With only four players available from the previous match, FP’s 3rd XI had several debutants for the Johnston Rose Bowl 40 over Cup match against new team Grampian CC. Fortunately the 2nd XI did not have a game as numerous call offs left the 3rd XI short of bodies. The new to the 3rd XI players, braving life away from the grandeur of Rubislaw, were Magesh Devendran, Karthik Mohanan and Matt Barker. Joining them at Harlaw were John Lord, Kingshuk Ghosh, Rutwik Hedge, Doug Russell, Melvin Joy, Jim Lee, John Thomson and Ian Johnston.
The unbeaten run of tosses continued for FP’s as the captains chameleon coin continued confusing correct calling contending captains. As a result, FP’s decided to bat first on a bright but again very windy and chilly afternoon.
Lord and Ghosh went in to bat first and faced a very accurate pair of opening bowlers in Noby and Saju. The score had reached 14 when Ghosh was out LBW to Saju for 2, FP”s 14 – 1 off 8 overs.
Seby and Davis replaced Noby and Saju, but the bowling remained tight. Hegde was finding the fielders with good shots, but after adding 29 runs in 10 overs with Lord, Hegde was out bowled by Davis for a fighting 8, FPs 43 – 2 off 18 overs.
Lord was playing with good determination and was driving well, and new batsman Mohanan soon had the scoreboard ticking away, smacking three boundaries in a quick 17 before change bowler Johnson bowled Mohanan for 17, FP’s 75 – 3 off 23.1 overs.
The fourth wicket partnership was going well between Lord and Barker until with the score on 105, Lord was dismissed caught off Sonu for a disciplined innings of 41 (3 x 4) which had held the innings together. FP’s then had a middle order collapse as Barker, Russell, Joy and Magesh soon followed Lord to the Pavilion. Biffer Barker had scored a quick 22 (2 x 4) and was not afraid to have a go at the accurate bowling.
The final stages of the FP’s innings saw Lee and Thomson add a valuable 13 runs with Lee finishing 12 n.o. (1 x 4) and Thomson 1 n.o. FP’s completing their 40 overs on 131 – 8.
All the Grampian bowlers bowled well in tricky, windy conditions, wicket takers Saju 10-4-10-3, Sonu 6-1-15-3, Davis 4-0-14-1, Johnson 4-0-21-1.
Having had eight fit bowlers to choose from last week, FP’s this week had only two fully fit, two injured and two net – no – show bowlers to choose from, going from eight possible bowlers last week to eight possible umpires this week, feast or feast.
Grampian required only 3.3 runs per over so FP’s wanted to take early wickets to have a chance of winning. The fit bowlers Thomson and Hegde bowled equally as accurately as the Grampian bowlers and in the seventh over Thomson claimed the first wicket thanks to a brilliant reflex catch at mid wicket by Joy who caught Seby one handed, Grampian 12 – 1 off 6.4 overs.
FP’s took the second wicket next over when Hegde had Saji LBW for 5, Grampian 18- 2 off 9 overs. Hegde bowled a great spell before being rested after having bowled 6-1-14-1. But a stand of 36 between Davis and Rohin brought Grampian just about up to the required rate until Thomson’s last over saw Hegde bring off a brilliant low diving catch at wide mid on to dismiss Davis for 23 (1 x 4) Grampian 54 – 3, Thomson bowling 10-3-18-2, his bowling figures speaking for themselves.
The injured Magesh and Mohanan then bowled in tandem and were unlucky on several occasions as catches were missed and shots fell between the laser precision placed fielders. The match was just tilting in Grampians favour when an LBW went in FP’s favour, Rohin out for 18 (1 x 4) Grampian 78 – 4.
The match looked to have turned FP’s way again as 4 wickets fell in 6 overs. Karthik bowled Saju for a duck, Magesh had Noby very well caught by Barker at cover. Barker then produced a great piece of fielding by running out Johnson for 9, Barker using a couple of previous attempts as range/direction/backing up practice, but then hitting the stumps directly when it, er, Mattered. Magesh bowed Gibson for 79 (1 x 4), Grampian now struggling on 95 – 8 off 32 overs.
Grampian needed 37 off 8 overs but Sonu was finding gaps in the field with some lusty hitting. By the end of the 36th over Grampian had scored 116 – 8, 16 required off 4 overs. Mohanan produced a beauty to bowl Jibin for 7 (1 x 4), Grampian 120 – 9 off 37.5 overs. But next over Sonu got hold of one and hit a big 6 off Hegde, a you miss, I hit, ball which the batsman unfortunately hit. This left Grampian requiring only 3 runs which they duly managed next over and so Grampian had won a game which could have gone either way up until the winning run was scored.
Some brave hitting at the end by Sonu, 24, (1 x 6, 2 x 4) saw Grampian home in a match played in good spirit throughout. All the FP’s bowlers bowled well with Devendran and Mohanan battling injuries to help out.
Bowling figures for FP’s – Thomson 10-3-18-2, Hegde 9-1-32-1, Devendran 10-2-35-2, Mohanan 9.4-0-41-2.
Man of the Match – Matt Barker, FP’s 2nd top scorer, good catch and great run out
Champagne Moment – Hegde’s brilliant diving catch