Russell fifty not enough for FP’s

The Johnston Rose Bowl first round saw an away match for AGSFP’S 3rd XI and the team selected to play Ellon 2nd XI was Johnston, Norwood, Lee (wkt), Hedge, Russell,  Gopal, Nama, Yalamanchili, Rathinam, Chithambaran, Gillies.

FP’s lost the toss and were asked to bowl first. Ellon opened their 40 over innings with experienced pair Owen and Middleton to face spinner Gopal in the first over. Gopal bowled a good over and with the last ball of the over baffled a frustrated Owen who played on, Ellon 0 for 1. Nama opened from the other end but soon discovered Middleton was not there to hang about and hit his first boundary of the third ball. Next over Gopal was unlucky not to have Middleton out caught at mid on, but the chance was put down and then Gopal was smashed for three boundaries.

FP’s had to wait until the 12th over until the second wicket fell when schoolboy Hedge dismissed the hard hitting Middleton with a beautiful delivery,  the Ellon opener out for 31 (6 × 4).

Proctor had been finding the gaps with a few miscued shots, but attacked the bowling whenever possible.  The 3rd wicket partnership with skipper Watson added 69 in 9.3 overs when Watson was beaten by Yalamanchili, bowled for 29 ( 3 × 6, 2 x 4). Watson had also taken advantage of any wayward bowling and the short boundary on one side.

Yalamanchili had found his line and length and bowled another good delivery 2 balls later and watched as Gillies pulled off a great one handed catch at point to dismiss new batsman Tripanwy for a duck, Ellon 117 – 4 off 22 overs. Wickets were now coming quickly as Fuller was finally out, bowled by Gillies for 44 ( 7 × 4), the ball blocked but slowly hitting the stumps and just having the weight to dislodge a bail. Ellon 122 for 5 and FP’s looking to run through the lower batsmen.

But a useful stand of 24 between H. Paterson and L. Meikle frustrated FP’s. However, Yalamanchili came up with another beauty and bowled Paterson for 8 (1 × 4). Five runs later K. Paterson was bowled by new bowler Russell also for 5 with one boundary.

The 8th wicket had put on a frustrating 13 runs when opening bowler Nama returned to remove Meikle courtesy of a smart catch by Hedge, Meikle scoring 14 (2 × 4), Ellon 163 for 8 off 33.4 overs.

E. Mackie made the long walk out to face a couple of balls before Russell bowled Herridge for 5 (1 × 4) and with Ellon only having 10 players, the innings was closed on 163 for 9 off 34.1 overs.

FP’s recovered well from 117 -2 to 163 for 9, but again bowled too many wides and dropped too many catches. All the bowlers took wickets, 7 of the wickets were bowled, a lesson there about accuracy. Yalamanlchili 10-2-44-3, Russell 3.1-0-11-2, Gopal 2-1-14-1, Nama 7-2-27-1, Hedge 7-0-31-1.

The required rate for FP’s was a fraction over 4 an over, not too much given a short boundary on one side. Unfortunately the openers Norwood and Lee were both dismissed without scoring, FP’s 3 -2 off 4.2 overs. Johnston was joined by youngster Hedge and both batted with care but also looked to score when the opportunity arose. Hedge produced arguably the shot of the day when he eased K. Paterson through the covers to open his account with a boundary.

The 3rd wicket had raised 34 runs in decent time when Hedge was out caught off K. Paterson for a good 16 (2 × 4), FP’s 37 – 3 off 15 overs. Russell immediately went for his shots and hit a couple of powerful boundaries. But Johnston was then beaten by a fuller ball from Herridge, out for 23 (2 × 4), FP’s 57 – 4 off 19.2 overs.

FP’s still required 106 off 20.4 overs and Russell and Gopal batted with intelligence, hitting the bad ball and keeping out the good balls. The partnership reached 48 and the game was tilting FP’s way when Gopal was  bowled by Watson for a valuable 15 (1 × 4), total 105  for 5 off 29 overs.

Ellon then turned to Owen to bowl and after being hit for 2 boundaries in his second over, Harsh then went for a third boundary and was easily caught for 9 (2 × 4), FP’s 126 for 6. FP’s best hope for victory ended when Russell was bowled next over by Owen for an excellent 53 (2 × 6, x 4). Russell had hit some big shots without losing control or focus on the match situation.

FP’s  collapsed with Yalamanchili and Rathinam out without scoring, Chithambaran hit a boundary before becoming Owens 4th wicket and Gillies ended 6 n.o. (1 × 4), FP’s all out 143. The last 5 wickets falling for 15 runs, leaving FP’s 20 runs short with 4.2 overs remaining. This was a match FP’s could have won with a bit more experience, hopefully a few lessons will be remembered next time.

Man of the Match – we’ll never hear the end of it, but Doug Russell with 2 wickets and half century takes the award

Champagne Moment – Tim Gillies one handed catch

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