For the must win away match against Dunecht 2nd XI, AGSFP’s 2nd XI had to make only three changes from the team which lost to Queens Cross 2nd XI. Ben Frizzell and Greg Anderson were unavailable, and John Lord was recalled to the First XI having proved his fitness during the previous match, or maybe it was just his ‘huddle’ skills the First XI wanted.
Into the team returned the experienced JPL Williams, the even more experienced Mike Hart, and making his FP’s debut was the inexperienced Mike Blues. The arrival of most of the team to Dunecht was late due to several reasons. The kit was locked in the kit shed, Kartik took a short cut via Kintore (Kintore?) and one player took 30 minutes to make a “two minutes from Rubislaw” journey. Harry ‘Hangover’ Houghton arrived looking as green as the Dunecht wicket.
The weather was perfect for a game of cricket, and the pitch looked good considering the recent weather. Grammar lost the toss yet again, but were asked to bowl by Dunecht skipper Curry. Dunecht had only just managed to get eleven players together, but had to include a couple of new players, new to cricket players.
Karthik bowled the first over and with the last ball Duncan played a ball straight to Johnston at short cover which fortunately stuck, (“my money was on the ball” – JPL Williams)(“so was mine” – Johnston) and Dunecht were 1 for 1 off 1.
Magesh and Karthik bowled accurately and had tied down the Dunecht batsmen, the slip fielders being kept interested by several edges. Karthik struck again with the last ball of his 3rd over, opener Worsley was bowled for 5, bowled middle stump playing a forcing shot, Dunecht score 12 – 2 off 5 overs.
Karthik was in top form, and in his next over hit the stumps again by bowling Merryweather for 3, Dunecht 14 – 3. Magesh had come close on a couple of occasions, and decided to give everyone a lesson in coolness when he very nonchalantly stretched out his left hand and caught and bowled Robinson for 7.
New batsman Poppleton was batting with great restraint, and survived Karthik’s spell of 8 – 2 – 8 – 3, Karthik finally getting some reward for his accurate bowling.
Doug Russell replaced Karthik, and took a wicket in his second over with a ball down the legside which batsman Hogan gloved to keeper Muthu. Only one FP’s fielder appealed, and the umpire was not convinced, but Hogan very sportingly walked off.
Mike Blues came on for his debut bowl and after a first ball wide then took two wickets in four balls as he bowled Marr for 1 and Bigrass for a duck. The perfect start to his career with FP’s. Blues then failed to take a wicket for 5 balls before Diago was beaten through the air and could only lob an easy chance to JPL Williams, who looks like Jurgen Klinnsman, and as we then discovered, can theatrically dive like him.
Dunecht batsman Poppleton had been defending with patience and skill, but with partners running out, was tempted to hit Russell over the top, only for Hart to take a tricky catch above his head at mid on, Russell bowling 5 – 1 – 8 – 2.
The Dunecht innings was ended by Blues when he bowled Onye for a duck, Dunecht final score 37 all out, off 26.2 overs.
Mike Blues bowling analysis on debut 3.2 – 2 – 1(run) – 4 (wkts), the only run conceded the wide off his first ball. Just a shame the 1st XI captain will hear about this performance.
Fryer and Russell opened the batting for FP’s and had added 25 runs without trouble when Russell was out caught by Merryweather bowled Curry for 7. Next over Fryer was adjudged LBW to Poppleton for 6 leaving FP’s 25 – 2. Muthu was unexpectedly bowled by Curry for 2, but Blues and a nearly recovered Houghton saw FP’s home for a comfortable win by 7 wickets, Blues not out 7 and Houghton not out 4, extras top scorer with 12.
An easy win for FP’s as Dunecht fielded a weakened team, but the wickets still had to be taken. The benefits of bowling straight were highlighted by Karthik and Blues, 5 bowled victims between them, leading to an easy day in the sun for the usually busy Rizwan at square leg. Maybe Rizwan should get his match fee back.
Man of the Match – Mike Blues, bowled straight, batted straight and out quick-singled Muthu.
Champagne Moment – Magesh’s so cool caught and bowled.