With the Grades website Forum this week highlighting how the Spirit of The Game can be forgotten due to the various interpretations of wides, FP’s captain Johnston and Knightriders captain Satya Mongati readily agreed to use the guidelines illustrated in the Forum this week and utilise the Strathmore League method of deciding wides. This is where a line is marked from the Popping Crease to the Bowling Crease, approximately 17 inches parallel from the Return Crease. Using an FP’s bat as a guide 4 x 4” bat widths = 17 inches, FP’s bats having very big edges.
When the stumps were in position it was noticed that they were not in alignment and one of the crease markings was not exactly perpendicular to the wicket. The stumps at one end were moved into line and the return crease remarked, wides line marked and the game finally started on a green/brown pitch that looked like it had been painted by an army camouflage unit. At Sheddocksley, anything is possible.
FP’s had lost the toss and were asked to bat first. The team selected, Johnston, Sandeep, Siddarth, Aninda, Norwood, Joy (wkt), Shri, Vishal, Satya, Rahul, Gillies. FP’s were reminded in a pre- match impassioned plea from the captain that…there was a possible 46 overs available to bat… not to play it as a 20/20 match…need to bat as long as possible…blah blah. With this pep talk ringing in his ears, opening batsman Siddarth was dropped first ball by the bowler trying to slog down the ground.
Siddarth then played more sensibly next over, hitting a beautifully timed boundary through mid wicket. Opening partner Aninda, having played at Sheddocksley before, was back to wearing his patterned, fluffy white ski jumper was also dropped early in his innings, the fielder probably snow blinded. But both settled down to bat very well against some accurate bowling by batsmen Malireddy and Moganti.
The score had been moving along slowly but steadily when Siddarth was unluckily run out by a great direct throw, Siddarth out for a good 23 (3 x 4) FP’s 35 – 1 off 16 overs.
Johnston batted either side of the drinks break before being bowled by Amirtraj for 0, FP’s 41 – 2 off 21 overs.
New batsman Norwood hit a nice boundary when he was run out for 5, a non calling mix up to blame.
The running between the wickets not as dazzling as Aninda’s jumper, Joy decided it was safer to hit boundaries than risk turning a certain two into a decidedly risky one. This tactic worked for a short while, but it was Aninda who was next out caught by Amirtraj off Bala Selvara FP’s for 25, FP’s 66 – 4 off 28 overs.
Satya was soon bowled by Bala just after hitting the bowler for four and Joy tried one shot over the top too many and was out eventually caught by a juggling Raggu off Moganti for 13 (3 x 4), FP’s 78 – 6.
The noise of the resident mini motorbikes buzzing across the football pitches just about drowned out the strange Wimbledon type grunts from one of the bowlers in his delivery stride. This was not to blame for a batting collapse as Shri was out caught off Mallireddy for 1, Rahul was caught following a shorter juggle by the entertaining Raggu for 2, and Vishal hit a couple of lusty blows before he was cleanly caught by Raggu, proving that practice makes perfect, for 9 (1 x 4). Sandeep was out next ball plumb LBW to Amirtraj, Gillies not out 0, FP’s all out for 92 in 37 overs.
FP’s had built a decent opening partnership, but wickets fell regularly and there were only three partnerships which made it to double figures. One week the batsmen are seeing it like a beach ball, unfortunately the next hitting it just about as far.
Top wicket takers for Knightriders were Amirtraj 9.5 – 1 – 22 – 4 and Bala 12 – 1 – 41 – 2 with Malureddy 8 – 2 – 11 – 1, Moganti 8 – 3 – 18 – 1.
In reply KR might have lost a couple of wickets in the opening over from Rahul, but batted at a good pace and were 38 without loss after 10 overs. There were a couple of chances spilled by FP’s, but Siddarth made the breakthrough when he had Amritraj caught behind by Joy for 30 (4 x 4), KR 40 – 1 off 10.5 overs.
With just over 40 runs required, every hoped for wicket taken was viewed as an added bonus point as Siddarth had Chinnayan dismissed when Vishal produced a ballerina type leap to catch the ball one handed, KR 49 – tutu.
Vishal had bowled well, but without luck and was replaced by Sandeep. With the last ball of his first over, Venu somehow played on for 9 (1 x 4), KR 49 – 3. Sandeep then picked up another wicket in his next over when the catch juggling Ragu, having just hit Sandeep for 4 and 6 also played on and was bowled for 10 as the merciless Sandeep went for the juggler. KR 59 – 4 off 17.4 overs.
Vishal had been bowling economically but without luck and changed ends with Siddarth and immediately found some better luck. With the fourth ball of his second spell he bowled Ajinkiye, KR 68 – 5.
A partnership of 15 runs looked to have clinched it for KR, but Vishal produced another beauty to bowl the dangerous Mongati for 14 (2 x 4), KR 87 – 6.
From being happy at claiming a few bowling points, suddenly FP’s were in with a chance of winning as wickets tumbled thanks to an inspired spell by Siddarth, who took three wickets in one sensational over.
Balamurali was well caught and bowled for 7 (1 x 4), Rahul lucky not to get flattened as Sid got into position for the tricky catch, then Kumar was given out LBW first ball and Siddarth made it three wickets in four balls when Ashwanth was also caught and bowled for a duck, KR suddenly 89 – 9 and the shock result of the season a distinct possibility.
Unfortunately Siddarth had bowled his allotted 12 overs, 12 – 2 – 26 – 2, a brilliant spell of swing bowling, some balls swinging and swerving like a Ronaldo free kick past a blameless keeper.
KR batsmen Prasanth and Raagi were very cool as the FP’s looked to clinch victory, and off the last ball of Vishal’s final over, Prasanth hit the winning run and KR had won an exciting match by one wicket, 93 – 9 off 29 overs.
Bowling figures for FP’s Siddarth 12 – 2 – 22 – 5, Sandeep 4 – 0 – 26 – 2, Vishal 12 – 2 – 32 – 2, Rahul 1 – 0 – 10 – 0
Both teams dropped catches, and both teams middle/late order collapsed badly. But a valuable lesson for the losing team about turning singles into twos, running the first run quickly and not jogging them was hopefully learned. Simple things that can win matches and could have meant 30 points instead of 13 can be vital at the end of the season.
The LBW line marked on the crease worked very well, with each umpire have something to use as a guide knowing that any ball crossing that mark is a wide, no debate or tit for tat wides later. The leg side wides may be a bit more tricky if a couple are bowled down the leg side near the mark, but the umpire could give the bowler a warning about leg side bowling before awarding wides. Total number of wides given in 66 overs was a mere 12.
This narrow defeat for the 3rd XI and the FP’s 2nd XI winning means that the league positions are now (temporarily) reversed. Both teams have tough matches next week against Kemnay/Kintore and Academy, but anything can happen. The club BBQ on Saturday evening could be interesting until the official scorebooks are checked and opposing captains signatures ratified. Only then will the Grade 3 team in the lower position agree to buy the team in the higher position a drink. Only fair as the 2nds are on bigger club salaries.
Champagne Moment – Sid getting his first FP’s 5-for
Man of the Match – Sid again, 23 runs, 2 catches and an almost match winning 5 – 22
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