There were five changes to the AGSFP’s 3rd XI team which had played in the previous match week’s Johnston Rose Bowl cup defeat at Ellon. Unavailable from that game were Lee, Naga, Chithambaran, Gillies and top scorer Russell who was out due to a badly strained twitter finger.
The team selected was Johnston (c), Norwood, Joy, Hedge, Gopal, Ghosh (wkt) Yalamanchili, Balasubramani, Chowadry, Rathinam. The toss was lost by FP’s who were asked to bat by Ellon skipper Meikle, the wicket looking a lot dryer that the previous week.
Norwood’s opening partner this week was Joy, and the pair looked in no trouble until Joy clipped a catch to mid-wicket which George held easily, FP’s 11 – 1 off 7.5 overs. Norwood was next out caught at cover by Hutcheson off K. Paterson for 6, FP’s 15 – 2 off 11.4 overs.
Johnston and Hedge batted carefully with schoolboy Hedge looking to score when possible. The 3rd wicket fell on 29, Johnston giving an easy catch to H. Paterson, off the bowling of K. Paterson for 2.
Gopal was also dismissed for 2, bowled by H. Paterson, FP’s 36 – 4 and debutant A. Khan was soon run out for 3 after a mix up with Hedge, FP’s 41 – 5 and in danger of a total collapse.
However Hedge was batting beautifully and with composure beyond his 4 innings – to – date FP’s career. Together with schoolmate Ghosh, they added a valuable 19 runs, but inexperience showed as Ghosh was run out attempting a second run on the Hutcheson arm. Unfortunately the Ellon fielder sent in a rocket throw from the boundary and Ghosh was short of the line, Ghosh scoring 8 (1 ×4), FP’s 76 – 7 off 30.5 overs.
Hedge continued to bat with a touch of class, picking up boundaries all-round the wicket, but excelling in the cover drive. Yalamanchili scored a boundary in his total of 8, Balasubramani was out bowled for 4, and Chowadry caught at mid-wicket by George for a duck as FP’s folded.
Hedge was last man out, stumped for an excellent and team face – saving 49 including 7 x 4, all good strokes. FP’s were all out for 94, last man Rathinam not out 3.
Wicket takers for Ellon, Watson 2.4 – 0 – 9 – 2, H. Paterson 9 – 3 – 13 – 2, George 8 – 1 – 21 – 2, K. Paterson 12 – 2 – 23 – 2, all the Ellon bowlers bowled well with only 3 wides in 39.4 overs.
FP’s needed an early wicket but had to wait until the 8th over until Yalamanchili had Fuller dismissed LBW for 11 (2 × 4), Ellon 26 – 1 off 7.3 overs. Watson smashed his first ball for 4 and looked in a hurry. But debutant Khan was bowling with good pace and control and kept the batsmen under control.
Gopal replaced Yalamanchili and struck in his first over when opener Evan was brilliantly stumped by wicketkeeper Ghosh for 7, Ellon 45 – 2 off 12 overs and in a strong position.
But further great bowling by Gopal and Khan then saw Ellon slump to 57 – 6 as Watson was bowled by a beauty from Khan for 15 (3 × 4), Hutcheson also bowled by Khan for a duck and Tripathy very well caught at deep mid-wicket by Hedge for 7 off Gopal. Gopal then cleaned bowled George for a duck and FP’s were suddenly on top and looking for an unexpected victory.
Ellon were fortunate to have the very experienced Montgomery and Meikle at the wicket and both batsmen batted sensibly, waiting for the bad ball to hit and doing well to keep out the pace of Khan.
Both batsmen hit a 6 to the short boundary as the score mounted and FP’s struggled to get the vital breakthrough. The Ellon batsmen saw their team home, Meikle scoring 21 n.o. (1 × 6, 3 x 4) and Montgomery 16 n.o. (1 × 6) Ellon 93 – 6 off 39.1 overs.
Bowling figures for FP’s, Gopal 5 – 0 – 24 – 3, Khan 12 – 3 – 23 – 2, Yalamanchili 5 – 0 – 27 – 1, Hedge 5 – 1 – 8 – 0, Balasubramani 4 – 1 – 8 – 0.
Another 20 runs for FP’s would have made this an interesting game, but the wides total did not help the cause. The game was again played in good spirit between the teams.
Man of the Match – Rutwik Hedge, top scorer in the match with a composed 49, took a good catch and bowled well, one for the future
Champagne Moment – Sharp stumping by Kingshuk Ghosh in his first game of the season, another great prospect for FP’s