Grammar FP’s 3rd XI to play Turriff at Harlaw was Ian Johnston, Sandeep Dhanamani, Kingshuk Ghosh, John Lord, James Lord, Rahul Gopal, Agar Haider, Akil Thanga, Jason Alexander, John Thomson, a total of seven changes from the previous match.
There was a very strong wing blowing cross the wicket as the Turriff batsman walked out to bat, FP’s having won the toss. FP’s opening bowlers Thomson and Thanga both bowled well in the awkward conditions and the Turriff batsmen were unable to score a single boundary off the opening 10 overs, score 25 – 0. Thomson had bowled 5 – 3 – 2 – 0, accuracy personified while Thanga was very unlucky to also go wicketless in his 6 overs for 26, one over producing 2 Chinese cuts and a couple of difficult catches.
Schoolboys D’Costa and Alexander replaced the opener schoolboy Thanga and mature pupil Thomson but found the wind tricky at times. The first boundary came in the 15th over, but Alexander made the breakthrough in the 20th over when Thomson took a well judges catch at mid on to dismiss Lings for 38 (4 x 4), Turriff 67 – 1. Both bowlers were unlucky with LBW shouts and a couple of catches which just evaded the fielders. A combination of the strong cross wind and two left handed batsmen also a good test of their control.
Haider and Dhanamani came on to bowl and soon had to deal with a wet ball following a heavy shower which brought the teams off. Dhanamani took the second Turriff wicket thanks to a great reflex catch by Alexander at square leg who caught Chalmers one handed, Chalmers 27 (2 x 4), Turriff 129 – 2. Next ball Doss sliced a shot to mid wicket where D’Costa calmly took the catch, Turriff 129 – 3. Unfortunately Dhanamani was unable to emulate Mrs Dhanamani’s perfect delivery a couple of days earlier (a daughter, Madhu), and so the (possibly) once in a lifetime babies head wetting/hat trick was lost!
I. Smart was hitting out whenever he could and reached his 50 with a boundary. Turriff were looking to score quickly but Dhanamani found his own perfect delivery when he bowled D. Laing for 9 (1 x 4) Turriff 147 – 4 off 36 overs.
Smart was farming the bowling well and D. Laing had contributed 5 runs to a stand of 39 when opening bowler Thanga finally took a well deserved wicket, bowling Laing with a beauty, Turriff 186 – 5 off 41.5 overs.
New batsman F. Smart was too keen to keep his dad on strike and was run out backing up too far by a quick piece of thinking by Thomson who very calmly (too calmly for his teammates) took aim and threw down the stumps, 191 – 6. With the last ball of the 43rd over Thomson also took a well deserved wicket by bowling C. Duncan middle stump for 0.
Smart finished on a hard hit 73 n.o. (2 x 6, 8 x 4), Turriff totalling 191 – 7 off 43 overs.
Bowling figures for FP’s, Thomson 11-3-27-1, Thanga 8-0-35-1, D’Costa 6-0-27-0, Alexander 6-0-21-1, Haider 5-0-31-0, Dhanamani 7-0-45-3.
FP’s bowlers were troubled at times by the wind and wet ball but stuck to the task, having several good shouts for LBW, and were supported well in the field with Alexander again outstanding.
FP’s came out to bat with the wind even stronger then before and D. Laing took full advantage of the cross wind bowling from the Cromwell Road end. The first three huge inswinging deliveries were well kept out by John Lord, but the fourth ball saw Lord move too far across the line and he was bowled off his leg for a duck, FP’s 0-1. First ball of Laing’s next over saw Haider fatally go back and across his stumps and was given out LBW for 1, FP’s 5 – 2.
Kingshuk Ghosh and James Lord then dug in and played very mature cricket to get FP’s out of a potential heavy defeat, batting for 25 overs against good accurate bowling. Lord took full advantage of the first change of bowling when he played 3 majestic pull shots to the boundary off 4 balls in new bowler Doss’s first over, an excellent change from disciplined defence to attack.
The third wicket stand was eventually broken when Lord was bowled off his back foot by C. Duncan for 25 (5 x 4), FP’s 85 – 3 off 27.2 overs, the stand worth 80 runs.
Ghosh was again showing great concentration and determination and helped add a further 21 runs with Gopal until being caught off opening bowler Lings for a well constructed innings of 34 (3 x 4), FP’s 106 – 4.
Turriff had recalled both opening bowlers in an attempt to break through, and it worked as both Dhanamani and Thanga were dismissed in quick succession without adding to the total of 107, FP’s 107 – 6 off 33 overs. This left 15 overs for FP’s to secure a draw, eight of which to be bowled by the openers.
But Gopal and schoolboy D’Costa batted with determination and survived nine overs until D’Costa was out to a good catch for 7, FP’s 124 – 7 off 41.4 overs.
Johnston joined Gopal in the middle and saw Gopal survive being bowled by I. Smart when the ball hit the off stump, but the bails instead off flying off, formed a pyramid over middle stump, with the ball flying off to the boundary for 4 runs. Gopal declined the advice given by one of the fielders to walk, but two balls later decided to play across a straight ball and was rightly given LBW for 18 (1 x 4), FP”s 134 – 8 off 45 overs.
Alexander and Johnston saw out the remaining overs, both 0 n.o. FP’s scoring 134 – 8 off 47 overs.
Top wicket takers for Turriff Laing 12-5-13-4, I. Smart 3-1-6-2.
FP’s were indebted to Ghosh and Lord for an excellent stand which at one stage might have given FP’s an outside chance of going for a victory. This was a good draw for FPs with everyone contributing and gaining valuable bowling and batting experience.
Man of the Match – Kingshuk again kept well and batted very well
Champagne Moment – Jason’s reflex catch