Despite 85 overs being completed, the 469 runs scored at Rubislaw between FPs and Methlick will be just a footnote in Grades history as a severe storm washed the game out which looked set to be a draw. FPs had piled on 261 for 5, thanks to 86 from Alex Keith, 55 from Geoff Morrison and 53 from Pehlaj Tenneti. Methlick replied with 208 for 6 in 40 overs before the rain arrived, Steve Murphy making a fine 67 and Tom Acton 51 not out as a lightening fast outfield and unresponsive ball made run scoring fairly simple.
FPs had a selection dilemma with most players available and lined up Morrison, Keith, Tenneti, Davey, Waldron, Senthil, Ahmed, Swiergon, Vijapur, Mapplebeck and Sam Knudson. Roland Knudson, Paul McDonald and Gary Stuart playing in 2nds and Sajid Hameed still unavailable. FPs lost the toss as normal and were not upset to be asked to bat and the prolific partnership of Keith and Morrison wasted no time in setting about the bowling, passing 50 in the 10th over with minimal alarm, Keith mainly trading in boundaries with Morrison happy to give him the strike. Keith had a let off when Woodhouse missed a regulation edge off Addison behind the stumps and Keith went to take full advantage scoring all ba 1 of his runs through the offside, unleashing some crunching cuts, cover drives and straight drives. The partnership reached 100 in the 20th over, but in the 1st over after lunch, Morrison had a lucky escape after aiming something violent at Jones, only to be dropped a sitter at fine leg on 40.
Keith looked certain to record a ton, but fell 14 short, when he edged to keeper Woodhouse, having hit 19 fours departing with the score on 135, gone for his 86 from just 80 balls. Tenneti replaced him and cut his 1st ball for 4 as he looked in excellent form. Morrison brought up his half century from 52 balls as the score moved past 150. He fell just 5 runs later as Kennedy bowled him with a shortish ball he missed attempting a pull. FPs 164 for 2 in 30 overs.
Tenneti was joined by Waldron and they scored freely in a 50 run stand, Tenneti making another half century before eventually being bowled by Acton for 53 (6×4) attempting another big hit, FPs now 214 for 3. Senthil came and went bowled by Acton for 3 in a selfless effort and Swiergon was superbly caught one handed by Anderson for 4 as FPs slipped to 232 for 5. However some impressive boundaries and some smart running between Waldron and youngster Ahmed pushed FPs up to 261 for 5 at the end of 45 overs, Waldron 32 not out and Ahmed 8 not out.
Given how fast the outfield was and how unresponsive the trial ball was, FPs knew they would need all their runs and so it was to prove in the chase. Vijapur and Knudson took the new ball and it was Knudson who landed a double strike with 2 wickets in 4 balls as 1st Jones was easily caught at mid on by Ahmed for 11 and then Woodhouse was clean bowled for 4, Methlick 28 for 2 in 8 overs. It could have been even better for FPs as Tenneti can not hang on at square leg, Murphy dropped on 4, he was to go on to make 67. He and Kennedy looked assured but when Mapplebeck was introduced he bowled an extremely fast spell and ha the batsmen in some difficulty. In his 2nd over he fired down a rapid bouncer, which Kennedy did superbly to hook off his nose, but could only look on in horror as Mo Ahmed stretched up on the boundary at fine leg to claim a superb running catch, the batsmen out for 16 and Methlick 64 for 3.
Choudry rode his luck and was dropped when Senthil and Waldron both called and collided trying to take the catch and the stand with Murphy had reached 32 when a loose drive by Choudry (19) was claimed at the 3rd attempt by Morrison behind the stumps off Vijapur, the last ball before drinks, Methlick 106 for 4. FPs now needed some quick wickets but Acton and Murphy combined well and were assured in fin partnership. FPs rotated their bowlers with both opening bowlers, Mo Ahmed as well as Alex Keith and Rob Swiergon having a bowl, but none of them could find a way through as Murphy raised a fine 50.
Ahmed was convinced he had him LBW shortly afterwards, but the Methlick umpire was not in agreement, he eventually went for 67, walking when feathering an edge of Ahmed to wicketkeeper Morrison, Methlick now 150 for 4. New man Kallepu survived a sustained LBW appeal and then had an amazing escape when he edged Ahmed to Morrison behind the stumps, but the verdict was not out, both keeper and bowled somewhat disappointed. He did fall soon after, perhaps a bit unsettled, clipping an easy catch to Sam Knudson at mid on off Ahmed for 10. Methlick 172 for 6 with 9 overs remaining.
Acton was batting superbly and was looking to try to force an improbably victory and had passed 50 as Methlick raised 200. However, at the start of the 41 st over a dramatic shower arrived and 2 balls later the players had little option but to leave the field and forced to abandon the game. Although an unfortunate end, the game was heading for a draw and it is a shame that all the runs made will be scratched from the record books.
For FPs, the bowling figures were Vijapur 9-1-44-1, Knudson 9-0-45-2, Mapplebeck 7.2-2-37-1, Ahmed 12-0-55-2, Keith 1-0-8-0 and Swiergon 2-16-0. On Sunday FPs face Bon Accord in a tough Aberdeenshire Cup Semi Final at Rubislaw, with McDonald replacing the unavailable Davey and Hameed making a welcome return for Mapplebeck. In league duty next Saturday, FPs face a tough trip to Ellon, a ground that FPs have not won at for a very long time, but will be keen to maintain their 3rd place in Grade 1.