Pehlaj Tenneti hammered a chanceless century and Arul Senthil hit a fine 74 as FPs rattled up 299 for 9 in a one sided victory in the Rubislaw sun. They shared 156 for the 5th wicket as Banchory were hit all round Rubislaw before FPs dismissed Banchory for 146 in a huge 153 run win to advance to the semi finals of the Aberdeenshire Cup. Tenneti was eventually out for 117 having struck 16 fours and the game was up when in the 1st over of the reply Vijapur(2-42) snared 2 wickets. Challa (3-22), Sam Knudson (2-12), Roland Knudson (2-23) and Sajid Hameed (1-21) all enjoyed a bowl as the wickets were shared round.
FPs made 3 changes from their Saturday team with Sam Knudson, Mahesh Challa and Paul McDonald replacing Saturday’s hero Mo Ahmed, Harry Mapplebeck and John Davey. Morrison won the toss for the 2nd day running, finally finding the knack on this front and had little hesitation in batting as FPs like to do. Morrison opened with Keith and they started aggressively, racing to 38 in 5 overs, when Morrison was bowled playing a rather non descript shot to Mohammed to fall for 9 (2×4). He was replaced by Tenneti who started cautiously, while Keith blazed away, looking in no danger at all, before miscuing Mohammed to mid off to go for 38 (7×4), FPs now 66 for 2 in 10 overs.
Swiergon struck 2 fours in a brief stay of 9 and when McDonald fell to a high full toss for 5, FPs were in a spot of bother at 84 for 4 in 13 overs. However, it brought Senthil to the crease and he Tenneti were to add 153 in 19 overs as they hit the ball all round the ground in a very entertaining stand. Senthil took a liking to Moammed’s bowling blasting him for regular boundaries and the bowler was banned by the umpire after his 3rd beamer, although all of the dangerous deliveries were dispatched for 4.
Anything short was quickly seized upon by Senthil and he twice struck maximums as the score started to get out of hand. Both raised their 50s and looked well set for centuries as Banchory wilted in the sun. However, it was not to be for Senthil who was superbly caught by Richards at mid wicket off a long hop, Senthil having to drag himself off having made a fine 74 (9×4, 2×6). Challa smashed a huge six but was bowled by Rahul for 7 as FPs sought quick runs. Vijapur was caught and bowled by Crawley for a duck as FPs were reduced to 265 for 7.
Rahul was causing Tenneti some issues and he was forced to improvise as he chased 3 figures. It arrived as he nudged a quick single to take him to his 2nd FPs century. He had reached 117 (16×4) in the final over when he played on to the impressive Crawley. Crawley claimed a 3rd wicket as Hameed was caught for 1, forcing Roland Knudson to come out for the final delivery at the non strikers end, which was smashed for 4 by Sam Knudson to end on 7, FPs scoring a very useful 299 for 9.
It had been a superb effort by Tenneti and Senthil and the aggressive approach by the whole team ensured they used their batting resources well and made a score which was likely to win most games.
Banchory needed a fast start, but were in turmoil after only 6 balls as Richards was easily caught at the wicket by Morrison for a duck and Tenneti held Mohammed at mid off after 2 boundaries as FPs took total control. They did manage to stabilise matters but were falling miles behind the rate and lost a 3rd wicket on 60 as Morrison took a fine catch from the bowling of offspinner Roland Knudson to remove Irfan for 26. Sam Knudson who had been a bit short with his bowling landed a double blow in the 16 over as Vijapur easily caught Muaz for 1 and Hep was LBW for a 4th ball duck. Banchory all but out of the cup at 65 for 5.
Ambrose was still hanging in and found good support from Douglas who appeared rather low in the batting order and they negotiated to the score to 89 for 5 at drinks. A drink seemed to re-energise Challa and he bowled Ambrose straight away for a very patient 36. He also bowled J Richards for 1. At the other end Morrison had the bails off in an instant and appeared to have Crawley stumped but the batsman received the benefit of the doubt. Some polite advice from Keith at slip however did the job two balls later as Crawley charged down the pitch and Morrison claimed a 3rd victim with a routine stumping to give Knudson his 2nd wicket.
When Challa claimed a 3rd wicket bowling Malieshwari it was 98 for 9. Douglas and Jacobs then combined to add 48 for the last wicket, as Morrison mixed up the bowling. He missed a legside stumping of Vijapur when he failed to remove a bail and Tenneti missed a tough chance at slip as the last wicket pair had some fun. It only took one ball from Hameed to finish the game though as he clean bowled Jacobs for 19, Banchory all out for 146, 2nd teamer Douglas left on 39 not out, surely having done enough to earn promotion for next week, having batted very well.
It was a great win for FPs and with the sun shining, it was a good day to play cricket. FPs batting was excellent with Tenneti and Senthil rightly taking the plaudits. FPs will have been disappointed to again struggle to claim the last wicket, but all the bowlers bowled well enough in a comfortable win. FPs face Banchory again next week, but it will be a brand new game and as was seen by Inverurie’s win at Cults today, everyone can beat everyone and it is sure to be a close affair.