FPs produced a remarkable all round performance to dump Bon Accord out of the Turriff Cup 20/20 as Sajid Hameed slammed the 3rd last ball of the innings high over long on for 6 to deal a memorable win. It was truly an all round team performance as to a man, FPs showed great heart in the field and then held their nerve when the chase looked beyond them as they faltered badly with the winning line in sight. The overall attitude for FPs was summed up by a superb fielding display in the deep by 2nd XI vice captain Matt Barker and an equally impressive patrol job short on the offside by irrepressible 3rd XI regular Doug Russell, whose words of advise will still be ringing in many players ears.
With no Alex Keith, Tom Booth, John Davey, Vijay Vijapur, Gary Stuart, Pehlaj Tenneti of Harry Mapplebck available, it was a tough ask for FPs. But they started well as stand in vice captain Sam Knudson won the toss and wisely chose to field. FPs opened with spinner Roland Knudson and he asked early questions on a turning wicket. Sajid Hameed opened with him and fired down a hostile maiden to start. Sam Knudson replaced his father for the 3rd over and bowled accurately keeping Awan and Mirza quiet.
The frustration soon did for Mirza as he hit Hameed straight up where Morrison claimed a good catch with the gloves. Win was then dropped at deep square by McDonald but Challa accounted for Awan for 22 Morrison diving to his right to snaffle a good catch. Morrison had a 3rd victim 3 balls later as a huge edge by Alam (1) was easily held. Bon Accord 30 for 3 in 8. Challa was bowling well and asking questions and was unlucky when Roland Knudson put down a tough chance at deep square leg, Win again surviving. Roland Knudson returned and took 2 balls to remove Shiraz who chipped to long on where Sam Knudson calmly caught him.
Jay made 7 before being yorked middle stump by Sam Knudson and Hussain went st ball, bowled in identical fashion. The hat trick ball was a wide but FPs were well in charge at 64 for 6 in 15 overs. Unfortunately for FPs new man Fayaz was in good form and threatened to take the game away from FPs clubbing 3 sixes. Win was still battling away at the other end and he eventually fell for 37 brilliantly caught by Russell at cover, a steepling catch off Ahmed. Some more lusty hitting carried Bon Accord to 115 when Barker ran out Hussain off the last ball for a duck.
It had been a good all round effort from FPs with good bowling figures. Roland Knudson 4-0-19-1, Hameed brilliant with 4-1-10-1, Sam Knudson 4-0-33-2, Ahmed 4-0-39-2 and Challa 4-0-19-2.
With usual openers Keith not playing and Morrison barely able to move, FPs pushed all their big hitters to the top of the order. It looked inspired as McDonald launched a fearsome attack on Mirza blasting 3 straight sixes in a row before being caught off the 4th ball of the over on the boundary trying to keep the maximum coming, out for 22, but crucially FPs ahead of the rate at 25 for 1 in 2.4 overs. Swiergon soon fell caught and bowled for 3 as FPs slipped to 26 for 2. It brought Challa and Ahmed together and after some graceful boundaries Ahmed was out for 9, caught behind by Win off Awan for 9.
Challa was on the charge however, hitting some huge sixes as FPs rattled along, Senthil fell to Shiraz for 5 but FPs were 72 for 4 in 9 overs, only needing 44 from 11 overs. It seemed to be simple but it was not going to be as after firing two more huge sixes Challa was caught off Awan for 35 (2×4, 4×6), FPs now 80 for 5.
Sam Knudson was batting with great common sense and was joined by Morrison and they were keen to play sensibly to get over the line. Morrison pulled a boundary and nudged a couple of singles but could not get Sheraz away and attempting a big hit was caught on the boundary for 6 as FPs run chase stuttered. The big hitting Hameed was sent in to tay and get FPs home but he could not find his usual rhythm as he and Knudson had to content themselves with singles. They needed 17 from 24 balls, but when Shiraz completed his spell with 2 for 10 in 4 overs, they still needed 13 from 18 balls. Awan gave up just 2 and things looked bleak when Mirza conceded just one.
It meant FPs suddenly needed 10 off the last over on a pitch that had already proved hard to hit on. Technically FPs needed just 9 as long as they only lost 1 wicket but the batsmen may not have realised this. After much discussion, the final over began with Hameed scrambling a single off Bhalani, Knudson followed suit and the equation was 8 from 4. Some good running brought Hameed 2 off the 3rd ball and FPs now needed 6 from 3. It was no sweat for Hameed as he suddenly connected with one to send it miles over long on towards the driving range as FPs secured a famous victory by 4 wickets. It was FPs 1st win over Bon Accord for 8 years and was thoroughly deserved after a great all round performance.
It means FPs reach finals day for the 1st time on 30th August and if they can harness the spirit shown in this win, they may be able to spring 2 more surprises and claim a rare piece of silverware.