket would have put the S-D batsmen under pressure, but Cohen and Alexander added 30 runs with a few edges and shots just clearing fielders mixed with good drives. Phillips and Russell bowled some great balls, but not consistently enough.
Karthik returned and had Alexander was well caught by Phillips at point for 12 runs, but S-D won the game in the 32 nd over, final score 135 – 5.
At one stage a score approaching 200 looked possible, but a disastrous collapse put paid to that. The wicket offered some assistance, but S-D bowlers Moir and Barron gave nothing away and tied the batsmen down with accurate bowling. The S-D openers then got off to a great start, FP’s bowled a disappointing 24 wides, and the short boundary all contributed to a deserved, comfortable victory for S-D.
The defeat means we have lost top spot in Grade 4, and are now in second place in a very tight league.
Our Man of the Match was keeper Fraser, top scored with 37, and saved many runs as the bowlers bowled too many loose deliveries.
Champagne Moment – Rizwan again with probably his best catch to date.

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