Experience gave way to youth for the AGSFP’s 3rdXI Grade 4 match against Methlick 2nd XI at Harlaw, with a total of 8 changes being made to the team which lost at Kemnay the previous week.
Aberdeen Grammar School supplied a total of 6 current pupils to the team, Jason Alexander, Jeston D’Costa, Leston D’Costa, Kingshuk Ghosh, Rutwik Hedge and Rajaa Monnapillai, the highest number of schoolboys selected for an FP’s team for many a year. The schoolboys were joined by ex pupils, now students, James Lord and Tim Gillies, ex pupil, ex student, Melvin Joy, (total of 9 current or past pupils) Rahul Gopal and team average age spoiler Ian Johnston.
Johnston arrived at Harlaw to find most of the team ready for action, with enough food to feed two teams of schoolboys. The stunned captain was too shocked to attend the toss, which stand in captain Gopal won and decided to bat first.
The weather was drizzly but fortunately warm June drizzle and not April drizzle. Openers Lord and Joy both got off the mark with good legside boundaries, but there was no more joy from the Lord when he played round a straight ball bowled by the accurate S. Choudrey and was out for 4, FP’s 8 – 1.
Hedge had been on a good run of form in this, his first season, but played his worst shot of the season when he was out bowled by Choudrey for 1, FP’s 13 – 2 off 7 overs.
D’Costa J. just back from holiday, then played an even worse shot to be out next ball and was easily caught at mid wicket off Choudrey, FP’s 13 – 3.
Fortunately Joy was gaining confidence and playing some great attacking shots. The 4th wicket stans had raised 21 when Gopal was bowled round his legs by Cordiner for 3, the ball just clipping the top of leg stump, FP’s 34 – 4. New batsman Monnapillai was dismissed in the same over also playing a shot he would prefer (his captain) to forget, out very LBW for a duck, FP’s 34 – 5.
Gillies joined Joy for a short while and then played a loose shot, somehow reaching a wide ball from Day and giving a simple catch to point, FP’s 41 – 6.
Fortunately for FP’s, wicketkeeper Ghosh was in determined mood and stayed with the now free scoring Joy and a good stand of 30 was raised before Ghosh was out for a responsible innings of 3, running hard and supporting the more experienced Joy.
Debutant Alexander also shared a good partnership with Joy and the 8th wicket partnership of 22 runs helped bring some respectability to the FP’s total. Alexander was given out LBW for 2, FP’s 93 for 8. Ghosh and Alexander had helped Joy add vital 52 vital runs and had shown their team mates how it could be done.
D’Costa L. also showed good technique, but Joy was 9th man out attempting another boundary, caught off Jones for a superb 65 ( 1 × 6, 5 x 4). Joy had hit some lovely drives with a smooth, straight, swing of his bat and with only extras reaching double figures, this was a vital innings for FP’s.
D’Costa L. was batting well and looked untroubled, but last man Johnston was soon bowled via his foot by Jones for a duck, FP’s all out 102 off 30.4 overs.
Without the innings of Joy, the game would have been over in no time, only Ghosh, Alexander and D’Costa L. showing the correct technique and determination to play a long innings.
Wicket takers for Methlick, Jones 8.2 – 1 – 19 – 3, Choudrey 7 – 2 – 24 – 3, Cordiner 8 – 3 – 17 – 2, Day 6 – 1 – 24 – 2
Following a good tea, Methlick skipper and past FP’s skipper Rob Fryer and fellow opener G. Gerrie faced bowlers Hedge and Monnapillai. Both bowlers started well and it was Monnapillai who struck first when Fryer pulled a ball straight to Gopal at square leg, Methlick 7 – 1 off 5.1 overs. Monnapillai took a second wicket two overs later when Gerrie mishit a shot to cover where an alert D’Costa J. took a good low catch, Gerrie out for 10, ( 2 × 4), Methlick 12-1. Hedge and Monnapillai had both bowled with good control and after 12 overs the score was 24 – 2.
The opening bowlers were replaced by D’Costa J. and Gillies, but Methlick then had a good stand of of 49 with Campbell hitting a few arial boundaries. The stand was broken by new bowler D’Costa L. who had replaced Gillies. The D’Costa brothers had tied down the batsmen and Sarafimoski tried a rash shot and was well caught by Lord off D’Costa L. for 17 (1 × 4). D’Costa J. then emulated his younger brother when he had Campbell out LBW with a good full length delivery for 33 (6 x 4), Methlick 64 – 4.
Another wicket would have made the game very interesting, but Methlick’s 5th wicket scored a quick 16 runs with Jones hitting a 4 and 6 off successive deliveries from Hedge. But Hedge responded well and had Jones out with a smart caught and bowled next ball bowled from around the wicket, Methlick 80 – 5 off 27.4 overs.
D’Costa L. then took a deserved second wicket by bowling Boughey for 7 (1 × 4), Methlick 90 – 6 off 30.2 overs. But new batsman Choudrey came in and went for his shots and hit a couple of boundaries over the top of the infield to effectively kill off any hopes of a win for FP’s. Choudrey ended 14 n.o. ( 2 × 4) and Maclean 7 n.o. (1 × 4) Methlick reaching 103 for 6 off 32.2 overs.
The bowling figures were Leston D’Costa 6 – 2 – 13 – 2, Monnapillai 7 – 3 – 14 – 2, Jeston D’Costa 7 – 1 – 18 – 1, Hedge 9 – 2 – 32 – 1.
Another 20 runs for FP’s would have made this an interesting finish. All the schoolboys fielded enthusiastically and bowled tightly with only 2 wides conceded, probably a record for an FP’s bowling attack.This should be reduced to zero next week if writing a hundred lines is still as effective as it used to be.Hopefully this will be the start of some long, successful playing careers for the schoolboys who on the whole showed good skills and application, a couple of rash shots apart. The game was played in a good spirit by both teams and enjoyed by both teams.
Champagne moment – Melvin Joy reaching a classy 50
Man of the Match – Leston D’Costa, batted calmly with good technique, fielded well and took 2 – 13 in a great spell