Jamil Khan claimed 4 wickets in 10 balls to demolish the Banchory lower order as FPs recorded another win to move up to 3rd place. Making his 1st team debut after a few encouraging performances in the 3rd team, he found his poise just when it was needed to snatch the game away from Banchory. Banchory had seemed well set at 165 for 6, needing only 35 more for victory but collapsed to 175 all out. His 4 for 32 from 7 overs represented a fine recovery having bowled his first 5 for 32. Earlier FPs were bowled out for 200, well less than they had hoped for, Alex Keith with 57 and Pehlaj Tenneti 33 the mainstays of the batting card.
With something of a bowling crisis, FPs named a side of Morrison (c), Keith, Tenneti, Senthil, Waldron, Davey, Vijapur, Mapplebeck, Khan, Sam Knudson and Roland Knudson. Morrison returned to normal and lost the toss and FPs were asked to bat 1st, which they were not too upset about. With a lightning outfield, FPs posted another opening stand of 50 as Morrison hit his 1st ball for 4 and then stood at the other end while Keith blazed away, hammering anything offline for 4. Rotheram had bowled well and twice found Keith’s edge, but luckily for the batsmen they both evaded the slips and ran away to the boundary.
Morrison had made just 5 in the opening stand of 55 when in the 8th over he aimed something violent over the legside and was bowled by Grover. Tenneti and Keith looked secure moving the score to 104, before Keith was bowled by an inswinger by Safee. Senthil and Tenneti looked as if they may reprise the partnership from the cup game last weekend as Senthil blazed away cutting 4 boundaries and launching a huge six over square leg. Tenneti had played solidly and reached 33 untroubled when he completely miscued a high full toss and was caught off the bowling of Irfan, FPs 127 for 3 in 25 overs.
FPs were now looking to push on and Waldron played a magnificent on drive for 4 but was out soon after for 10 miscuing to Safee off the bowling of Hussain for 10. Senthil then played a rash shot to the returning Rotheram and was bowled for 23. Vijapur came and went for 5, bowled by Irfan and FPs had slipped to 170 for 6.
Mapplebeck and Davey looked assured in adding 24 with some excellent running as FPs looked to try to push up towards to 225 in the hope of declaring. However, these hopes were quickly dashed as Davey was caught by Safee off Ramesh for 25, leading to clatter of wickets as Mapplebeck was caught off Safee for 9, Khan was well caught by Grover for a duck off Safee and Sam Knudson was bowled for a duck by Ramesh. 200 represented something a good way short of what FPs had hoped for but was aided by 32 extras, but Banchory bowled very well throughout, Rotheram in particular impressing, although it was odd he bowled just 6 overs. With FPs out in 41 overs, it meant the activated draw was in play, but it also meant Banchory had 49 overs to chase the 200 needed to win.
With Sam Knudson requiring to leave early, he took the new ball with Vijapur and after a quiet opening, Vijapur struck in the 6th over, John Davey claiming a stunning catch diving to his left one-handed to dismiss Hicks for 2. Sam Knudson was bowling with good shape and it was 6 for 2, when he bowled Richards behind his legs for 1. Rotheram looked confident driving anything over pitched for 4, but Knudson grabbed his 2nd wicket, the umpire raising his finger as Morrison claimed a simple catch behind the stumps, Moizuddin gone for 12.
It was to be quite some time before FPs were to claim another victim, as Rotheram and Virk combined in a stand of 41, with minimum alarm. Things were not going to well for FPs and it got worse and skipper Morrison suffered something of a horror injury standing up to Sam Knudson, the ball flying through and crunching into his eye socket. Unable to continue Waldron took over the gloves and FPs were effectively down to 9 as Sam Knudson required to leave. Morrison’s departure lasted 6 balls and he returned in the outfield, after some attention from Banchory’s Counsell who was fortunately a medic, thankfully blood regulations not being so tight in Grade cricket.
Desperate for a wicket, Mapplebeck came up with the goods as he had Rotheram LBW for 40. Roland Knudson quickly dispatched Mohammed LBW for 7 and FPs had reduced Banchory to 91 for 5 in 24 overs. Virk was by now the dangerman, but the returning Vijapur was unlucky not to remove him as Khan spilled a regulation chance. FPs broke through again at 127 as Mapplebeck had Khan well caught at the wicket by Waldron for 16. Virk was still there and gained an able ally in Counsell and they looked untroubled in adding 38 to take Banchory to 165 for 6 needing 35 from 42 balls.
With Vijapur bowled out and Keith unable to make a breakthrough, Morrison turned back to Khan who has perhaps been slightly nervous in his 1st spell. He got the breakthrough that FPs desperately needed as he bowled Virk for a superb 59. The game was still in the balance, but Khan’s 7th over was to be decisive as 1st he bowled Counsell for 16, quickly dispatched Ramesh LBW for a duck and with he final ball had Hussain well caught at backward square by Vijapur for a duck as FPs closed out an impressive 35 run win.
For FPs, the bowling figures were Sam Knudson 8-1-20-2, Vijapur 12-2-34-1, Khan 7-0-32-4, Mapplebeck 9-0-47-2, Roland Knudson 7-0-27-1 and Keith 2-1-9-0. It was a very even game with FPs managing to continue their knack of finding a way to win, it was also well umpired by Jason Stark. The fact that it was a different bowling hero again is encouraging and the batsmen again managed to raise 200, Alex Keith continuing his fine season. Next week FPs face Cults, who many think are the strongest side in the league, so it will need another good team effort if FPs are to continue their recent good form.