Mirza Masterclass Downs FPs

FPs slid to a 33 run loss as they were bowled out for just 52 chasing 86 to win against Bon Accord.  Nawaz Mirza claimed 8 for 19 and caught the other 2 batsman as Bon Accord won to stay top of Grade 1 on a pitch that would best be described as rough.  FPs had earlier bowled Bon Accord out for 85 with Vijay Vijapur (4-19) and Harry Mapplebeck (2-23) doing the damage.  With the bat, only a spirited 30 from Rob Swiergon offered FPs any chance of victory, with no other player making double figures.

FPs lined up with Morrison, Keith, Tenneti, Swiergon, Vijapur, Clelland, Mapplebeck, Barker, Desai, Hameed and Devendran.  FPs won the toss against a Bon Accord side forced to name Grades Committee Member Tariq Butt as a rather improbable trialist, and FPs asked Bon Accord to bat.

It was to proved a wise choice as Malik was out for 1 in the 2nd over, edging Vijapur to Keith at slip.  It was soon 6 for 2 as Andy Win walked having edged Hameed to Clelland behind the stumps.  Gopinathan (10) did not look secure and chipped to mid off where Barker took the catch to hand Vijapur a 2nd wicket and he soon had a 3rd when a perfect yorker struck Awan on the foot and he was LBW for 17.  Bon Accord 30 for 4.  Vijapur then removed Mirza as Barker thrust out a right hand more in hope than expectation having lost the ball in the sun and much to his joy the ball stuck in his fingers to reduce Bon Accord to 49 for 5.  It was 49 for 6 Fayaz (0) had a smash at Desai and Barker took his 3rd catch, holding a steepling catch.

Bon Accord’s trialist joined Hussain and was luck not to go 1st ball, edging Mapplebeck through the slips and then next ball almost being brilliantly caught in the gully by Vijapur.  The stand of 34 between Trialist and Hussain was to prove a match winning stand and only ended when Morrison clung onto a sharp catch at the 3rd attempt at mid wicket as Desai claimed a 2nd victim.  Mac Ahmed was quickly dismissed by Mapplebeck for 1 and he clean bowled Rathan next ball before having Butt LBW for 15 in his next over, Bon Accord 85 all out, a decent effort given the pitch.

FPs bowled and fielded well and this was reflected by the bowling figures, Hameed 8-2-20-1, Vijapur 12-6-19-4, Desai 11-3-26-2 and Mapplebeck 7-1-23-3.

Chasing 86 to win was always going to be an ask on the wicket which was in terrible shape and things started badly for FPs as Alex Keith was hit on the head at pace by a good length ball that reared and struck a sickening thud.  Thankfully the batsman was unfazed and the wild appeals for a catch were turned down.  Keith however soon fell to Mirza, bowled by a short ball, he elected to leave, which cut back and bowled him middle stump.  Tenneti was then out to a short ball next ball, gloving to Win for a duck and it was 12 for 3 when Morrison was bowled by Mirza.

Swiergon and Vijapur did at least stem the tide and raised to score to 36, when Vijapur edged Mirza behind for 9.  Swiergon was playing bravely, taking on the barrage of bouncers, hooking for 4 and then driving anything pitched up with great skill.  He had raced onto 30 when he miscued Mirza and Malik held a good catch at mid off, FPs 47 for 5.  It was soon 47 for 8 as Mapplebeck was caught at short leg off Hussain for a duck, Clelland was adjudged caught at the wicket for a duck to hand Mirza a 6th wicket and Barker was bounced out by Mirza and caught at gully.  Mirza then bowled Desai for a duck as FPs slipped to 48 for 9.

Hameed did at least crash a four before rain forced the players off for 20 minutes.  When they returned, the 1st ball, a long hop from Hussain was hammered by Hameed straight to that man Mirza again, who claimed the catch at deep mid wicket, FPs all out for 52.

It had been a fantastic bowling effort by Mirza as he took 8 for 19, and it is unlikely that FPs will play on too many pitches like that again.  It was a game that FPs probably should have won and the defeat meant FPs end up 6th, which is rather disappointing having been as high as 3rd at one stage.  FPs now have 2020 Finals day to play as the curtain comes down on the 2014 season.

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