A trip to Burnett Park in Banchory for a game of cricket is never a hardship, and the AGSFP’s 3rd XI team selected showed four changes from the previous weeks team. Out of the team due to injury, holiday, and a couple of promotions to the 2nd XI went Gopal, Lord, Joy and J. D’Costa. In came Paul Norwood, Gary Stuart, Sandeep Dhanamani, Ian Goodenough. This meant that the average age had doubled from the previous weeks as there were only 5 schoolboys playing in this match for FP’s.
The team selected was Johnston, Ghosh (wkt), Norwood, Alexander, Hedge, Monnapillai, Stuart, D’Costa, Goodenough, Gillies, Dhanamani. Banchory skipper Wilkinson easily won the toss and FP’s openers Norwood and volunteer opener Ghosh went out to bat in overcast and drizzly conditions. The wicket was green with a good covering of grass.
The openers played well and after 9 overs the total was 30, with Norwood pulling anything short to the legside boundary and Ghosh providing solid support. FP’s lost their first wicket in the 14th over when new bowler Wilkinson had Norwood LBW for 25 (3 × 4). Wilkinson took another wicket in his next over when Ghosh gave a simple caught and bowled for 10 (1 × 4), FP’s 38 for 2.
New bowler Douglas soon dismissed Alexander for 2, FP’s 40 for 3 but Hedge was batting with great restraint, especially against the wily Wilkinson and was happy to wait for the bad ball to hit, no matter how long it took.
Johnston was the next Wilkinson victim, out LBW for 13 (1 × 4), FP’s 56 – 4 off 23.4 overs. Monnapillai was soon dismissed, run out after a mix up for 1, FP’s struggling on 61 for 5. Stuart immediately played some attacking shots, a cover drive for four raced to the boundary.
The 6th wicket stand had raised 21 when Hedge was caught off Hussain for 5 (1 × 4), Hedge playing a very responsible innings and gaining valuable experience in the middle. Leston D’Costa also batted with great determination and proved the perfect foil for Stuart who was finding the gaps in the field with an array of shots. D’Costa defended correctly against the accurate bowling of Saju and Hussain, playing a couple of good drives to help push the total into three figures.
Stuart hit Hussain for a great 6 over mid off, but Hussain took his revenge on FP’s by taking three wickets in one over as first D’Costa was finally out bowled off his legs for a fighting 8, the 7th wicket stand worth 29 runs leaving FP’s 111 – 7 off 40.2 overs. Two balls later in the over Goodenough was bowled by a ball which kept low, next ball Gillies did well to reach a wide ball and gave a simple catch.
Fortunately Dhanamani calmly avoided the hat-trick and saw out the over. Stuart hit another boundary before being dismissed for a well struck, and rumour has it, best ever FP’s score of 41 (1 × 6 , 3 x 4). Dhanamani was 1 n.o. as FP’s totalled 119. Wicket takers for Banchory, Hussain 12 – 2 – 32 – 4, Wilkinson 11 – 5 – 15 – 3, Douglas 3 – 0 – 13 – 1, Saju 8.4 – 1 – 26 – 1.
Grammar opened the bowling with Monnapillai and Hedge and it took only 2.4 overs before Monnapillai had Campbell given a slow death from umpire Pennington as the dreaded finger headed skyward, out LBW, Banchory 4 – 1. But FP’s had to wait for the 2nd wicket as McPhail and Redpath added 27 runs before Hedge bowled McPhail with the perfect yorker the opener scoring 15 (3 + 4).
Redpath and Hussain were quick to pounce on anything slightly wayward, after 12 overs Banchory had scored 58 – 2. D’Costa replaced Monnapillai and was unlucky when both batsmen edged shots out of range of the fielders. Stuart and Dhanamani also bowled without success as Banchory ran out comfortable winners by 8 wickets, 122 for 2 off 22.2 overs, Redpath the merciless scoring 77 n.o.(3 × 6, 10 x 4) and Hussain 23 n.o. (4 x 4) One of the 6’s being retrieved from the pond by schoolboy Hedge under the selfless supervision of Goodenough.
Bowling figures for FP’s Monnapillai 6 – 1 – 24 – 1, Hedge 6 – 0 – 3 – 1, D’Costa 5.2 – 0 – 29 – 0, Stuart 3 – 0 – 14 – 0, Dhanamani 2 – 0 – 21 – 0.
FP’s had four batsmen reach double figures but only Stuart made a good score, with several batsmen being dismissed with poor shot selection and another unnecessary run out did not help.
Hopefully a few lessons have been learned these last few weeks. Bowling wise, FP’s found any loose bowling was severely punished although it seemed that every false shot landed safely. The game was played throughout in the proper spirit with both teams enjoying the friendly banter.
Champagne Moment – Gary Stuart’s great straight drive for 6
FP’sMan of the Match – Leston D’Costa again, took part in biggest stand while batting, unlucky not to take a couple of wickets, faultless fielding